By Amanda Waters
Since 2006, Mint Hill residents and others in the Charlotte area have placed their pets in the hands of professional pet sitters through Carolinas Critter Sitters, whose motto is “come home to happy.”  This company is licensed, insured, and certified to take care of all kinds of pets, from fancy rats to Great Danes in the comfort of their own homes.
Owner Jennifer Rust started the company after an 11-year career in Human Resources.  She wanted to get away from office politics, so she cashed out her 401k and started pet sitting.  She was already taking care of her six dogs and eight cats, and she received a great referral from her veterinarian.  After posting flyers and networking, she reached 100 customers in the first 10 months.
She soon after was able to hire other sitters.  Carolina Critter Sitters now has 13 sitters under Rust’s management.  They serve a great deal of the Charlotte area, and there are about 30 current customers in Mint Hill.
Sitters are trained to deal with all kinds of situations.  They know how to manage security systems and sick animals.  Rust has been able to streamline her business, writing procedure manuals, security protocols, and scheduling online.
“It’s so streamlined that it allows me to focus on pet care instead of paperwork,” said Rust, and pet care is what she enjoys best.  “I don’t feel like I work.”
Carolina Pet Sitters is available every day of the year from 6 am to 10 pm.  The company currently services about 350 active clients, and its goal is to ensure those clients “come home to happy” after a day of work or a week of vacation.  Pet owners also come home to emptied trash, a stack of mail, and a report card.