In over three years owning and operating Sarah the Pet Sitter, there have been mostly ups: so much fun playing at dog parks, meeting extremely cool pet parents who come from all different walks of life, and growing the social responsibility of our business- to name just a few. But of course, running a small business also can have its disappointments and frustrations. For me, the number 1 challenge has been staff turnover. Finding amazing sitters has not been difficult actually. We have attracted to SPS some of the most caring, thoughtful, and dedicated people I have ever met! It’s been an honor for me to lead this team. However, when someone joins on as a pet sitter, they aren’t thinking they will be spending decades in that role. And when it comes to the kind of work we do, turnover is especially hard. I want to know that I can provide you and your pet consistent, in addition to excellent, care.
Disheartened by the amount of turnover we experienced in 2013 (Click below for the SPS version of Where Are They Now?), we made some changes to our staffing processes, including:
– a stronger emphasis on the one-year commitment we demand from new hires
– a two-week trial period for trainees after which we decide whether or not to move forward with the hire
– new opportunities for existing team members to take on project work in order to increase the amount of time per week they can serve SPS clients
Specifically, related to that last goal, the following three employees have upped their time commitment to SPS:
– Alison Kelly has moved from her role as Admin Assistant/Substitute Pet Sitter into a new full-time position as Business Manager. She works with me in the office on administrative, finance, and marketing projects.
– Amelia Manning is now both Pet Sitter for Uptown and the Manager of Sustainability Initiatives working almost full-time as well. She manages the goals we have set forth under our Life City Certification and supervises our research on sustainable partnerships, products, and practices.
– New employee Angie Nguyen is working with me to develop resources for pet parents wanting to improve their pet’s behavior. Keep an eye out for upcoming information on our efforts to support you and your pet in achieving behavior goals and overcoming negative habits!
Under the new staffing processes, we have brought on three new staff members who are a great asset to our team already. I am excited to introduce you to them below.
We are now a team of seven: Owner, Business Manager, and five part-time pet sitters. Because we don’t see any signs of our growth slowing, we will be continuing to hire. We’ll be communicating any staffing changes to you through our newsletters and on a one-to-one basis. Thank you as always for your support and for trusting me to find only the best care providers for your pet!
BRIAN KNIGHT, Pet Sitter – Carrollton, Broadmoor, & Black Pearl
Brian Knight is a Sarah the Pet Sitter client turned employee. Originally from Ohio, Brian has been a small business owner/craftsman for over 20 years. Brian is a life-long pet owner and animal lover, who currently cares for his dog Chopper, inside cats Luna and Monk, and outside community cat colony. Already pondering spending some of his time working with pets, Brian jumped at the opportunity to answer our job post and we could be 100% confident we were getting a reliable, caring, thoughtful individual to add to our team. Brian will be serving the area formerly served by Nick.
DANIEL RAY, Pet Sitter – CBD, French Quarter, Bywater, & Marigny
Daniel comes to Sarah the Pet Sitter from San Francisco where he worked in advertising and marketing. He graduated from the University of the Pacific in California where he worked as the Station Manager for the college radio station and was the Head Student Manager for the Men’s Basketball team. While pitching television shows to press and creating and executing social media campaigns Daniel also found time to volunteer at the SPCA San Francisco Chapter and Maddie’s Pet Adoption, a local rescue organization. Daniel has a passion for animals and he looks forward to meeting and taking care of all the furry friends New Orleans has to offer.
ANGIE NGUYEN, Pet Sitter – Lakeview & MidCity
Angie received her B.S. in Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University. While completing her degree, Angie worked at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, the Charles Paddock Zoo, and San Luis Obispo’s Animal Services. She came to New Orleans in September to begin an internship with the Children’s Zoo at Audobon Zoo. She currently spends her time working as a Dog Handler at Central Bark Doggy Day Care in Metairie and continuing her work with the Zoo. She is excited to have the opportunity to put her education to work one-on-one with Sarah the Pet Sitter clients in MidCity and Lakeview.