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Meet Carmel Mims of Pet Porter Pals in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmel Mims.

Carmel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The creation of Pet Porter Pals was definitely an unexpected path on my life’s journey, but one that I am immensely grateful for. The idea for my business came forth during an assignment for an entrepreneurship training program I was participating in with my mom at the beginning of 2017. At the time, I was assisting her with her business and we joined the program in order to learn new methods and strategies for business growth.

One of the questions from the assignment asked about our passions in life and after pondering for a few minutes what I could do with those passions, the idea of Pet Porter Pals began to form. I’ve always had a passion for animals and helping people, so the fact that my business encompasses both is a dream come true.

My initial idea, which is really my ultimate goal, was to have a facility where I can care for the pets of seniors who have transitioned to assisted living facilities. Think of it as a pet retirement home – a place where pets can simply enjoy their golden years and live very comfortably for the duration of their lives. There wouldn’t be a risk of the pet being surrendered to a shelter and euthanized, which would be devastating for the senior. I also wanted to ensure the senior maintained their special bond with their pet through regularly scheduled visits, in which I would transport the pet to the senior’s residence for a one-on-one visit.

I officially launched Pet Porter Pals towards the end of 2017 and have been getting busier and busier. Each week I visit several seniors living at home or in senior communities and assist them with pet care duties that are no longer safe for them to manage independently. It is incredibly rewarding knowing how much of an impact having a pet whose needs are being met regularly has on the overall well being of their senior companion. A happy and healthy pet can lead to a happy and healthy senior!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This has been a relatively smooth road thus far to be honest, but not without some struggles. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a strong support system comprising of my mom, friends, colleagues from various networking groups and my business mentor – all of which has had a tremendous impact on my success.

The biggest struggle as of yet is no stranger to most entrepreneurs, and that is trying to balance all of the demands of owning and operating a business independently. Not only am I providing pet care services throughout the day each week, but I also need to maintain my social media presence regularly, manage administrative tasks, attend networking events, and make time to enjoy life.

Pet Porter Pals – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Pet Porter Pals specializes in providing pet care assistance specifically to senior pet parents. I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating it must be for seniors to surrender their pets to a shelter when they can no longer maintain the necessary care for them, and it’s equally as heartbreaking for pets to be separated from their special senior companions. My mission with Pet Porter Pals is to prevent this separation from occurring because not only are pets sources of love, comfort, and joy, but they are members of the family as well. I hope that through the provision of In-Home Pet Care Services and Personal Pet Visits, seniors will no longer have to worry about being separated from their precious pets.

With the In-Home Pet Care Services, I go to seniors’ homes and provide whatever pet care service they’re in need of – daily exercise (dog walking or cat playtime), medication administration, cage/tank cleanup, litter box maintenance, transportation to the vet or groomer, pet food and supply maintenance – which can be on an as needed basis or more regularly scheduled.

For the Personal Pet Visits, I transport pets from their home directly to seniors residing in assisted living for regularly scheduled one-on-one visits. These aren’t just any ordinary pets, but ones that the seniors already have a very special bond with – whether the pet originally belonged to them and is now being cared for by relatives/friends, or just a particular pet that they have a special bond with. I’ll transport cats, dogs, small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, etc.), birds, fish, and reptiles – as long as seniors’ residential community allows it of course!

The bond between seniors and their pets is something that should definitely not be underestimated, for the connection that they share can be life-saving. Studies have proven that pet ownership can help improve physical and mental health of pet parents by reducing stress, depression and blood pressure. Pet companionship is very important for seniors in particular because it is not uncommon for them to experience isolation and depression as friends and/or spouses pass away. The unconditional love that a pet and senior have for one another could be the very thing that keeps the senior going each day, which is why I strive to ensure their bond is never broken.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment has simply been consistently giving seniors peace of mind in knowing their pets’ needs are being met. The joy and gratitude they express during each of my visits assure me that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rebecca Little Photography (for my headshot)

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