Pet Sitters International (PSI) named Cathy Vaughan, owner of Cathy’s Critter Care in Schertz, Texas, the 2018 Pet Sitter of the Year. PSI, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, presents this award annually to a pet sitter who embodies the passion and professionalism of the pet-sitting industry.
“PSI has 6,000 member businesses around the globe, and selecting a recipient for this honor is no easy task,” PSI President Patti J. Moran said. “Cathy’s dedication to her business and clients, her focus on continuing education and her commitment to elevating the professionalism of our industry make her a shining example of what a professional pet sitter should be.”
Vaughan holds a degree in biology with a minor in psychology. She worked as a sea lion trainer at the San Antonio Zoo before leaving to focus on her growing family, and she started Cathy’s Critter Care and began her career as a professional pet sitter in 1998. She soon added employees to her team, and her vision for making her company a true family affair was fulfilled when her husband was able to leave his job to join her in full-time pet sitting in 2006.
“Often words aren’t enough to express emotions and that’s definitely the case here! It’s taken me days for the realization to sink in that I was selected this year’s Pet Sitter of the Year,” Vaughan said. “I am excited, honored and proud to help the industry grow even stronger by highlighting the personal and professional care PSI’s member businesses provide every day.”
Vaughan credits her success to her commitment to making her individual clients’ needs her top priority and her willingness to change and adapt her business processes to better serve her clients and keep up with the changing industry. She’s also written a book on starting a pet-sitting business and helped create the annual Texas Pet Sitters Conference, now in its third year.
Vaughan will serve as the “face of the professional pet-sitting industry” throughout 2018 and will be officially crowned at PSI’s 2018 Pet Sitter World Educational Conference & Expo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this September.
The other top-five finalists in the 2018 Pet Sitter of the Year competition were:
- Alice Chau-Ginguene, Maow Care, Dublin, Ireland
- Anthony Garza, Paws On Durham Pet Sitting, Durham, North Carolina
- Liz Hyde, Pet Charmers LLC, Gastonia, North Carolina
- Gail Wunderlin-Beigh, Princess Gentle Paws Pet Sitting and Care, LLC, Liberty Township, Ohio