The mission of the Professional Animal Certification Council (PACCC) is to increase pet safety through the independent certification of pet care providers. In our “Part of the PACCC” series we interview some of these dedicated professionals who have successfully demonstrated their knowledge and experience to become certified. Our series continues with Certified Professional Animal Care Manager Gray B. Moore, CPACM. Gray was among the very first to take the CPACM exam and receive her CPACM credentials. Gray is president of Dog Tired on Johns Island in South Carolina. Dog Tired is a full-service facility offering dog daycare and boarding, grooming, training, and even a “wedding nanny” service to care for the furry family members during a couple’s big day.
Why was becoming certified important to you?
I have an extreme passion for quality pet care for pets. Many people, including myself, think that they “know” pet care and “want to play with dogs” all day. Most people don’t realize all the attention to detail, business management, employees, education, care, and skills you need to be among the top businesses in their local areas. Education, skills, and continuous learning will assist their businesses to be the best of the best in their town and, possibly, in the industry. It takes dedication, hard work, and time management to ensure this happens. In most situations, no matter what is happening with your business, book the classes, conferences, and courses and put them in your calendar as far in advance as you can.
How have you let your clients and potential clients know about your certified status?
I have purchased and created my own personal PACCC information rack cards that the PACCC offered. We have them in our hallway with our brochures for all clients to see. We also place a rack card in every new client welcome bag. Once the new digital badge is ready, it will be placed on our website. I have also added the title to my name in my email signature and business cards. We also post about in our newsletter and Facebook page.
Why would you encourage other pet care professionals to become certified?
It’s important for other businesses to keep up with industry standards to keep their pets safe, as well as to keep their businesses thriving over the next 5-10 years. Once the public understands the difference between being certified or not, they would more than likely choose the more qualified facility for their fur kids. I would pay more for quality pet care for my own pets. Not only is the industry moving in this direction, it will also allow their facilities to run more smoothly. The more educated they can become, the less day to day headaches you have. The injuries and sick pets are MINIMAL if they know how to properly care for pets through rigorous standards set by the PACCC.
What is one thing you wish all pet parents knew about professional animal care?
It’s definitely worth to investigate the facilities and pet care companies they use. They need to take tours and ask questions – ask about staff training and certifications, as well as how long have they been in business. Would you want to pay a little extra for a pet care provider who had been in business longer with more experience and expertise and certifications, or someone who just opened with only one employee who has little to no experience. Is your pet’s life worth it? Do your homework, research, and also help educate your family and friends about the centers that meet the PACCC industry standards.
What is the most humorous or touching experience you’ve had with a pet as an animal care professional?
There are so many but, to me, having met so many wonderful people in this field is what has made the difference. Meet as many people as you can, get their cards, email them, call them, and they will do the same. I have friends all over the US who are all at different levels and stages of their businesses. We help one another by sharing experiences of what works and doesn’t work. Hiring a mentor or three (I have 3), is the best decision I have ever made. If you are just starting out and have minimal income, start out with just one call even if just every other month. Learn from the best, so you don’t make the same mistakes others have made. You will make some great friends along the way too. I have been in business close to 10 years, and I’m still eager to learn – and learn something new almost every day.
From a pet care standpoint, we have helped so many owners who have adopted rescues. We have had so many owners that were at their wit’s end and almost returned their dog(s). Due to our expertise and care, and working closely with the owners, we have helped to create better relationships between them. Making a difference in all of these pets’ lives – not just the rescues – is what keeps me coming back day after day. I love watching the dogs grow and mature in our enrichment program. It’s just incredible to watch their confidence build. Last year when we did Santa Paws photos, we had some non-member dogs return just for the photos. There was a HUGE difference between the dogs that had been in our daycare 2.0 program versus the dogs who hadn’t. We saw that transition in less than 2 months of us having started the program. Dogs want to learn, too!
Thank you, Gray, for being part of the PACCC! For more on what it takes to become certified, visit paccert.org/exam-info.