Need a pet sitter? Tired of paying a fortune for it?
Santa Cruz's New Dogs in Town has a pet sitting exchange service, with personal screening for all potential pet swappers.
It also lists group dog hikes and they have a dog-walking service ranging from $20 for a 30-minute walk to $45 for 90 minutes.
The founders are two European women, whose bios read:
"Hi, my name is Marion and I am a native Italian. I was born in a small town amidst the Alps. I grew up with many pets and have always had a genuine love for animals.
My home is currently filled with my 2-year old energetic Red and White Irish Setter called Momo. I am patient, gentle, loving and enthusiastic with pets (especially dogs).
I love to take them for walks, play with them and provide lots of love and attention, which they truly deserve. They are all unique and special and I treat them exactly that way.
I believe a dog’s motto for life is “Love me, feed me, just don’t leave, but if you have to leave for a little while, leave me in good hands”. This idea forms the basis of our Dog Swap service."
"My name is Ninne and I am a native German. I am the proud owner of a wonderful Chocolate Lab named Cliff. He was born in 2008 and raised in a small town close to Heidelberg.
My husband Axel, Cliff and I moved to Capitola in April 2011. Being closer to a part of our family and our love for this country brought us to California.
My passion for animals began when I was a little girl. I spent weekends on my grandparent’s farm with many different animals. Since then I felt a deep connection to dogs. Over the years my family has owned different kinds of breeds, from Terriers to German Sheppards and Rottweilers.
During all those years I gained a lot of experience in dog communication and pet caring. Their innocence, loyalty, and unconditional love have always touched my heart. Caring for pets gives me contentment and joy!"