The Franchise:Livonia, Michigan-based Fetch! Pet Care is the nation’s largest franchised provider of professional dog walking and in-home pet sitting services. Founded in 2002, the company has grown to more than 100 franchise locations in 33 states and has identified another 170 geographical territories for continued expansion.
May 2021: Upon retiring from 33 years of teaching in the Milwaukee Public School system, Donna Moss began working for her cousin, Carolyn Alonzo, who has owned Fetch! Pet Care’s Greater Chicago franchise since 2007. The experience got Moss thinking about how she could bring the brand to Milwaukee.
[caption id="attachment_558140" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Fetch! uses a mobile scheduling and communication app called My Fetch!, which allows customers to easily monitor their pet’s care and receive updates on scheduling and services.[/caption]
Summer – Fall 2021: With Alonzo on board, Moss recruited fellow teachers Kate Vannoy, Jane Posanski, Karen Ambrosh and Sarah Fadness to go into business together. The five women had become friends back in the ‘80s and ‘90s while teaching at Audubon Technology and Communication Center Middle School. As retirement age neared, they thought about what the future would hold. Fetch! sparked their interest.
“Between all of us, we have nine dogs and eight cats, so we fully understand why people consider their pets to be part of the family,” said Vannoy. “We expect the best care possible for our pets, and our team will provide clients with a level of service that ensures their animals are safe, happy and well cared for.”
March 2022: After creating an LLC and setting up a commercial bank account, the six partners officially purchased the greater Milwaukee franchise territory.
“Because of Carolyn’s previous experience with the franchise, we were able to utilize all of her knowledge and expertise. … She really helped us get into the system and gave us hints and helpful ideas for starting the business,” said Moss.
July 2022: Fetch! Pet Care of Greater Milwaukee goes live. The goal was to sign one new client per week, and today the business has 13, including regular, repeat dog walks and one-time overnight jobs. The franchise has hired seven sitters, ranging from retirees to college students.
[caption id="attachment_558141" align="alignnone" width="1280"] The Fetch! owners had booths at several events and farmers markets this past summer to promote the brand.[/caption]