Established in 2017, Pet Porter Pals allows founder Carmel Mims to combine her two passions: working with animals and helping people. Animals have always held a special place in Carmel’s heart and her pets (or “babies” as she refers to them) have included dogs, cats, rats, fish, a turtle and a rabbit – all of which were treated like royalty. Although Carmel has been an unofficial pet sitter/dog walker/pet taxi for family and friends for the past several years, she has never seen this as work, but rather as a gratifying and fun pastime.
Carmel’s compassion and desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others has been displayed in her work with adults with developmental disabilities and those overcoming homelessness. She chose to shift gears towards specifically helping senior citizens after thinking about the deep connection seniors have with their beloved pets, and the inevitable heartbreak that must result when they are no longer able to care for them after transitioning into assisted living. The usual outcome in this situation is to either surrender the pet to a local animal shelter or entrust the pet to family or friends to resume care, but the separation can be incredibly devastating for both the pet and senior.
This led to an “a-ha” moment for Carmel when she thought of a solution that would allow the pet and senior to maintain their special bond through the provision of pet care assistance and personal visits, thereby promoting overall wellness and an enhancement in the quality of their lives. Thus Pet Porter Pals was born, and the mission to keeping seniors and their pets connected!
Carmel will expand Pet Porter Pals to personally caring for seniors’ pets in her own facility, eliminating the chance of the pet being in a shelter or bounced around various foster homes. This would not only give seniors peace of mind in knowing their precious pet would have a permanent home where they’re cared for, but that they would continue to see them on a regular basis.
Carmel truly believes the “a-ha” moment that created Pet Porter Pals will lead to so many special moments for seniors and their pets, which is the ultimate gratification.