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Sitting for a Cause: New Business Saves Lives by Caring for Pets

| Published on February 3, 2015

If you have ever thought that you cannot make a difference because you are “just” one person, than you need to meet Ashley Jacobs, CEO of Sitting for a Cause. She is living proof that one person with a dream can make a difference. And now she is giving other pet sitters in the United States a chance to do the same.

A Woman with a Dream

Jacobs has been a pet sitter for 17 years, but it wasn’t until 2013, when she fostered a shelter dog and truly understood “the gravity of how many shelter animals (3-4 million) don’t make it out of shelters each year” that she decided she needed to do something.

“To me that number is way too high and the only acceptable euthanasia rate for adoptable pets in the U.S. is 0%,” Jacobs says. “I wanted to try to do my part to help homeless pets, so I figured what better way to help than to give 50% of the profits I make taking care of other people’s pets back to animal related causes!”

Ashley Jacobs with her dog Diamond, a 7 year old golden retriever and acting "sitting assistant" for Sitting for a Cause. Image source: Sitting for a Cause
Ashley Jacobs with her dog Diamond, a 7 year old golden retriever and acting “sitting assistant” for Sitting for a Cause. Image source: Sitting for a Cause

After Sitting for a Cause was born, Jacobs was happy with the feedback she was getting from her clients.

“It’s been fun to see how the families I work with have responded to it,” she says. “They seem to enjoy knowing that a significant portion of the money they are spending on their pet’s care is being used to help adoptable pets find homes.”

Since 2013, Jacobs, has given back over $4,600 working part-time as a pet sitter. Her donations have gone to several places for a variety of reasons, from general funding to helping specific animals.

“For example, in 2014 I was able to directly assist with bringing three at risk shelter dogs from Kauai to the mainland for placement in permanent homes,” Jacobs shared. “It’s been a really inspiring ride so far as I’ve been able to see the impact this concept has had in helping to save lives.”

How YOU Can Join Her

Currently, Jacobs is the only pet sitter working at Sitting for a Cause but her plan for 2015 is to change that. If you are a pet sitter located in the United States, you can join Jacob’s growing company and see how one person can make a big difference.

“I’ve realized my impact could be so much bigger if I expanded and worked with more pet care providers, so that is what I’m working towards in 2015,” she says. “We are creating a website where pet parents can find pet care providers and make bookings and payments for services through our site.”

Similar to, Sitting for a Cause will take a 10% commission on what the pet care providers earn, which Jacobs says is less than their competitors currently take. Then, 50% of those commissions will go back to animal related causes.

Jacobs is hoping for a good response from pet sitters, since “the more pet care providers we are able to work with, the more we can give back!”

Diamond helping Ashley pet site Oscar. Image source: Sitting for a Cause
Diamond helping Ashley pet site Oscar, a black lab. Image source: Sitting for a Cause

Currently, the website is being revamped to work with the new business model and should re-launch in early June.

If you are a pet care provider or a pet parent interested in being part of the cause, you can go to the site and sign up to be notified when it’s live.

So one person really can make a difference, especially when added to the contributions of other, like-minded, individuals; that group can enact real change.

As Jacobs puts it, “the amount we’d be able to give back would be so much greater than anything I could do on my own. The more we can give back, the more lives we can save!”

About the Author

Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She is the founder of A Fairytail House. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.

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