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Meet Christine Neely of Have a Ball Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Neely.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Christine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always had a deep love of animals since I was a small child. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized I could incorporate that passion into my career. I studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Management at San Diego State University with entrepreneurial intentions in mind. Instead of pursuing that goal immediately, I decided to gain some experience in the corporate world first. I worked in recruiting for a big four accounting firm and then worked in advertising sales for a multimedia company. I gained a lot of valuable experience in each of these roles that greatly prepared me for business ownership. After spending about 8 years in these positions I finally felt ready to start my own venture.

When giving some thought to what brought me true joy in life, I realized it was animals, after that realization, it became abundantly clear that I was meant to start a pet sitting and dog walking company. I started Have a Ball Pet Sitting & Dog Walking in 2012 and have never looked back. I became a Certified Professional Pet Sitter though Pet Sitters International and received my certification in Pet First Aid by the Red Cross. Then I built my website and started accepting my first clients.

We’ve grown exponentially over these last 5 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have a wonderful team of dedicated professional pet sitters and dog walkers and we get to spend our days doing what we absolutely love, spending time with dogs and cats. We really can’t ask for much more than that.

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting and growing this business hasn’t always been a smooth process but it has definitely always been worth it. One of the main challenges, initially, was gaining exposure for the business and attaining new clients. Fortunately, I had some experience in small business marketing in my previous career, I was able to utilize the skills and knowledge I acquired in that position to build my website and market my business online. I also did a lot of networking with other pet related companies in San Diego. Over time, the business has grown through referrals and excellent reviews and now we don’t need to focus as heavily on marketing anymore.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Have a Ball Pet Sitting & Dog Walking story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a professional pet sitting and dog walking company offering pet care services in the pet’s own home. We customize our services to meet the needs of our clients. We offer pet sitting visits and overnight pet sitting stays for our clients who are on vacation or otherwise out of town. We also offer daily dog walking services for our clients whose work hours require that they seek additional love, attention and activity for their furry loved ones while they’re away.

At Have a Ball Pet Sitting & Dog Walking, we pride ourselves in our professionalism and reliability first and foremost. The safety and comfort of the pets in our care is our number one priority. We take many precautions and safety measures to ensure that our clients’ pets are healthy and well protected at all times. Our very close second priority is the happiness and well-being of the pets we care for. We like to make sure they are enjoying their time with us and pay close attention to what they prefer to do with us during that time, while keeping in mind what their pet parents request, of course.

We understand that most pet owners consider their pets to be as precious to them as their children. We feel honored to know that they entrust us with their furry family members and take that responsibility very seriously.

We want our clients to have peace of mind while on vacation or at work during the day. We maintain consistent communication with pet owners and send pictures and updates as often as they request.

All of our pet sitters and dog walkers are very experienced with pets, have been background checked, and our clients always have the opportunity to meet them before we ever interact with their pets. Additionally, they are all insured, bonded, detail oriented, and most importantly, love pets!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Over the next 5-10 years I predict that more pet owners will become increasingly savvy in regard to the care of their pets and will seek out smaller, owner operated companies to entrust their pets with. Over the last few years a couple of large, national corporate dog walking and pet sitting companies have entered the market. These companies broker pet care services on a large scale. The most significant difference between these companies and the local, owner operated companies like Have a Ball is the level of care, consistency and personal attention each client gets. I know each of my clients and their pets by name and have met each and every one of them personally. If an issue ever arises with a pet in our care, I am involved to resolve it.

I have also personally interviewed, background and reference checked each and every pet sitter that works for Have a Ball.

Lastly, as a small company, we are able to fine tune and customize our services to each client based on their preferences and the needs of their pets. This is not always the case with a larger corporation. Over the next few years, I expect pet owners will be made more aware of these realities through reviews, social media and news outlets and will make their pet care decisions accordingly.


  • 30 minute dog walking or pet sitting services are approximately $20 depending on the number of pets etc.
  • Overnight services are approximately $70 per night depending on the number of pets etc.

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