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Pet sitter offers more than just animal care

Donna Kohrs has always been a big fan of animals since she could walk. Her company, Hooves and Paws Pet Service, is just getting started, and had a number of pets over the years.
Donna Kohrs has always been a big fan of animals since she could walk. Her company, Hooves and Paws Pet Service, is just getting started, and had a number of pets over the years.

While many people in Jasper County have pets, one question that often comes up is what to do with them while on vacation. Newton’s Donna Kohrs recently started a company called Hooves and Paws Pet Service to provide such a solution.

Hooves and Paws Pet Service provides various services, including pet sitting.

“What I’ll do is (baby-sit animal) from fish, to horses to cattle,” Kohrs said. “We have quite a bit on our agenda.”

Unlike kennel services, she takes care of the animals in their own homes.

“They actually stay in their own home where they’re most comfortable,” Kohrs said. “A lot of pets, it stresses them out. You take them out of their environment and you put them in a cage or a kennel — some animals, it can really stress them out. This way, they get to stay at home.” 

In addition to providing food and water, she takes time to play with the animals.

“I feed and (provide) water (for) them,” Kohrs said. “I let them outside. On top of that, I give them 20 minutes of my time — quality time — playing with them, grooming them, brushing them out or whatever. So I am talking about 30 minutes, probably. If I walk them, that’s going to take a little bit extra. For the minimum, it’s like 30 minutes, and I can go how many times a day the person wants me to go.”

Her services also provide medication to elderly animals.

“Some of them are elderly, so they don’t want to walk too far,” she said. “I give them a little walk. I haven’t come across any yet that I have to give medication to, but there are dogs, just like us, that have medication to take.”

She knows how difficult giving medication to animals can be. Her dog does whatever she can to not take her medication.

“My dog, I can’t disguise it,” Kohrs said with a laugh. “I put it in a hot dog, (and) she’ll (spit it out). It’s like she’s got that extra sense of smell. She loves to smell everything. I even plant flowers in the yard just for her, because she loves to go and smell them.”

Kohrs said she usually does not dog sit at her home, but said there are exceptions.

“I did take one (dog) here, a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “I only had it for a few days, but my dog — she is not very social. She ignores them and me.”

She said she had a lot of love for animals at an early age.

“I got a lot of love,” Kohrs said. “I always been a big animal lover. I’ve had dogs ever since I could walk. I’ve had dogs, cats (and) horses. I had a hamster once till he got away, (and) I had rabbits. We have, between my niece and I, three horses and a miniature donkey.”

For horses, her niece helps her out. Kohrs said she is gifted when it comes to horses.

“She is going to help with some of the smaller jobs,” Kohrs said. “(She helps if) you want to get your horse conditioned for a show, to sell or (if) you haven’t ridden your horse for a while. She will not only teach the horse, but she’ll teach you what she has taught the horse. She’s really good at ground work.”

Kohrs said the reason she decided to go into the animal-sitting business was because of her previous job and love for animals.

“I have been doing in-home health care, for elderly people, for many years,” she said. “Both of my people, are in their 90s, and there is really no job security. I got to thinking, why couldn’t I do this with pets? People will go on vacation (and need a sitter).”

Kohrs would like the public to be aware she will be getting bonded, insured and certified once her business starts to pick up business.

For more information, call Hooves and Paws Pet Service at (641) 521-7324.

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