About Lesley Huntley

Managing Director of VIPets

Loving Care for your Furry Family

Hello! My name is Lesley, and I run VIPets Dog Walking and Pet Sitting! It’s nice to virtually meet you 🙂

If you’re the type of person who believes your pets are just furry or feathered members of your family, then you are in good company! Over my adult life I have been surrogate mum to two ginger tom cats, one black and white cat, two budgies, countless fish, a boxer cross, a black lab and most recently our beloved silver tabby Eleanor.

I have always felt a deep connection with animals and I’m of the firm belief that a house is not a home without a pet. When I was a child I would actively seek out and find other people’s pets to spend time with as well as our own, I was known around the neighbourhood as the “kid that comes over to play with our dog.” The walk to and from school was an adventure of sharing my lunch with any furry creature that would let me pat them for a while. The child in me is ecstatic we grew up to play with dogs and cats every day for a living 🙂

I believe all creatures deserve equal care and to be shown the utmost consideration so I follow a fully plant-based diet. I feel a deep sense of responsibility as the caretakers of our planet to ensure all creatures who dwell here are treated with dignity and care and given the respect they deserve at all times. In the past I have been a volunteer at Orana Park, at the Cat’s Protection League, as the ambulance driver with the SPCA and finally for a year at Dogwatch, working to find homes for abandoned pound dogs.

In 2008 I started a two year house and pet sitting tour of Australia and Canada. I cared for a wide range of pets in their family’s homes in return for comfortable, inexpensive accommodation. I have shining and touching pet sitting references from this time, you can read them here. I ran my web design business from the family’s dining room tables which meant I was always there for the pets I was caring for. I especially enjoyed pet sitting assignments with dogs as it meant long walks around new and exciting areas were that much more fun.

When I returned to Christchurch in 2010 I continued with my web design business for another couple of years, but in 2013 I decided to make house and pet sitting my full time business. The rest as they say, is history 🙂

My ultimate goal is to provide the best possible replacement for you when you can’t be there for your furry and feathered family members. Whether you work long hours or you’re just about to embark on a whirlwind journey round the world for a month (jealous!), let me stand in for you when you can’t be there so you have one less thing to feel guilty about.

Why Choose VIPets?

Pet first aid certified through PETFATLesley is pet first aid certified through a PETFAT training course. The  PETFAT program has been written together with a team of veterinary professionals and covers over 23 different modules. Training covers rescue breathing and CPR and includes how to deal with shock, seizures, choking, burns, poisoning, broken bones, heat stroke, cuts & grazes and more. Please ask to see the course literature for more information on what was covered.

Lesley has been a volunteer at Orana Park, at the Cat’s Protection League, as the ambulance driver with the SPCA and finally for a year at Dogwatch, working to find homes for abandoned pound dogs. Due to this she has extensive dog handling experience with a variety of breeds that come from many different backgrounds.

Lesley has a lifetime of pet care experience and five years house and pet sitting. Lesley is a full time, professional, dedicated pet care provider with a wealth of experience in this field.

You need never miss a single moment of your dog’s outing or your pet’s visit while they are in our devoted care.

All visits and walks are tracked with GPS software, so you are able to see what time we arrived, how long we were there, when we left and every single moment in between. Every second spent with your beloved furry kids is recorded and emailed to you at the end of the visit.

Even if commitments mean you can’t be there in person, you can be there in spirit with our GPS tracking service

Lesley and all pet sitters have recent clearances through the department of courts.

Sitters are covered with full public liability insurance to the value of $1 Million. This includes up to $10,000 worth of pet cover.

Your information is entered into our pet sitting portal, which serves as a secure database for all you and your pet’s information. We have all your details kept securely on iPhones, so no-one other than us can access your sensitive data. All customers are given access to the VIPets portal, where any information you enter is available to VIPets at all times. This ensures your requests are followed to the absolute letter and makes it very difficult for anything to be missed or forgotten.

All visits are scheduled through the portal and the schedule is emailed to the sitter first thing every morning. This ensures no pet is missed and left stranded without a potty break or a scheduled feed. You can be sure and safe in the knowledge your sitter will actually show up to do the job you have entrusted them to do.

Your pet’s safety is paramount to VIPets so we offer small group dog walks exclusively. Small dog groups are usually around 4 – 6 and bigger dogs no more than 5.

One of your house keys is always kept at our office in case of emergencies with a secure code assigned to you so only we know who the key belongs to.

Here at VIPets we are committed to continually learning and furthering our experience to better serve you and your pets.

To ensure dogs who are entrusted to our care get the very most from our visits, we are committed to constantly learning innovative techniques to enhance your dog’s experience with us and support your current training methods. Training methods are being reviewed, updated and improved all the time and we are determined to keep up. Lesley always had a Udemy course on the go, binge watches dog training and pet first aid videos on YouTube and obsessively collects Kindle books on pet care.

We will come to your home to meet you and your pets to discuss your pet’s requirements. 

This gives you the chance to meet us face to face in your home to see exactly how we interact with your pets and how they react to us. You get to meet us, ask us all manner of questions and find out whether or not you feel we are a good fit to work with. If you feel we are, we can then work out a care plan that best suits you and your furry family.

This is currently completely free with absolutely no obligation (worth $29).

After we have been to your home for the meet and greet and you have decided that we are a good fit for you and your pet, you are able to trial our dog walking services with a completely free first walk (worth $29).

All free dog walks include GPS tracking emailed as soon as the walk ends (includes start and end times and map of the walk), photo and video updates via Facebook, feed and fresh water plus lots of love, care and attention!

Our Pet Parents Say…

“Lesley has done a fantastic job looking after my very shy cats. The daily email was great, and I could tell from the photos that they enjoyed her company. Lovely to come home to a clean house!”

Sarah Cutts

“Lesley has been walking our puppy Dusty for a few weeks now. He absolutely adores her – almost has a heart attack when she comes through the door! I love the email updates that we get after every walk with photos and a wee story of what went on that day. It’s great peace of mind that our dog is being walked and well looked after by someone who truly loves dogs.”

Lynn and Graeme Bryce

“We’re so pleased with Lesley and VIPets, she’s been a real life saver! Our dog loves his walks (don’t they all) and having Lesley take him out when we can’t or even just spending time with him provides great peace of mind. Professional and friendly service, would highly recommend.”

Kate & Rhett Petrie

Ready to Take the Next Step?

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