Get PSA Updates
"Pet Sitters of America gives me peace of mind that my babies will be given the same attention and care that I provide for them myself. For someone who travels a lot, that assurance is priceless... Thanks!"
~ T.J., Lake Bluff, IL
"We never forget how important our clients are nor do we run out of love for the pets we are in charge of."
It was the spring of 1987 when Sandy Kamen took care of neighbor's cats while they traveled abroad. The cat's owners returned and expressed to Sandy how pleased they were with the care she gave their cats and their home. Being a huge animal lover, the experience and the feedback gave the 19-year-old an idea; why not open a pet sitting service?
Sandy started the company out of her mother's home and within the first year her hard work paid off with 50 faithful clients using her service. By the end of the second year Sandy had hired four part time pet sitters and was growing rapidly. Then in March of 1989 Sandy married Chuck Wisniewski and they moved to Libertyville, where she began expanding her business. In quick succession Sandy and Chuck welcomes first their daughter Sarah into their lives and 17 months later their son Danny. In 1994 the business became so successful Sandy couldn't keep up with the business and the kids so Chuck quit his job and helped Sandy with the care of their children and the thriving business. They expanded further by offering dog grooming and Sandy expanded her dog training services, now officially named Compassionate Dog Training.
As Chuck became more familiar with running the day-to-day functions of the business, Sandy branched off in other directions. She began work on another dream of becoming a published writer by doing freelance writing for local newspapers and magazines. She self published a book called, How To Start Your Own Pet Sitting Service, which received international recognition.
Believing strongly in contributing to society, Sandy volunteered her time on the board of the Libertyville Civic Center Foundation, opened a adoption based organization called The Family Tree and facilitated a support group for people with young children, all from 1992-1997. Then in 1997 she became active at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce quickly moving up in ranks as chairperson of the Ambassador committee and then in 2000 was elected as President of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. Sandy was president for two years. Also, in 2000 Sandy opened a small business consulting and freelance writing company called SKW Enterprises. From 2002-2003 Sandy worked as managing editor for Edgge Doing and Dining Guide.
Meanwhile Sandy continued to run Pet Sitters with Chuck and handled most of the day-to-day overseeing, as well as the marketing, promotions and hiring of the business. Her dog training services continued to expand as well.
In September of 2003 her dog Mota had to be put to sleep due to chronic heart failure. Devastated, Sandy decided to fulfill a life long dream of opening a non-profit humane society in his memory. Animal Education and Rescue is the heart and soul of Sandy's vision, bringing pets and people together through education, therapy and rescue. Sandy now volunteers 40-50 hours a week for AEAR. Chuck took over running the day-to-day operations of Pet Sitters so Sandy could devote her time to the non-profit. Sandy still does all the promotions and marketing, as well as the hiring for Pet Sitters. She continues to assist pet dog owners through her company, Compassionate Dog Training. She continues to write professionally and is currently working on two novels.
Sandy received the Volunteer of the Year award through the Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce in 2000, the LUCI award in 1998 for leading business & industry and the YWCA award in 2004 for outstanding excellence as an entrepreneur.
Sandy has been interviewed and featured on radio, television and print material for all her various accomplishments.
In The News
Click the thumbnails below to read the articles.