Local pet owner opens pet service

When Castillo graduates high school, she does intend to keep running her business, as long as she stays near her current home in the Havre de Grace area.  You can contact Castillo about her services by calling 443-866-5132 or by sending her an email at shannoncasti11o2002@gmail.com.

Zoe Finholm

When Castillo graduates high school, she does intend to keep running her business, as long as she stays near her current home in the Havre de Grace area. You can contact Castillo about her services by calling 443-866-5132 or by sending her an email at [email protected]

ABBEY KROENER ZOE FINHOLM, Reporters

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Are you going away and in need of someone to watch your pet?  Junior Shannon Castillo might just be the person you’re looking for.

Castillo says she has always had a strong love for animals, she started noticing that many people near her were going away on a trip and didn’t want to put their animal into a kennel.  With an urge to solve the problem and keep animals in happy homes, she took the opportunity to offer her help of taking care of their pets.  This is where Castillo’s business began, “it started to develop soon after when I needed to develop my SAE Entrepreneur project,” she states.

The first step she took in order to develop a pet sitting business properly was to create a plan.  Castillo mentions that her overall idea to her business is, along with what she will be offering to her clients. Once that was covered, Castillo reveals “everything else started to fall into place.”

When Castillo first started her business as a freshman, she was “very shy.” She received help from her mom, who helped her with introducing herself and talking to people. As she continued her business, she realized that she “doesn’t have to be shy and these people need my help.” Being a business owner made her be more comfortable and confident in herself.

Starting a business has pros and cons according to Castillo, who mentions that her main problem was time management, “I had some troubles with settling into my business…” Castillo adds, “I had other commitments like sports, school, and after school clubs.”  The young girl also recently got a summer job, adding to her schedule. Although Castillo said she was able to work everything out, “creating a schedule helped put everything back in order.”

Besides the main problem she previously mentioned, she said, “my job doesn’t have a lot of hardships in it,” although when she got her license, she claimed that it made “transportation a lot smoother.”  The most difficult tasks that the junior must tackle is when she needs to give pets their medication which is “sometimes a battle depending on the animal.”

Some of the easier things Castillo mentions is just taking care of the animal themselves.  She says this is easy because no animals give her problems since “they all want love and it’s something I am happy to give them whenever I visit.”

“My business is fairly simple as the title says it all,” Castillo says, “I am a pet sitter.”  She talks about how she takes care of the pets when the clients are away because she prefers to keep them in a loving home rather than shipped off to a kennel.

Things that the sitter does is to give the animals their food and water, lots of love and attention, and walks if needed.   If any additional tasks are requested, she does so, such as giving the pets medication or to bring the mail inside. Castillo knows exactly how to take care of the grumpy pets, “through treats or exactly two rubs behind the ear.”

Mainly Castillo gets the usual of cats and dogs, however she has taken cared of guinea pigs, snakes, and a bird before.

The student has her own business card, along with advertising on social media which made it “a lot easier,” most of her clients contact her through Facebook.  The advertising has helped because Castillo tells us that the past couple of years, she has had a job for every month. However, the summer is typically when she receives the most jobs because “more people start their vacation time.”

No matter where you live, she will help.  Her client’s houses are usually about 25-30 miles away, although she has traveled as far as Delaware just to take care of animals. Castillo has a fee of $5.00 per hour because she “doesn’t like to take people’s money.” If there is a special request given by the pet owners, she will do it for free because she “prefers to take care of the animal over the money.” She will visit dogs around three times per day and visit cats around two times per day.

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