Pet Sitters International’s 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year™ Finds Success after Leaving the Wild Side

Former zoo keeper Vanessa Sorace, owner of Zoo Sitters LLC, in Cape May Court House, New Jersey, receives the pet-sitting industry’s highest honor.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

Vanessa Sorace, Zoo Sitters LLC, 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year™

Vanessa’s nominations highlighted how important her services were to her clients—whether helping evacuate a hospitalized client’s cat during Hurricane Sandy or simply providing reliable, quality pet care to enable her clients to travel with peace of mind.

King, NC (PRWEB) February 14, 2013

Vanessa Sorace, CPPS, owner of Zoo Sitters LLC in Cape May Court House, N.J., has been named Pet Sitters International’s 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year™. This award is presented annually to one pet sitter who embodies the passion and professionalism of the pet-sitting industry.

Created by Pet Sitters International (PSI) in 1995, the Pet Sitter of the Year designation is considered the pet-sitting industry’s highest honor. The 2012 selection process brought in more than 360 nominations for professional pet sitters across the United States. Serving on this year’s selection panel were David Pearsall of Business Insurers of the Carolinas; Jordan Di Marco, 2011 Pet Sitter of the Year; and The Pawsitive Coach™ Arden Moore, pet expert and founder of Fourleggedlife.com.

Sorace received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in animal behavior and worked as a zoo keeper, caring for a variety of exotics including monkeys, lemurs, bats, bears and large cats. Her zoo experience included an internship at the Philadelphia Zoo as well as working as a keeper in the Lied Jungle—America’s largest indoor rainforest—at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha, Neb.

After leaving the field, she decided to pursue her MBA and spent several years quickly moving up the corporate ladder as a national accounts manager. Despite her success, Sorace soon realized that corporate America was not as fulfilling as she had hoped.

“I began to think about combining my two passions—animals and business,” explained Sorace. “After six months of living in Costa Rica and observing many exotics in their natural habitats, I decided to return to my hometown of Cape May and start a professional pet-sitting business.”

Sorace returned home to open Zoo Sitters LLC. She joined PSI in 2007 and obtained her Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) designation that same year. PSI’s CPPS curriculum is the most comprehensive educational program in the pet-sitting industry.

Many pet owners in Cape May are thankful for Sorace’s decision to go in to the pet-care business. One nominator commented that Zoo Sitters was the best thing to happen to Cape May County in years. Another commented that if Sorace cared for children as well as she cares for pets, she would leave them for several days as well.

Their praise does not go unappreciated by Sorace.

“I’m thrilled that our clients and our local veterinarians, as well as other pet sitters in our area, reached out to nominate us and to share the experiences they’ve had dealing with Zoo Sitters,” Sorace said. “It shows me that we have promoted professional pet sitting in a positive manner and have become an asset to our community.”

The 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year award is sponsored by Business Insurers of the Carolinas, pet-sitter insurance provider and pet-sitting industry supporter for nearly two decades.

Sorace will serve as the public face of PSI’s more than 7,100 independently owned member businesses and represent the pet-sitting industry throughout 2013. She will be officially crowned at PSI’s Quest for Excellence Convention in Winston-Salem, N.C., this September.

“The number and quality of nominations received for the 2012 award is a testament to the increased role pet sitters play in their clients’ lives,” noted PSI President Patti Moran. “Vanessa’s nominations, in particular, highlighted how important her services were to her clients—whether helping evacuate a hospitalized client’s cat during Hurricane Sandy or simply providing reliable, quality pet care to enable her clients to travel with peace of mind.”

The other top-five Finalists in the 2012 Pet Sitter of the Year competition were:

  •     Judy LaFave, Missing U Pet Sitting Inc., Merrionette Park, Ill.
  •     Colleen McDonough, Barks and Blooms, Baldwin, Md.
  •     Gina Patrick, Tall Tails Petsitting Service, Slidell, La.
  •     Lyn Sykes, Thoughts4Paws, Aledo, Texas

To learn more about PSI’s Pet Sitter of the Year award, locate a PSI member pet sitter in your area or request more information about pet sitting as a profession, visit PSI’s Web site at http://www.petsit.com or call (336) 983-9222, option 1.