The Dog Nannies provide pet care and boarding
April 25, 2014
After falling victim to a Ponzi scheme, Margaret Wolin was left with no money, including savings. Rather than feel defeated, she used her previous experience as a business owner to create another business doing something she loves: taking care of animals.
Wolin grew up on a farm in Oregon milking cows, raising rabbits and eating food grown by her family. She has returned to her roots, caring for animals once again with her new business, The Dog Nannies. It is a full-service pet care provider that caters to dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits and even tortoises and pythons.
"I had contact and responsibility for just about any kind of animal you can imagine," she said. "So when I think about it, I kind of dug back into my past for this one."
She left the farm and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. After working as the manager of training and development for Parke-Davis, once a pharmaceutical company, she started her own consulting firm.
She retired and moved with her husband to Scottsdale, Arizona, and soon after, the couple divorced. That was when she was struck with financial tragedy. However, she turned tragedy into opportunity. She said she felt unfulfilled in retirement, and having to start a new business as a means to earn money gave her the opportunity to do something she loved.
She started The Dog Nannies five years ago with the help of her daughter. It has since grown into a business with 12 employees, including directors of public relations and marketing, finances and scheduling. It is a limited liability company, bonded and insured, and licensed with both the state and Summit County.
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"I interview very carefully, and I’m always looking for very mature, responsible and put-together individuals who just love dogs," Wolin said. "We are often entering someone’s home, and I make sure we only hire people who can do that respectfully and responsibly."
The Dog Nannies provide boarding or pet-sitting either in clients’ homes or in employees’ homes, dog-walking, transportation and "potty breaks," which entail an employee entering the home to let the dog out for a quick potty break if work is going to take longer than expected.
Wolin added she is planning on holding a summer day camp, which will include trail hiking, swimming and possibly playtime at a dog park. Trail hiking alone will be available during the summer as well.
Clients include pet owners who travel out of town, who commute to work and are gone all day or who want to spend the day participating in activities without worrying about going home to let their dog out.
"We do a bit of leash training with puppies or older dogs that have not been fully trained yet," Wolin said. "We also take extra care with rescued dogs that may have some peculiarities due to having been abused by their previous owners."
Wolin said she and the employee taking care of the pet will meet with the owners beforehand for a free consultation to discuss any problems or issues their pet may have as well as feeding instructions and any rules the pet owner wants to lay down for the employee being in their home.
Consultations and pet care can be scheduled on the website, a new feature Wolin said was added to make it more convenient for the owners.
"We cater completely to [the owners]; we will do whatever they ask us to do and adjust the rates from there," she said. "We want the pets to feel comfortable, and we want the pet and the client to be happy."
Wolin’s director of public relations and marketing, Zoe Oper, also pet-sits and said technology is a wonderful tool for making the owners happy.
"They’ll text me and ask me to send them pictures of their dogs or they’ll call and ask me to let them speak to them," she said laughing. "It’s so sweet, and we’re more than happy to do that for them."
Wolin and Oper suggested that pet owners schedule boarding or sitting as far in advance as possible, especially during the holiday seasons. While they are looking to grow and hire more employees, they still get booked during the holidays.
Nevertheless, Wolin said she and her employees are happy to help anyone in Park City and its surrounding areas, including Pinebrook, Jeremy Ranch, Deer Valley, Promontory and Glenwild, to care for their pets.
"We take what we do very seriously, and we want to provide the owners with peace of mind," she said. "We listen carefully to everything they need and request, make sure we know exactly what their pets need and respect and care for their homes while we’re taking care of them."
The Dog Nannies:
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