We know what it feels like to struggle with both your pets emotions and your own, when it comes to leaving your best friend alone.
As a whole, pet parents have become more educated about pet care, we are more aware about what our pets need for a great quality of life. The benefits of having a personal pet sitter far outweighs those of putting your pet in a kennel.
♥Meet Our Sitters!♥
Stephanie is the Owner, CEO and creator of Furball’s Choice.
The company is based on her strong passion and connection with animals. One she has had since the young age of 5 years old “Which was when I had my first cat. I was responsible for helping my parents feed him, scoop his poop, and make sure he was well exercised”. On top of having cared for her own pets and growing up with animals her entire life, Stephanie also possess the following experience with animals of all types. “This is my life long resume”.
Growing up in Barrie, Ontario her first job was on a horse farm specializing in training Western Pleasure & Gaming horses. Starting from the ground up working as a groomer, mucking stalls, she soon found herself moving up to working along side her boss, training and riding young prospects. In the past 10 years she has worked on farms that deal with Harness Racing, Private Show Barns, Circuit A Training Facilities & Boarding Facilities where animals require very specific diets and constant, attentive care.
Throughout her teenage years she donated her spare time to the local animal shelter (QHS), completed two co-op positions at the Quinte Humane Society and one co-op position at Loyalist Veterinary Hospital. After graduating High School she pursue her love of animals by accepting a job at PJ’s Pets. These years provided experience with a vast variety of animals including pocket animals, birds “The Sun Conure is my favourite.” aquatic life such as shrimp & fish, reptiles and even tarantulas. During this time Stephanie was also an approved foster home for Pet Finder and in 2011 started walking dogs in her spare time.
Stephanie continued to keep her passion of working with animals alive by providing pet care services to local pet parents. In 2014 she was presented the opportunity to start her own business. When she was told there was an opportunity to combine her love of animals with providing a positive and much needed service to pet parents alike, she got started right away. After graduating her Business Management Course at Loyalist, and her business plan receiving a stamp of approval, Furball’s Choice was born!
- Stephanie is skilled in the administration of insulin injections, oral medication, and IC fluids, and loves caring for elderly pets, juvenile pets, pets with special health concerns & disabilities and has over a decades worth of experience providing such care.
- She participates monthly in webinars to learn all she can about domesticated animal health. She has extensive knowledge about different pet related diseases, illnesses and disabilities and how to treat them such as Degenerative Myelopathy, seizures, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis just to name a few.
- Stephanie is certified in Dog Walking, Dog Behaviour, Reading Canine Body Language and has completed the Canine Attendant training through Canine Foundations.
- Stephanie is a Pet First Aid Certified Instructor for Walks N Wags Pet First Aid.
- Certified in Raw Pet Food knowledge and is a Certified Pet Nutritionist.
- Furball’s Choice works with Fixed Fur Life, The Quinte Humane Society, Loyalist Humane Society, Homeward Bound Rescue, Danes In Distress, Boxer Rescue Ontario, Home Again Rescue & Soi Dog (Canada & Thailand).
- Furball’s Choice supports it’s community and others. Our company has ran fundraisers for DM research and spearheaded the ‘Pack 4 Fort Mac’ in 2016 that sent thousands of pounds of pet food and items to animals affected by the Alberta Wildfires. Furball’s Choice can be seen at local events such as ‘Strut for Strays’ and “Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-Thon’ . “We will never stop helping where we can.”.
- Stephanie regularly participates in training classes & seminars with her own dogs for fun and educational purposes. “Its one thing to be able to calmly control my own dogs in a positive way, I like to be current on general communication and training techniques that work with any dog I am socializing with.”
Stephanie is a loving mother to her 3 German Shepherds, 3 Cats, Goats, Chickens, 2 Bearded Dragons, 1 Ferret, Fish (fresh water & salt water), a few Tarantulas, 2 Donkeys and 3 beautiful Horses. She is happy to offer service to any pet parent that needs it.
Furball’s Choice was specifically designed with pet parents in mind, as she is one her self and it pushed her to turn a passion into a lifestyle and make the move to become a pet sitter – “Life is too short to not do what you love”.
What is your favourite animal? I love Orcas!
What is your favourite breed of dog? German Shepherds and Doberman.
What do you enjoy doing when your not working? Riding my horses, boating, yardwork (I get really mad when Carlos cuts the grass, its my favourite!), anything outside really.
Carlos is the Production Lead of Furball’s Choice’s Raw Pet Food division. Carlos works closely with our partners and suppliers to ensure only the highest quality source meats are used in our formulas and maintains those relationships so that we get the best pricing possible and can pass those savings on to you! Carlos is the primary driver for supply pickups and out of area deliveries and is also responsible for overseeing all aspects of Furball’s Choice Logistics. With a strong background in technology, Carlos installs and maintains the technologies that allow us to operate all divisions efficiently.
Carlos was born in Port Colborne, Ontario in the 70s and spent most of his childhood growing up in Hamilton, and then the Niagara Region. Carlos has always liked all types of animals and is a wealth of knowledge for many different species – from mammals to reptiles, and even aquatic animals and invertebrates.
During the day-to-day at Furball’s Choice Carlos is usually behind the scenes ensuring that every aspect of Furball’s Choice is running smoothly. When he isn’t in his office, on the production floor or fixing a computer somewhere, it is very likely that he is on the road delivering Raw Pet Food across Ontario, or making a trip to our butchers to pick up supply. Though he is always willing to take a break when a dog of any breed comes into the store for a snuggle and a treat.
I you have any questions regarding our Raw Pet Food products, chances are you will end up chatting with Carlos, for probably far longer than you’d expect. He loves to chat and knows all of our products inside and out! “I love being able to make a impact every day with the work we do here. It is amazing seeing all the positive results that our products have on our clients furbabies. Many who come to us suffering with all different types of ailments. Quality nutrition plays a huge part in the health of our animals. ”
What is your favourite animal? Ankylosaurs
What is your favourite breed of dog? German Shepherd.
What do you enjoy doing when your not working? Learning about technology. Reading articles about pretty much anything. Naps, you’ll understand when you’re older.
Becky is the Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Service Manager as well as our Retail Pet Store Manager at Furball’s Choice.
Becky grew up in Cobourg, Ontario and relocated to the Quinte West area with her husband in 2016. Together they are the proud parents of their daughter Melanie, son Eric and their many Fur Babies which include two German Shepherd (Scout and Atlas), a Labrador (Gus), a American Bulldog (Dozer), 7 cats (Leo, Buster, Piper, Cece, Ella, Zara), and 4 Guinea Pigs (Squish, Squiggle, Sugar and S’mores). In addition, Becky grew up with a wide variety pets, including reptiles and has always had a passion for animals.
At the age of 13 Becky began volunteering at her local animal shelter. Staff at the shelter quickly noticed her passion for the animals and her patients and ability to connect with the rescued stray dogs in the shelter. Her education to the job led to staff members recommending her to new adopters and from there Becky would go to homes to walk and pet sit new adopters pets.
- Becky began working in pet retail in 2017 where she worked to build her knowledge in the pet industry. She has been recognized by many customers for her outstanding customer service skills. Becky takes pride in getting to know clients on a deeper more personal level.
- Through the retail store, Becky was introduced to an organization called Fixed fur Life, a rescue organization for cats. Becky became a foster parents and volunteer. To date she has fostered over 50 cats and kittens, participated in multiple rescue operations, and volunteered at a number of fundraising events.
- Something you may not know about Becky is that she is heavily involved in her local community. Taking part in many different fundraising events, rescues and non-profit organizations for both animal and human.
Becky has been working with Furball’s Choice for over 4 years now, she is a very important member of our Furball’s Choice team.
What is your favourite animal? All the doggos!
What is your favourite breed of dog? German Shepherd
What do you enjoy doing when your not working? Hiking and searching for waterfalls across Ontraio, or anywhere. I also love reading.
Samantha was born and raise in the small village of Wooler located in beautiful Quinte West. Growing up they had a “family” dog, Buddy. Although he was the family dog, Sam was his special person.
Through the years she remained in the area and currently lives here with her fiancé, their dog Drake (Yellow Labrador), and 3 cats Tom, George and Anna. If it were up to Sam, their house would be full of animals of all kinds!
Sam grew up in the country surrounded by nature. Her favourite activity as a kid was driving the ATV with her dad, trying to spot and name all the different wildlife. Sam’s dad would often pull out books on wildlife and quiz her on the different species of fish and birds. From a young age, she had a passion for all animals.
During high school, Sam completed all of her community service hours with animals. She was either walking dogs or playing with kitties at the local humane society, participating in the Quinte Ride for Paws motorcycle fundraiser, or climbing the CN tower for the World Wildlife Fund.
Sam has completed 2 college diplomas in Protection, Security & Investigations and Social Service Worker. Although she’s worked in both fields, and loved the experience she gained, Sam realized her heart and soul was with animals.
Sam was lucky enough to find Furball’s Choice a year ago and quickly turned her new job position into career that she feels really good about. Sam has a drive for learning about everything animal related, whether it be pet nutrition or animal behaviour, she’s always asking for more, more!
“My hope is to further my career in the pet industry and see where my passions can lead me. I know this is where i’m meant to be!”
Having been with Furball’s Choice for almost 2 years, it feels like only yesterday Sam joined our team, she plays a crucial role in the company’s success. Sam is always willing share new ideas to help bring out the best in our team. We are looking forward to working along side her for many years to come.
What is your favourite animal? Honestly, I love all animals of all shapes an sizes, I can’t pick just one. Id befriend a crocodile if I could!
What is your favourite breed of dog? Great Danes. They are true gentle giants, with so much love to give. One day I will have one of my own.
What do you enjoy doing when your not working? I love spending time with my own dog Drake. I am always looking for new enrichment ideas for him, taking him on sniff walks, doing puzzles and going for swims! I love spoiling my animals!
grew up in the big city around the Mississauga area. What seems like only a few short years ago she moved into the Belleville area with family. Madi has always had a strong love for animals since starting her first job at the young age of 15.
Madi’s first job was a Equine Assistant. She was responsible for grooming horses, tacking and un-tacking, cleaning equipment and other general care and daily barn tasks. She loved this job and worked there for just shy of a year. She had to move on since the barn owner was retiring, but this experience ignited Madi’s love of horses and working with animals.
Madi has been riding horses for the last 7 years and has a growing passion for it. “Even though I only do it for fun, my favourite part of riding is the constant learning and bettering myself. Learning and understanding the individual horse that im working with at the time takes paitents, compassion and understanding. Having the ability to ride all kinds of horses makes it the most fun!”.
Madi has been able to transfer these skills that she has developed by working with horses into her day to day work at Furball’s Choice. Madi really enjoys constantly learning about dogs and their behaviour, gaining trust with new clients, and is interested in learning more about animal nutrition in hopes to bring it with her for her future Fur-babies!
At Furball’s Choice Madi originally started as a co-op student through high school. She completed her 3 month placement with Furball’s Choice before she got hired on as a retail associate, and eventually expanded into being a pet-sitter.
Madi got her first dog in June of last year with her grandparents, a Golden doodle named Milo! “Milo has been a great addition to our family. He is is so smart, training him was a breeze! He is great at keeping everyone in the household active, we spend a lot of time outside with him, having fun… he truly is the happiest boy!” Madi plans on expanding her fur family one day, in the future. She would love a little hobby farm, many kitties and dogs! She hopes to go into a field of work with animals, she has applied to many different programs in college to see where her passion and future will take her.
Madi’s positively contagious and bubbly personality lights up every room she enters. She always has herself buried in pages of information on animal nutrition and wellness, and is constantly asking for more. She has a gentle and calm way about how she handles animals, and can always manage to win over the shyest of critters. Madi has been with us for almost 2 years, she provides such value to our team, its been a privilege working with her as she continues to grow and learn with us.
was born and raised in the Prince Edward County Region. Mikayla began working at the young age of 14. She was a housekeeper at Isaiah Tubbs resort and has had a fair taste of different occupations over the years. Whether this consisted of retail, dishwasher, server, to a health care aide. Although she has been all over the place, her favourite saying is “you won’t know till you try”. She had enrolled at Loyalist College for Massage Therapy, only to find this also wasn’t for her. She was determined to find out her true passion.
After sending out lots of applications to many different jobs, obtaining interviews, but not feeling the job was quite what she was looking for, Mikayla came across an ad and applied to Furball’s Choice. Mikayla quickly got an interview, and the rest is history! Mikayla says this job felt like a “passion” rather than a job. She claims she is getting paid to do what she loves! She has plans to carry this job onto bigger things such as a professional dog trainer in the years to come.
Mikayla’s passion for animals began before she can even can remember! Her life has always been surrounded by animals and there’s not a time she hasn’t had a four legged friend around!
Mikayla has had the privilege of being a fur-parent to a Pomeranian Poodle named Chloe as a companion for 14 years. She has been her little side kick since she was 7 years old. Over the past few years Mikayla and her partner Nick have taken Chloe into their own hands and she lives her last years spoiled and happy! She also has a 5 year old Akbash Rottweiler named Bauer that is technically her sisters, but she loves him as her own! They also have a clan of cats- Ollie, Skylar-Mae, and Little Man. (Little man isn’t little dont let him trick you!) To add to the craziness Mikayla also has a hamster named “Hammy” who is a newer addition to the family.
Growing up, Mikayla also had a love for smaller animals such as Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, and Bunnies, along side her cats and dogs. Mikayla would like to one day have a small hobby farm with her partner Nick and care for many different types of animals.
In 2022 Mikayla and her partner made the news for saving a small Shih Tzu that had been missing in the extreme cold weather, with medical issues for 2 weeks. The veterinarian called the search over as they said there was no way he would survive without his medication. A miracle happened when Mikayla and Nick didn’t give up hope! They spotted the lost dog and were able to contact the owners accordingly. Mikayla said the dog let out one big bark and ran up to the owner and to this day it was like a movie.
Mikayla’s love of animals truly shines on her daily adventures with so many different furbabies. She says she is glad for the rough road that led her to this job, and she can’t picture herself anywhere else other than with animals!
Mikayla has been with us for a year now and during her time with us Mikayla has naturally blossomed into a fabulous pet sitter and valuable team member. Her compassion and patience shines through in her work every day. We can tell she loves her work and her smile truly shows it!
“I am so glad I found my true passion. I will treat every fur-baby as my own giving them the best care possible in every visit. I can not wait to meet your furballs!”.
Sarah was born and raised in Belleville and moved to Shannonville where she currently resides with her family. She has 3 cats (Cornflower, Biscuit & Loki) and a hognose snake (Gimli, check out her picture, look closely!). She has always had a passion for animals, likely due to being surrounded by them her whole life.
When she was younger, Sarah quickly developed a passion for horses and riding. She competed in local dressage competitions, such as “Reach for the Ribbons.” Through her lessons and competitions, she developed close relationships with a few Arabian horses, Venus and Sweets being two of her favourites.
As a teenager, she volunteered at the humane society and had her very first job at a grooming salon. At the grooming salon, Sarah worked as a bather and became familiar with a number of different dog breeds. For as long as she can remember, she knew she wanted a career involving animals.
In the summer, she spends a lot of her time camping and going on side-by-side rides with her family and their friends. Any excuse to spend time in the outdoors. She loves being in the forest, surrounded by nature, and often goes searching for bugs or reptiles to watch and admire. She has always been the type to see a snake and run towards it, rather than away.
During her time at Furball’s Choice, she has learned a lot about working with dogs of different breeds, personalities and behaviours. She has developed relationships with so many different animals, and she always looks forward to seeing them.
While she does absolutely adore dogs, she is a cat person at heart and tends to gravitate more towards the kitties she gets the pleasure of seeing. “Getting a head bonk from a cat is one of my favourite feelings. Knowing I have gained their trust is such a rewarding feeling. I look forward to meeting even more different kinds of pets and I can’t wait to learn all about them!”
Sarah’s time with Furballs Choice has passed by so quickly, though its only been a year it’s felt like many. She brings a wealth of knowledge and is always cool as a cucumber. Sarah is such a valued asset to the team and the animals she works with.
grew up in a very full household. Being the second oldest of 7 kids, as well as having many foster siblings coming and going over the years. Tessa was born and raised in the Quinte West area, it is reasonable to say that chaos and noisy environments, surrounded by children is where she feels the most at home.
Starting at a young age she always had a love for animals, her home couldn’t be complete without a furry friend for the entire family. She would spend lots of her time using her veterinary kits, that she would get from Santa, on her St.Bernard, Shih Tzu or the families kitty, Sprinkles. Tessa’s mom would spend some of her days off taking her to the local Humane Society, she would tell her mom that they couldn’t go in without treats for all of the puppies! On her 11th birthday, she asked all of her childhood friends to bring anything off of the donations list to help the animals without families.
Tessa began helping on a family farm while in Highschool, knowing that her long term goal is to become a Veterinarian and help save as many animals as she can. She loved the experiences she gained, from feeding little piggies and making gobbling noises with the turkeys to assisting with the birth of an adorable baby cow! Throughout many jobs afterwards, Tessa never seemed to find the joy she felt when working around animals.. until she found Furballs Choice!
Tessa took a leap, hoping for the best and arrived at a store she had never been to before and she hasn’t looked back since. She finally found her way back to what gives her a feeling of purpose and gives her so many reasons to smile everyday!
“Seeing so many animals everyday and having the privilege to be a good part of their day drives me to want to become better at what I do, and build my passion, knowledge and skills for all animals”.
Tessa has known since childhood that her pets and all animals bring her so much excitement and joy. Her dogs have always been more to her then just a pet, they are family. They love unconditionally, their loyalty is untouchable, they’re smarter then they show and they are without a doubt the best listeners.
Tessa is grateful to meet so many of your furry family members and to learn more about each and every one of them. “I believe that there is too much to learn about all of the amazing species in one lifetime, however I feel that it is important to take in as much as I possibly can”.
She hopes that someday with enough experience and knowledge, she can use it for something amazing, to return the favour to our wonderful pets for always being there and giving us reasons to smile, even on the hard days.
Tessa is came to us with an obvious strong passion for animals of all kinds and a great foundation of knowledge to boot. She is confident and compassionate, she has a positive and upbeat personality and is always up for a challenge! Tessa recently landed a job working in Animal Welfare within the local and surrounding communities, staying on part-time with us here at Furball’s Choice! Thank goodness! We are so happy to have Tessa as a part of our team at Furball’s Choice, she’s made herself right at home.
is our youngest team member at Furball’s Choice!
Melanie was born in Cobourg, Ontario. She relocated to the Quinte West area in 2016, along with her Mom, Dad, and younger brother.
Since the day she was born, Melanie has always had pets at home. Over the years, her parents have had dogs, cats, and reptiles. At only 16 years old, Melanie still lives at home. Currently, her family has 4 dogs and 5 cats. She also has a cat of her own, named Ella and 4 Guinea Pigs named Squiggle, Squish, Sugar and S’mores .
Melanie’s family began fostering for Fixed Fur Life in 2017. During this time, Melanie’s passion for animals grew. She helped volunteer at community events and assisted her parents in fostering more than 50 cats. During this time, they fostered a cat that Melanie couldn’t let go of, and after lots of convincing, her parents helped her to adopt Ella.
As soon as Melanie was old enough to apply, she began working at Furball’s Choice. She considers herself lucky that her very first job is working with animals. Melanie enjoys keeping busy in the store, but always has time to snuggle all of the furbabies that stop in to visit.
In addition to working part-time, Melanie loves to sing and is currently learning guitar. She is very artistic and loves to get creative. She has a passion for photography and also enjoys hiking and swimming.
Melanie continues to grow her knowledge in the pet industry, and although she is unsure of what her career goals may be for the future, she is sure that animals will always be a big part of her life.
Being the youngest member of Furball’s Choice, this doesn’t stop Melanie from giving the rest of her teammates a run for their money. When it comes to hard work you can bet you’ll never catch this girl standing in one place for too long.
We love having Melanie as part of the team at Furball’s Choice, she has a big heart for animals of all kinds and she’s always open to learning and picking up new tasks. We can not wait to see here life takes her!
What is your favourite animal?
What is your favourite breed of dog?
What do you enjoy doing when your not working?
Brandon is our Raw Pet Food Production Team Manager at Furball’s Choice.
Brandon was born in Toronto, raised in Colborne, Ontario and currently lives in Quinte West with his tiny kitty Scarlet. Scarlet is the official kitty toy tester for FC. Whenever we get new cat toys in, we always pass it by Scarlet for quality control and approval first.
Always surrounded by pets, Brandon grew up with a passion and love for animals, especially of the feline variety. Whether it was helping preggo kitties give birth or during feeding time, Brandon was always excited and ready to help.
Zoo trips were a common occurrence for Brandon and his siblings over the years, but nothing was quite as exciting than when they visited Jungle Cat World. Jungle Cat World offers up-close and personal interactions that offer educational experiences with these big cats and many other animals who reside in the facility. Seeing those beautiful, powerful animals up close really cemented his love for cats.
“Before starting at Furballs Choice, I’ve always gone out of my way to spoil my animals. And after working in retail for many years, finding Furballs seemed like it was meant to be.”
After quickly moving through the retail space and into the raw food production sector, Brandon has found a space where he can make a real hands-on difference in the lives of many animals, right from their food dish.
Brandon leads our Production Team into success daily. Keeping the back of house organized to ensure our store shelves are jam packed with fresh, yummy goodness for all our furry clients, and stopping to snuggle with our in-store visitors along the way.
So whether you’re picking up dehydrated treats, raw food or rib bones, if you see the production team stocking up the shelves be sure to give them a wave. You might even see him doing local deliveries on Wednesdays or GTA deliveries on Fridays!
What is your favourite animal? Kitties!
What is your favourite breed of dog? Definitely Black Labs.
What do you enjoy doing when your not working? I love going camping and playing video games.
Jacob Born in Belleville and Trenton raised, Jacob has always been close to home. Jacob currently resides in Belleville with his girlfriend and their two male cats, Sly and Jinx.
Within his work experience he’s always been involved in the food industry. At first he was stocking your family’s food at the local grocery store, Fresh Co. for 4 years. But Jacob was ready for a change. Now he’s filling the shelves for your furbabies at Furball’s Choice.
Growing up in a sports driven household, Jacob was drawn to the love of baseball. Every summer night was spent at the diamond with his four-legged best friend, the family dog, Tucker. He was taught to be the best version of himself and he tries to incorporate this into his efforts at work every day.
Jacob always treats animals as part of the family, making sure they obtain the respect and care they deserve. He can’t wait for the day he’s able to bring a pup of his own into his home but is waiting for the best time.
Jacob loves to take on new tasks and learn new positions within the company, so although he started off as a Pet Sitter he has transitioned into production work, delivery driver and hopes to learn how to work the retail portion of the business as well.
“Though a short time has passed since I started this position, I’ve loved every moment. I get to interact with all sorts of pets that make their way into the store front. With everyday that passes I continue to learn more and more how to better myself and give my all here at Furball’s Choice.”
On local delivery days, you will see Jacob’s smiling face arrive with your pet’s goodies between 4 and 7 o’clock on Wednesday.
Jacob is a go getter and always brings a positive attitude to work. His drive to learn is going to result in so much success in his future! Jacob is a highly valued member of the team at Furball’s Choice, and our furry customers just adore him!
Our Promise To You
Trust, Quality & Security.
We treat our clients, their pets, and home with a standard of professionalism and care that is incomparable in our industry. Furball’s Choice is continually working to set the bar high for pet sitting standards in our industry.
Our staff conduct each service with honesty and truthfulness. Providing our clients with honest feedback, and being open to honest feedback from our clients. We humbly recognize that we can always do better through mutual feedback and communication.
Our company possesses insurance and liability coverage for your pets, home and property for the duration of our visits. We respect the trust our clients have placed in us to care for their most valuable possessions.
All staff are Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid Certified with emergency contingencies in place to handle any emergency situation that may come our way, and the ability to safely and adequately care for any pets whom require medication or limited ability care.
Furball’s Choice is an active member of Professional Pet Sitters International, Veterinarian, Groomer & Rescue recommended for both Care Services & Natural Pet Products. There is a reason that Furball’s Choice is Quinte’s only multi-award winning Pet Care Service. Voted Favourite Pet Care Service by the people of Belleville for 2016 and also awarded the title of Best New Business during the 2016 Quinte Business Achievement Awards.
At Furball’s Choice we believe the “Keys to Great Care” are:
- Superior Customer Service: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, high-quality care and service.
- Environment: Provide a clean, active, positive, enjoyable environment while providing professional and trusting service.
- Convenience: Being mostly mobile, offering clients a wide range of services in their own personal environment specific for every animal type.
- Location: We will come to you, making Furball’s Choice an easily accessible service for your convenience.
- Reputation: Credibility, integrity, and 100% dedication, from more than a decade of experience and passion with animals.