Business caters to cares of pets

Pet owners know that keeping a quality animal entails a great deal of love, discipline and care.

A South Kitsap business that wants to serve the community’s latter needs is Comfy Creatures, a pet-sitting service owned and run by Port Orchard couple Pam and Peter Gallagher.

Pam Gallagher, who has raised and shown Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs for 30 years, said the idea for Comfy Creatures came after her husband retired from his work as a mail carrier.

“We said, ‘What a great idea. We’re not both just going to sit home,’” she said. “Pet sitting just kind of came into vogue. There was obviously a need for it.”

Nearly 18 months ago, (after partnership with Port Orchard-based Cozy Critters and owner Monna Lyon), the couple began Comfy Creatures, attaining bonding and insurance as a member of Pet Sitters International.

In addition to fostering for the Humane Society, the Gallaghers have raised their own animals for food on a farm.

“We’re well-versed in looking after all kinds of animals...and we do,” said Gallagher. “What we do is take care of people’s animals when they’re away, and walk, feed, and spend a little loving time with them.”

The first step of working with Comfy Creatures is the interview.

“We like to meet the animals usually a few days before,” said Gallagher. “We both like to go to the interviews so they know who we are. (Also) we always ask who the vet is if they’re gone for a certain amount of time.”

Pet owners will supply all the necessary items (food, medicine, shot information, etc.), instructions, and important numbers. They also sign a contract that gives the Gallaghers permission to be in their home and to take their animal to their vet if necessary.

“Whatever people need to have their animals cared for at home without the kennel environment,” said Pam Gallagher. “We go in and do what they wish us to do.”

The couple use a pickup truck and a minivan to travel around the Peninsula in their service areas, including Silverdale, Seabeck, Bremerton, Belfair, Allyn, Gig Harbor, and “the whole SK.”

“The prices vary depending on how far away they are,” said Gallagher, who is originally from London, England. “We do a lot of lunchtime walks. It’s pretty much a day-by-day thing. I think the holidays are starting to get people going.”

Some unusual things that have happened to Pam Gallagher on the job include pink exotic frogs that grew up all the way from tadpoles (“There were lots of them,” said Gallagher), a chimney that fell down in a client’s house as a result of February’s Nisqually earthquake, and pet-sitting for two Netherlands dwarf bunnies that dwelled in a cat litter box on a liveaboard Chris Craft boat.

“It’s a lot of responsibility because we’re going into people’s houses, but we have met some wonderful, wonderful animals,” said Gallagher. “It’s great fun. The people that do this with their animals have the best animals I have ever met.”

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