I grew up in a home where animals were always present. One of my earlier memories is that of holding a cracker in one hand and the tail of George, my family’s tomcat, in the other. (George was a very patient and trusting fellow.) When I outgrew my teddy bear at age 12, I found my best friend; a Cocker Spaniel and Pekingese mix, named Sniffles. When I moved to my first apartment, which did not allow pets, I was so lonely without my friend. Doug, then my fiancé and now my husband, helped relieve my loneliness with some gifts: first there was “Temba”, the gerbil; then “Tweety”, the yellow parakeet; and then “Bruno”, the Pekingese. All too often, airlines would not allow us to take our crew of creatures. Even if they were allowed to come along, the travel was disturbing for them. In 1972, I took a trip with some friends and put Bruno in a kennel. He got so depressed that he did not eat for the entire week that I was gone. I vowed I would never again put a pet of mine in a kennel again. Married to Doug, who was in the military, meant a lot of traveling. All too often, airlines would not allow us to take our crew of creatures. Even if they were allowed to come along, the travel was disturbing for them. By 1979, Doug and I had two children, that we took with us on our trips to the Midwest to visit our families and relatives. To care for our pets, we hired the boy next door who had always shown an interest in them. He did a great job giving each animal the attention and food needed. However, I could tell by the muddy paw prints across my floors and carpeting that he was not used to caring for a home. Shortly after, a few pieces of the pet/home care puzzle started to fall into place. First, because I wanted to work at home while raising my small children, and I had taken several classes at the local college on starting and running a small business. Second, while waiting in a veterinarian's office, I read an article about a woman in San Francisco who walked people’s dogs in the middle of the day. If people would pay her to walk their dogs while they were at work, why wouldn't people pay me to care for their pets and homes while on vacation or business trips? I was sure of the answer to that question, and I began to ask more questions. If people would pay her to walk their dogs while they were at work, why wouldn't people pay me to care for their pets and homes while on vacation or business trips? *Were there other such services in the area? *What did the future of the pet-service industry hold? *In what location would this service best be sold to the public? Then I applied for, and received a scholarship to attend a six-month entrepreneur program offered by Advocates for Women. What I learned in that program kept me headed in the right direction, and Advocates for Women provided much of the “pat-on-the-back” support I needed. By the end of the program, we relocated our family to an area we thought would be good for my fledgling business. In June of 1981, I began my advertising campaign and the history of my pet-sitting career.
House Calls Locally Owned & Operated Offices
*Solano County, "Wendy Simmons (707) 452-9962" *Central Contra Costa County, ''Kurtis Pierce (925)937-7387'' *Tri Valley, Contra Costa County, ''Debbie (925)328-0500'' *Contra Costa County, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay', ''Tracy Nelson (925)872-0400''
There's something especially loathsome about torturing helpless creatures for fun and profit. And evidence of torture is what investigators found on July 8, when federal and local authorities working in teams across eight states staged the largest raid in history against the underground dogfighting racket. Twenty-six people were arrested (five of whom are scheduled to be sentenced to as much as five years in prison on Dec. 8 in St. Louis, Mo.), and more than 500 dogs were rescued, most of them pit bull terriers.
On Thursday, May 21, Jennifer Petkus, founder of the Thyme and Sage Ranch—a sanctuary once entrusted to care for homeless animals in Richland County, WI—was charged with 11 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and five forfeitures after nearly 400 animals were seized from her property. The charges include improper shelter and the mistreatment of animals by intent or negligence.
“The ASPCA Forensics Investigation Team is now beginning to evaluate the evidence they collected from the scene,” says Jeff Eyre, the ASPCA Director of Field Operations and lead investigator on the case. “This includes documentation of the injuries to the animals seized, causes of death and a review of sales, adoption and medical records. All evidence will then be turned over to Richland County authorities to aid in the prosecution of Petkus.”
Animal welfare organizations, in conjunction with the Dane County Humane Society, are currently housing many of the animals seized from the ranch. They include 315 dogs, 21 rabbits, 14 birds, two chinchillas, one cat, one ferret and one rooster. 23 horses also seized from the property are being housed at a Wisconsin horse rescue. Many of the animals are suffering from skin, eye and ear conditions, malnutrition and various internal infections.
Despite numerous attempts to have Petkus sign the seized animals over to authorities, so far she refuses to relinquish ownership. By law, the Dane County Humane Society cannot place any animals up for adoption until Petkus surrenders them or a judge mandates their release.
Petkus is currently free on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court today, May 29, at 1:00 P.M.