After nearly three decades in emergency healthcare, one longtime Douglas County resident has decided to put her cool head and empathy for others to use for pet owners and their beloved animals in the community.
Marcie Campagnola opened Woofie’s of Castle Rock on Aug. 1. The business offers pet sitting, dog walking and grooming services inside a mobile pet spa.
“We’re kind of a one-stop shop for all your pet care needs. … Usually you could have a mobile pet spa or a groomer and you could have a (separate) pet sitter, but we do both,” Campagnola told Colorado Community Media.
Woofie’s van, complete with its own water and power supply, comes to pet owners’ homes for bathing and grooming appointments. It’s a better experience for the animals, especially those with social anxiety, according to Campagnola.
The business also offers a variety of pet-sitting arrangements including traditional daytime visits, overnight care at the pet owner’s residence, and “bed and biscuit” stays where pets spend the time away from their families at the home of a Woofie’s pet sitter.
Campagnola, owner of a cat and two dogs, lives on a ranch near Larkspur that has been in her husband’s family for more than 150 years. She said she’s unfortunately experienced both an awful pet-sitting incident and difficulty in getting grooming appointments.
“There’s been tremendous growth in this area, in Douglas County, and I don’t think that the pet care services have been able to keep up with it,” Campagnola said. “So there’s a need for the community.”
Correspondingly, Woofie’s of Castle Rock makes its services available in western Elbert County, northern El Paso County and all of Douglas County. Campagnola is the first to open a Woofie’s in Colorado although there are more than half a dozen other states, from California to North Carolina, in which the franchise operates.
Campagnola, who has strong ties to the community, came to Castle Rock in 1997 and has built a family and a career in the area in the intervening years. She has worked as a firefighter paramedic, a nurse and the CEO of a surgery center — jobs which have given her the skills to handle everything from day-to-day challenges to true crises.
“If somebody’s out of town and there’s an emergency with their pet, we’re going to be able to step in and handle it in a way that they’re going to be comfortable with,” said Campagnola, who emphasizes that planning ahead and communicating with pet owners is key.
Currently Campagnola employs 12 people. She’s also onboarding another six and is looking to hire more. Employees of the company undergo background checks and are trained, including in CPR.
And while she’s had inquiries about caring for livestock, that’s not something her growing team is capable of. Yet.
But they’ll care for any beloved animals in the home. Dogs, cats, snakes, lizards …
“What we value most is being able to treat somebody else’s pet as family.”