Pet Sitters International Reports New Memberships are Up 26 Percent This Year

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The animal service industry is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, particularly pet sitting, which was recently named the number one home-based business by Small Business Opportunities Magazine.

Increased pet ownership coupled with the down economy has made this the perfect time for pet lovers—many either laid off or simply eager to escape the corporate rat race—to pursue new careers in the professional pet-sitting industry.

Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading association for professional pet sitters, reports that membership is on the rise—and the association has seen a 26 percent increase in new memberships year-to-date over the same time period in 2011. Continued growth is expected as more pet-loving entrepreneurs take action to get their piece of the “pet-loving pie.”

According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), there are now 72.9 million pet owners in the United States and an estimated $52.87 billion will be spent on pet care this year. As U.S. pet ownership continues to increase, so does the need for pet-related services. The United States Department of Labor expects that employment in the animal care and service industries will grow 21 percent over the 2008-18 decade.

For pet lovers looking to start a new home-based career, this is encouraging news. Pet sitting was recently listed number one in the Small Business Opportunities® 2012 Get Rich At Home™ special edition list of the 100 top home-based businesses.

Since January of this year, PSI reports more than 1,200 pet lovers representing 47 of the 50 states have taken steps to begin or enhance their professional in-home pet care career by joining the association. These pet-care business owners hail from large cities like Houston, Philadelphia and Seattle, down to tiny communities such as Foley, MN, population 2,616.

Founded by Patti Moran in 1994, PSI is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters. As such, PSI strives to prepare its pet-sitting members across the United States and 15 other countries to compete and succeed in the ever-growing pet-care industry.

“Increased pet ownership coupled with the down economy has made this the perfect time for pet lovers—many either laid off or simply eager to escape the corporate rat race—to pursue new careers in the professional pet-sitting industry,” noted Patti Moran.

In the early 1980s, PSI’s founder faced a similar situation that many have been faced with in recent years. After being laid off from her job, Moran was at a loss for how to move forward in her professional career. Disillusioned with the corporate world, she decided to turn her love of pets into a new career. Although pet sitting as a profession was practically unheard at the time, Moran persevered to establish her own business as well as the industry of pet sitting.

“I know first-hand about the struggles of being out of work or even just being unhappy and needing to find a more fulfilling career,” said Moran. “Being able to turn my love of pets into a profitable career and do something I loved every day was an unbelievable experience. I founded PSI so that others could take that step as well, and be even more prepared than I was.”

Preparation and research play a big part in any career change and pet sitting is no different. One of PSI’s most recent initiatives offers free informational downloads to those interested in a career in pet sitting. So far this year, these resources have been accessed by more than 4,000 site visitors interested in pet sitting as a career. To date, nearly 700 new members have joined the association after downloading documents such as “Four Must-Do Steps to Starting a Successful Pet-Sitting Business.”

When Cheryl Scaglione decided to leave the uncertain climate of a corporate job to become a pet sitter, she turned to PSI to set herself apart in industry.

“In a corporation, it’s like being a number. You work hard, but you never know if you are going to have a job the next day,” Scaglione said. “My dogs and my love of pets inspired me to research pet sitting as a career.”

Upon opening her business, No Home Alone LLC in Dallas, TX, Scaglione immediately joined PSI for access to liability insurance and to distinguish her business and show clients a high level of professional care. After researching several pet sitter associations, Scaglione saw that few had as detailed a certification program as PSI. Being new in the business and in an area with many other pet-sitting businesses, Scaglione felt that the PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter program was the key to set her business apart from the competition.

PSI Members also have access to the dedicated Member Services representatives, available by email and phone to answer any questions a new sitter might have, as well as a Member Forum where the 7,000 plus members can share advice and tips.

For more information on the growing pet sitting industry, download PSI’s 2012 Industry Forecast . To learn more about becoming a pet sitter, visit

About Pet Sitters International
Founded by Patti Moran in 1994, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing more than 7,000 independent professional in-home pet-care businesses in the United States, Canada and abroad. PSI provides members with access to affordable bonding and liability insurance as well as educational resources that include a comprehensive Certification Program, Pet Sitter’s WORLD magazine, The Scoop e-news and PSI’s annual Quest for Excellence convention. For more information, visit, home of the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ or sign up to receive The Scoop on Pet Care. Visit the PSIStoreOnline, the largest specialty retailer of products for pet sitters and pet-sitting business owners.

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Kitsey Burns
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