Where It All Began
Carolina Pet Angels’ beginning can be traced to the back room of Jocko’s Auto Parts Store in Ames, Iowa. Mark and Linda Kay both attended an Iowa State University student group called the Salt Company that met in Jocko’s back room once a week. Linda Kay is normally a front row, sit in the spit section person. Mark would slip in the back row after the meeting started and leave as soon as possible. One week in August, several years ago, Linda Kay sat in one of the back rows to help her guest feel more comfortable. Mark had decided to stick around and talk with people. After the meeting was over, Linda Kay in her normal friendly fashion turned around and introduced herself to Mark. She then invited him to join her and a group of other students from the Salt Company at an outdoor showing of “The Blues Brothers” that Saturday. She then gave him her phone number. Mark went back to his apartment and told his roommate a girl had just asked him out on a date. Linda Kay told her friends she had invited a rather quiet guy to join them so he could get to know more people. Mark called Linda Kay and offered to pick her up and drive to the movie showing because parking is not easy to find on the campus. After that night Mark spent every possible opportunity to “just happen to show up” where ever Linda Kay was going to be. Once there Mark would just be his sweet humble self. Linda Kay was won over within less than two weeks. October found Mark asking Linda Kay about settling down and getting married. That New Year’s Eve in St Croix, Virgin Islands Mark knelt at the top of a cliff overlooking the crisp blue ocean and asked Linda Kay if she would do him the privilege and become his wife. She said “yes” through her tears of joy. Mark started working full time in January. Linda Kay worked hard to complete her college degree in May. Then one week later at a park in Ames Mark and Linda Kay began their married life.
The Family Starts Growing
Then the six children that Mark and Linda Kay had agreed they both wanted started entering this world. Morgan was born two months after the first wedding anniversary. Jackson arrived on the scene the next Christmas. Colsen arrived a few days before Morgan’s third birthday. Mariah joined the family about a month before Colsen’s second birthday. Sarah made her debut in the middle of a snow storm at break neck speed eighteen months after Mariah. Karalyn was another Christmas time baby about two years after Sarah joined the family. That was six kids in eight years.
How to Help Pay For The Cost Of A Big Family
Linda Kay had fortunately stayed home with the children this entire time. Mark had been the sole provider and did a great job. The children grew and wanted to be in various activities. The cost of the activities was similar to paying college tuition. So Mark and Linda Kay started looking for a way to help pay for the ever increasing cost of kids activities. They also wanted to include the children so they could teach them a good work ethic and the value of money. Mark and Linda Kay had both grown up with pets and around animals as kids raised on the farm. They even had two outdoor dogs and three cats, at that moment. The idea of having a Cattery, a place to board only cats, fit Mark’s and Linda Kay’s experience, their life style, their home and they were already watching the neighbor’s pets when the neighbors left on vacations.
Mark and Linda Kay researched the cattery idea and worked with a local veterinarian to develop the business. A small business plan was made. Mark and Linda Kay both researched and planned processes. Mark and the boys designed and built the suites and the cat trees found in each suite that was placed in an unfinished room in the approximately 1,000 square foot basement. They then contacted the state veterinarian to inspect the Cattery. Before the state veterinarian came, Mark’s company asked him to transfer to China. The cattery plans were put on hold. Mark and Linda Kay went to China to find a home that would fit their family of six kids with a surprise baby on the way. They did find one house that would work but the company decided at the last minute not to send Mark and the family to China. Before anymore could be done with the Cattery business Mark was transferred to Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. The family moved to a home in Holly Springs.
Relocating and Revaluating
Once the family was settled in Holly Springs and looking at building a home, the Cattery plans were then looked at again. It was discovered it is against Holly Spring’s city codes to board animals in a private residence. So Mark and Linda Kay went back to the drawing board and did more research. They were amazed at the number of families with pets in the area. They saw the need for quality pet sitters and dog walkers. So time was put into researching, training, making processes and procedures, consulting with the veterinarian that cared for the family pets and much more for developing a pet sitting business with the potential to grow as needed.
Carolina Pet Angels Gets Its Name
The name and logo for the pet sitting was something that took a while to figure out what fit the business and our family. A few ideas were Tailored Pet Care (playing off the last name Taylor), Holly Spring Home Pet Sitters, Pet Sitters R Us and the list goes on and gets more interesting. During this time, Linda Kay was in Pennsylvania to help a dear friend that was battling cancer, when she drove past a sign that said Hannah’s Pet Angels. That night she texted Mark the idea. It seemed to fit what they pictured for the pet sitting business. It was decided, we would be Pet Angels to provide care and love for family pets while the family is away.