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Jan and Sara
BES Pets owner, Jan Bonetto, with her German Shepherd, Sara by Kelly Nash Photography

As a pet owner who worked in the corporate world for 25 years and travelled often, Jan Bonetto, owner of the Saint Petersburg Pet Sitting and Dog Walking service, BES Pets, understands how important it is for pet owners to know that their pets are in excellent hands when they can’t be with them.

After what she describes as a “life altering event”, Jan decided it was time to make some changes and to spend more time doing what she loved. She knew she’d always enjoyed helping out her friends and neighbors by caring for their pets when asked, so four years ago she turned her love for animals into a new career path. She noted that there is often a big difference between hiring a professional and asking a friend to pet sit.

“To me the importance of hiring a pet sitter is that they’ve made a business commitment to be there,” purrs Bonetto in her genteel North Carolina drawl. “I set a time frame, and I will do the list of things that needs to be done. I will commit to staying there for 45 minutes to an hour. So the dogs have my 100 percent attention. The cats, if they want my attention they can have it, but most of them ignore me,” she laughs.

“When I walk dogs, if I’ve committed to a thirty minute walk, I set my timer, and often times if it’s a nice day and I don’t have anywhere else to be, it’s longer than the thirty minutes,” says Bonetto. While she’s in a client’s home with pets, she takes a cue directly from them, and does what they seem to like; things like playing fetch or being brushed. “It’s important to me that the animals get my full attention,” she states.

Trained in animal CPR, Bonetto’s number one priority is the safety of her clients’ pets. She notes that when she walks dogs: “I avoid other dogs, for the safety and security of the animals. You never know what you’re walking towards, so I try to avoid other animals.”

She always makes sure to send a picture and a text to keep pet parents informed about how their fur babies are doing. “It’s the animals’ well-being that I’m focused on, but I also want the owners to be able to relax,” quips Bonetto. “It makes me accountable but also gives them a little bit of comfort.” Jan also helps out her clients by doing little things like watering plants and bringing in mail for folks who are out of town.

Bonetto remarks that working with animals is “very rewarding because the animals are so true. If they’re happy you know it. If they’re not happy you know it. And where else can you walk into a workspace… and they’re that happy and excited and jumping around to see you?”

For more information, contact Jan Bonetto at 813-205- 9700.

Tags : December 2016Dog WalkingLocal BusinessPet Sitting
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The author Amy Beeman

Amy Beeman is a Florida native who moved from Tampa to St. Petersburg in 1999. After receiving her B.A. in Creative Writing from Eckerd College, she decided St. Pete was the best little city in Florida, so she continued her education and earned her M.A. in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of South Florida St. Pete. Amy also contributes to local publications Creative Loafing and 83DegreesMedia.com. Besides the craft of writing, she loves finding authentic Mexican restaurants on road trips, floating on her back in the Gulf of Mexico, and when her kids finally go to sleep.

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