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PSI Names 2021 Pet Sitter of the Year

Reitman will serve as the ‘face of the professional pet-sitting industry’ throughout 2021.

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Daniel Reitman

(PRESS RELEASE) KING, NC — Pet Sitters International (PSI) has named Daniel Reitman, owner of Dan’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Port Washington, New York, the 2021 Pet Sitter of the Year. PSI, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, presents this award annually to a pet-sitting business owner who embodies the passion and professionalism of the pet-sitting industry.

“Our association is comprised of some of the most professional, educated and caring pet-care business owners in the industry, so selecting a winner for this top honor is no easy task for the judging panel,” said PSI President Beth Stultz-Hairston. “With his extensive pet-care experience and business savvy, along with his innovation, creativity and commitment to giving back to his community, Daniel exemplifies the qualities needed to succeed in professional pet care.”

“We know he will inspire fellow pet-care professionals as the 2021 Pet Sitter of the Year,” added Stultz-Hairston.

As PSI’s 2021 Pet Sitter of the Year, Reitman will serve as the “face of the professional pet-sitting industry” throughout 2021 and be officially recognized at PSI’s 2021 Pet Sitter World Educational Conference in October.

“I hope that the growth of my company from a one-man show to a larger scale operation—with much more planned for the future—will help inspire other companies to power through and grow, especially in our current climate,” said Reitman. “As Pet Sitter of the Year I want to share ways those in our industry can grow their businesses, both ethically and responsibly.”

Reitman has been a PSI member for more than a decade. His pet-sitting journey began in 2009 when he started his business as a solo pet sitter with the goal of simply making enough to match his previous salary as a veterinary technician and says he “never imagined his business would grow to generate actual salaries for actual employees.” Since that time, however, Dan’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting has employed hundreds of pet-care specialists, onboarded over 2,000 clients, and completed more than 250,000 pet-sitting visits.

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While his business, like many others, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Reitman says his team has rallied together to ensure they can still meet clients’ needs and is optimistic for the future.

One of the secrets to his success? Reitman points to his focus on customer service: “We are not in the dog-walking business, we are in the peace of mind business. Our clients know that when they hire us to care for their pets, they can go about their day without worrying.”

Even with a busy schedule managing his team and serving hundreds of clients, Reitman makes it a priority to give back to the pet community. His company has collected over 40,000 pounds of pet food for local shelters and organizations, raised more than $50,000 for various pet-related organizations locally and nationally, and even went to Texas after Hurricane Harvey to help rescue cats and dogs.

“Service is a cornerstone of our business,” said Reitman.

The other top-five finalists in the 2021 Pet Sitter of the Year competition were:

  • Jane Budnick, CPPS; 4-Legged Kids, Inc.; Ellisville, MO
  • Rachel Reisner, CPPS; Cats and Hamsters; Outremont, Quebec, Canada
  • Linda Ross, CPPS; Choices Pet Sitters; Jasper, GA
  • Gail Wunderlin-Beigh; Princess Gentle Paws Pet Sitting and Care, LLC; Liberty Township, OH

To learn more about PSI’s Pet Sitter of the Year award, locate a PSI member pet sitter in your area or request more information about pet sitting as a profession, visit PSI’s website here.

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To learn more about Daniel Reitman and Dan’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, click here.

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