Searching for a pet sitter can sometimes be a daunting task. You want someone reliable and responsible who you can trust to watch your home and your pets, but family and friends might not always be available. That’s where WNY’s premier pet sitting service, Laura’s Critter Care, comes into play.
Laura Stauffiger, owner of Laura’s Critter Care, was employed as a manager at AppleOne Employment Services for 20 years. She had a great desire to come back to her hometown of Western New York, so she opened a few employment services here. But when she needed someone to care for her own pets, she had a hard time finding someone she could trust.
“I have all different types of pets… snakes, birds, cats, dogs, and so I always had a hard time finding someone to watch them for when I needed to go on vacation or out of town,” Stauffiger explained. “I had a few bad experiences and I thought wouldn’t it be great if someone could come to your home and watch your pets instead of boarding them?”
Laura Stauffiger and Chaz Vizzi, a very long term client who doesn’t trust just anyone
And so in 2009, Laura’s Critter Care was born. Within four months she added her first contractor on board and now she has 60 contractors and 2,000 clients.
“I started this business determined to make sure it was something professional and not just a typical pet sitting hobby or a kid down the street,” she said. “I have a background in marketing and so I knew it wouldn’t take me long to grow my client base.”
Mia and CeCe Hughes, owned by Bills player Jerry Hughes
Featured clients include Mia and Cece Hughes, a husky and german shepherd, owned by Buffalo Bills player Jerry Hughes and personally cared for by Stauffiger. The business owner also took care of the pets of former Bills players Brandon Spikes and EJ Manuel. And Laura’s Critter Care is part of the WGRZ TV family, too, as many local celebrities like Adam Benigni, Maria Genero, and Maria Sisti have their pets cared for by Stauffiger and her contractors.
The Benigni pups, Cabo, Dublin and Sadie
“Reputation is key,” said Stauffiger. “That’s why we do thorough background checks on all of our contractors, so our clients can leave their home knowing that everything will be taken care of while they are away. Trust and dependability is what we pride ourselves on.”
Abby, a long term dog walking client. Dog walking is a very popular service at Laura’s Critter Care, averaging 50-80 dog walks per day outside of regular pet sitting.
Laura’s Critter Care is a 24/7 business – helping police officers, doctors, and nurses who are on call or may have to stay late at work. The business has a portal where new clients can sign-in and request a dog walker or a pet sitter to come at anytime.
A puppy client giving some love to professional pet sitter, Amber
“Another great thing about the importance of us checking in and taking care of homes is that by offering this service, we have come into homes where a gas stove was left one, back door left open, flooding in the basement, and we were able to take care of the situation or alert the owner to what was going on. We are here to give clients peace of mind knowing that someone is always looking after their home and their pets,” she said.
Laura’s Critter Care also offers a “snout to tail” assessment. Most of the contractors are involved in pet care in some way, shape or form. Whether it be a vet tech or a dog trainer, these individuals have the ability to detect bladder infections, ear infections, lumps, and more that pet owners may not have noticed.
Another great part about Laura’s Critter Care is that the business specializes in all animals. From chickens, to hamsters, snakes, lizards, cockatoos, turtles, and more – there’s no animals the business won’t keep an eye on for you. Laura’s Critter Care customizes its services to each animals’ special needs, even distributing insulin to a cat in need.
Laura’s Critters does a lot of chicken pet sitting.
Aiden the cockatoo
Sandy the hamster
Ginko, a red ear slider
Penny being fed a treat from professional pet sitter, Lita.
“My management team and I listen to what their needs are and we match the best sitter with them. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever had to turn anyone away because we do have such a wonderful team,” she said. “Kristin Kegler and Katelyn Daly help me run the everyday operations, specifically running the portal, as we have hundreds of messages and service requests and changes coming through every day.”
Laura’s Critter Care is extremely involved in the community. The business does a pet food drive every December, working with local animal rescues. They also celebrate pet’s birthdays, give special treats, a newsletter, and advice on training and animal behavior.
Santiago celebrating his birthday with Laura’s Critter Care. How sweet!
For more information on pet-sitting services, call 716-425-8357 or visit www.laurascrittercare.com.