The holiday season isn’t all stockings and treats for household pets. Winter vacations mean that many animals across the nation will be spending the season in kennels and foster homes, bringing in big business for pet sitters.
"We get really crazy. During Thanksgiving last year we had 219 dogs and something like 16 cats – and a bird," Indiana kennel manager Pam Hardebeck told the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
So far, Hardebeck has 161 dogs signed up to stay at her boarding facility over Thanksgiving weekend, though the manager attributes the decrease in numbers to procrastination, rather than economic woes.
An interesting alternative to kennels like Hardebeck’s, the Lafayette, Indiana business, Critter-sitters, run by Tracy Walder, provides in-home pet care for owners who wish to leave their animals in the comfort of their home.
With a business like Critter-sitters, the holidays take on a unique meaning for Walder and her family. The owner told the news source, "Most of our family members understand that from about the 20th of November to the 10th of January we’re unavailable."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the companion pet population, which drives employment of animal caretakers in kennels, grooming shops and animal shelters is expected to increase until 2016.