Sherri Gannon Lewis is dog’s best friend when it comes to taking care of pets while their owners are away. (Submitted Photo)

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Sherri’s Pet Pals cares for pets in their homes

Published 9:48pm Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sherri Gannon Lewis with Sherri’s Pet Pals is a firm believer that pets are far more comfortable in their homes than in a kennel when their owners are away.

“Kennels are traumatic for animals. At home, they can stay in an environment they are comfortable in. All the sights and smells are familiar and they can maintain a routine they are familiar with. Consistency is real important,” Gannon Lewis said.

“It’s a completely different way to care for your animals while you’re away. When you are leaving, animals know you are going and it gives them stress and anxiety. If you take them to a kennel it creates more stress and anxiety. Plus they could get sick from other animals. It’s a lot less stressful for the animals to have them kept at home. People can leave their homes and know their animals are being well cared for,” she said.

Her clients agree.

“We really love her services. When we had kennel care and went to pick up our dog, she was kind of sheepish and wanted to be close. With Sherri, it’s just like we’ve been gone an hour. She really creates a bond with the animals. She really takes the time to make sure they’re really taken care of,” said the Rev. Eric Zubler, pastor of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bath.

“We just think (Sherri’s) terrific,” echoed Linda Karanian, who has been using Sherri’s Pet Pals to care for her two dachshunds and fish for about three years.

“Our dogs are always happy when we come home. They just love Sherri. We like to travel, so it’s nice to know they’re in good hands. She doesn’t just come and do her job and leave. She really loves the animals. She takes time with them.”

Gannon Lewis has been caring for pets and other animals in their own environments for the past six years. Her services include pet sitting, animal care for farm animals and dog walking. She also will take care of minor needs in the house such as watering plants.

Another added benefit to having Sherri’s Pet Pals come in twice a day to care for pets at home is what Gannon Lewis calls “crime-deterrent services.” This includes bringing in the mail and newspapers, opening and closing blinds and drapes and turning lights on and off.

“Nobody needs to know that you’re away,” she said.

Gannon Lewis emphasizes the fact that she is bonded, which acts as a guarantee of her trustworthiness, and insured, which provides coverage for any unfortunate mishaps.

“I’m dealing with people’s loved animals and their homes. It’s important to maintain these professional guarantees,” she said.

Sherri’s Pet Pals sits for most types of animals — dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, fish, chickens, goats, turtles, lizards, even horses. “Fins, fur or feathers, we care for them all,” states a Pet Pals brochure.

For the dogs, daily walks are an integral part of Gannon Lewis’ care, along with lots of love and affection.

“When I sit for dogs, I realize they might have some separation anxiety, so I walk them. If you walk them and get that energy out, they tend to be calmer,” she said.

Except for dogs that are too old or are ill, Gannon Lewis walks dogs one mile each morning and each evening.

“I have some dogs that can’t walk. They get a different kind of care — they get company, love and affection,” she said.

Sherri’s Pet Pals cares for special-needs animals, too. One of her current four-leggers is blind and diabetic.

Upon their return, pet owners are treated to a handwritten daily diary that Gannon Lewis keeps for all of her four-legged charges, describing what the animals’ moods were and what they did each day.

“All animals need some kind of care. A lot of people won’t go anywhere because they say ‘Who’s going to take care of my animals?’” Gannon Lewis said.

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