Business Spotlight by Chris Menezes
Animals have been a lifelong passion for Kate Turlington, North Carolina native. She loves animals so much that at age 16, she became a vegetarian because she couldn’t stand the idea of eating them. Ever since her college days at North Carolina State University, every job that Kate has held has revolved around animals.
Before starting her own business, Kate did internships with animal welfare organizations on the East and West Coasts, was an animal shelter adoptions counselor at Guilford County Animal Shelter in Greensboro, and spent several years as the manager of undercover animal cruelty investigations for an international nonprofit organization.
In 2007, after Kate moved on from the nonprofit job, she immediately emailed her friends and family to make herself available as a pet and house sitter. What started out as a temporary job before finding a “real job” quickly snowballed through word-of-mouth into a full-fledged pet sitting business called Kate’s Critter Care.
Kate’s Critter Care provides professional dog walking and in-home pet sitting services in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and South Durham. They offer a variety of dog walking services, pet sitting visits, and overnight pet sitting services. They have a small, handselected and carefully screened team of 17 professional pet sitters, who also provide house sitting services in conjunction with animal care, like bringing in mail/packages/newspapers, watering plants, and rotating lights and blinds, giving the home a “lived-in” look that offers another layer of protection when clients are out of town.
All of Kate’s pet sitters have passed background checks, are licensed, bonded, insured, and certified in pet first aid and CPR. Kate’s Critter Care is also a certified member of the Durham Living Wage Project, which means that their pet sitting team members are paid not a minimum wage, but a living wage of more than $12.50 per hour of work. The importance of this is that by providing a living wage, you create a more motivated team with lower turnover and contribute to a just and sustainable local economy.
“This is not ‘just a job’ or just a business; I sincerely love animals more than anything in the world and receive great satisfaction from providing them with the best care humanly possible. With the help of my small team of trusted professional pet sitters and my worth-her-weight-in-gold business manager, Julie Herndon, Kate’s Critter Care is able to provide the highest quality, most personalized pet care and customer service available. I am a VERY discerning, particular pet parent myself, so we strive to cater to clients who consider their animals their children and wouldn’t allow just anyone in their homes to care for their babies,” says Kate.
Kate loves developing personal connections and long-term relationships with all of her clients, the humans and the animals. People often refer to her as “Aunt Kate” to their pets, which is something Kate cherishes. “It feels really great to be able to help our clients, both human and animal, and to be part of their team.”
Durham pet owners have certainly taken notice, as Kate and her team at Kate’s Critter Care have been winners in the pet sitting category for Indy Weekly’s “Best of Triangle” in 2015, 2016, and 2017! Helping animals is always a priority to Kate and her team, so they are also annual sponsors of the Animal Protection Society of Durham’s Walk for the Animals.
Kate lives in Durham with her two rescued cats, Tallie (11) and Mari (10). She has a younger brother who lives in Black Mountain, her dad lives in Atlanta, and her mom, aunt, and grandmother live in Greensboro, Kate’s hometown.
To arrange care for your furry loved one, email info@KatesCritterCare.com or book online HERE.