Monica and Rick Kizziar have been heavily involved in pet rescue, search and find, and re-homing for many years prior to Roxie's. They have helped countless people find their lost dogs, and many abandoned dogs to find new loving homes. This unique experience has given them invaluable skills to handle anything that comes their way. Also, Monica is a serving member of the Rowlett Animal Shelter Advisory Board, which gives her a unique look into the workings of the animal world within the city of Rowlett.
Monica and Rick have parented many dogs and cats of their own, some of which were rescues. All have been a loving part of their family, and with different attitudes and special needs.
Work with animals has inspired them to launch their own pet sitting and dog walking organization, Roxie's Pet Sitting, named in loving memory of their pet Boxer Roxie, that earned her heavenly wings in 2015.
Roxie's Pet Sitting, LLC is a Christian and Veteran family owned and operated business, based out of Rowlett, TX with a growing number of pet sitters and dog walkers on staff. Roxie's is fully licensed and insured and is backed by Pet First Aid/CPR certifications. It is currently serving over 500 pet clients per year and is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing pet sitting organizations in the area of East Dallas County and West Rockwall County.
We spoke to Monica and Rick about their business, their passion, their prior challenges and the role Easy Busy Pets (formerly HappyGoMobile) played in their success.
Tell us a bit about the history of your business?
"In 2016 we were both working in corporate America. Beginning 2016, I was working for a financial firm. We already had a re-homing organization, and a search and rescue group we have coordinated to find dogs in a tornado from the year before. God has spoken to my heart and told me I would dedicate the rest of the career taking care of HIS pets here on earth. I went home, spoke with Rick about what we can do, did some research and started pet sitting as a hobbyist. Never thought to make it a career. By July 2016 the business picked up and I left my full time job and started the business. Rick helped out at first after work. By Nov 2017, Rick took the leap. Now we are both full time. Within 6 months of Rick joining, we started hiring and haven't slowed down since!"
What was your inspiration / motivation for starting the pet service business?
"On the animal shelter advisory board, we would see people coming in to surrender their pets and because the shelter was full at the time, they couldn't leave the pets at the shelter, so they would take the animal to the vet and put it to sleep or just let it go on the street. This is how we started a re-homing organization to help find new homes for abandoned pets. While working on re-homing, we found that people needed someone to take care of their pets at home. Many folks didn't want to bring their pet to a boarding facility, because the pet would come back sick or wouldn't get along with other pets or just more comfortable at home. It was actually Rick that suggested "What about pet-sitting?" This is how Roxie's pet sitting was born."
What makes your business unique?
Christian values. So far its been a blessing, with everything that had happened to us.
Your pets are our priority. We treat your pets like they are your children, they are part of your family. For example, if we are scheduled for 30 mins and there's a medical emergency, we would step up to ensure pets health and safety. There were times when we would find a pet in distress, requiring medical help and if the client is out of reach, we would take the pet to the clinic right away instead of rushing to the next appointment.
What are your business goals? Where do you see your business in 5 years?
"We are planning to continue growing our pet-sitting and pet walking business. The new services we would like to add are a doggie daycare, and Roxie's Pets Go!
The latter is a service targeting real estate agents where we take the pet out of the homes prior to showings. We haven't found this type of service provided anywhere else. We would like to franchise and allow other people to open Roxie's Pets Go! in their area. "
What was going on in your business that sent you looking for a solution like ours?
"We had tried a couple of pet sitting software tools. Last one we tried before Easy Busy Pets, wasn't giving us the options we needed. The most important challenge with our previous tool was that we couldn't track our pet sitters! It didn't give us insight on when pet sitters check in and check out and what was happening when pet was being seen. Also, our clients needed something easier to use. Then Rick found Easy Busy Pets.
We get complements all the time from pet owners – they love the whole experience, and the appointment notes and updates. While away, they can check any time to see how things are going (night or day). Pet owners love the fact that they can request the dates and times, and it'll get adjusted to what works for the pet sitters.
Another important feature is that I can customize the forms on the fly. If I find questions that I need to be asking, I just keep adding it into the system.
We grew 400% since starting on Easy Busy Pets. Now we have a team of 13 sitters and need to hire 12 more!
What made you feel confident that Easy Busy Pets is a good fit?
"Customer support was readily available, and always happy to help. The quickest turn around on Q&A's, email responses, and phone calls were phenomenal. Didn't have that kind of customer service with any other solution before."
Which goal did Easy Busy Pets help you achieve?
"We have improved efficiency by not spending as much time on filling out forms, scheduling and invoicing, and everything just flows phenomenally which allows us to provide a better service.
First thing we do is a Meet & Greet. Since pet owners already filled out all their information electronically, during sign up, it gives us more time to spend with the pet owner and pet, getting to know them instead of spending the majority of the session filling out forms."