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Our Feature in Pet Sitters International Magazine:

Meet Jennifer Betts

Jennifer Betts, owner of Run and Play in Takoma Park, Maryland, is a master’s level licensed graduate social worker, and started her pet-sitting business as a sole proprietorship in 2014 after leaving full-time social work. Run and Play is located just outside the Washington, DC area and services the nearby suburbs of Silver Spring and Takoma Park.

Jennifer says she worked solo for one year when she first started the company, added a contractor the next year and has steadily grown to a solid crew of contractors, most of whom are still with her business today.

“Today we are a team of six that work well to support each other and our wonderful clients,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer earned her CPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter® designation her second year in business. While she joined PSI as soon as she started her business, she says she felt the certification was important to present a real commitment to her work, as well as a professional accomplishment.

She says she has asked several clients over the years about certification and while most didn’t originally know what to look for, once they saw it, they felt better.

“To me, it signifies an increased level of trust,” explained Jennifer.

When asked how certification has helped her business, Jennifer cites confidence and comfort. She said: “It adds a level of professionalism and confidence for people and having more professional icons on my site and materials is extra comforting to people.”

Ensuring clients feel comfortable and confident in her services— and that sitters feel confident and comfortable as well—are top priorities in Jennifer’s business.

She shares this tip about one of her business practices: “I start all services on a two-week trial bases which helps to ensure the client, walker, and I are all satisfied and comfortable with the service and/or pet. It also sets up the expectation that we can have an early conversation to provide feedback and stay on a positive track.”

“People seem surprised and very appreciative for the expressed open line of communication,” she added.