Pet owners often find themselves juggling schedules for the sake of their critters.
Amy Collins-Lumpp wants to help those folks find some freedom.
On Sept. 1, Collins-Lumpp launched Paw Prints in Home Pet Care, which provides an array of services in her clients' homes as well as transportation to a veterinarian, if needed.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Amy Collins-Lumpp, owner of Paw Prints in Home Pet Care, spends a little quality time with two of her own dachshunds, Gracie, left, and Mollie. Unlike most pet care services, Collins-Lumpp takes care of the owner’s animals in their own home.
Collins-Lumpp, a Twin Lakes native, lived in Kansas City for five years before returning to the area about a year and a half ago. She was hoping her experience as a veterinary assistant in Kansas City would help her find a job in Fort Dodge.
"I love working with animals," she said, "and the jobs here at the veterinary hospitals - the people working there have been working there for years, and they're not going anywhere. So, this is the closest thing I can do and still have the ability to play with other people's animals."
Collins-Lumpp may enjoy playing with other people's pets, but she takes caring for them seriously.
Before she provides in-home care, she insists on meeting with pet owners at least 48 hours in advance.
The meeting, she said, "is so they can meet me, and I can meet the pets. The pets will know who I am when I come in. I get the (house) key, get the instructions, and I have paperwork."
Paw Prints provides a coded keychain so pet owners don't have to worry about their names being attached to the key. The paperwork Collins-Lumpp requires owners to fill out includes contact information for the owner, a veterinary release agreement, a legal considerations form and pet information disclosure.
The latter includes instructions for how and when to feed, whether to leave uneaten food or remove it, whether the pet should be crated or allowed free range of the home, a temperament survey and a place to indicate what commands the pet understands.
When providing pet care, Collins-Lumpp wears clothing with her business logo, "so if the neighbors see me, they know what I'm doing, going into someone else's house."
One advantage Collins-Lumpp saids she sees to in-home care is freeing the owner from having to board his or her pet around someone else's schedule.
One of her recent clients, she said, left at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. Had he been boarding his pet, "he would had to have dropped his dog off on Tuesday," she said. "He didn't get back until midnight Saturday, so he couldn't have picked her up until Sunday. I saved him two days of boarding."
Also, Collins-Lumpp said, pets she cares for "have the comfort of staying in their own home, staying on their own routine. I can also do things if you're not going to be home for a while. I can water your plants, bring in your mail, turn lights on and off to make it appear you are home."
She will also administer medications, including insulin shots, care for special-needs pets and empty litter boxes. She will visit a home up to three times a day, provide walks as well as potty breaks and even trim a pet's nails.
As a kid, Collins-Lumpp had hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, birds and fish, and will care for just about any combination of pets. She has provided service to a household with a pit bull, two cats, two birds and a frog. Collins-Lumpp does have her limits, however.
"I don't do spiders or snakes," she said.
Collins-Lumpp works out of her home and can be reached at (515) 337-2960.
Contact Barbara Wallace Hughes at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org