With passion and a dash of ambition, three Auburn University pre-veterinary students decided to start a pet service known as AU Pet Crew for the Opelika-Auburn community.
Auburn junior Brittney Ross thought of the idea just three weeks ago, and within a few days, it became reality.
In September, Ross received an email from the vet school that said Auburn resident Robin Sterling was exclusively asking for students to pet-sit her Affenpinscher named Murray. Ross jumped at the opportunity.
“When I was doing the meet-and-greet with her, I asked her how come she specifically requested college students as pet sitters,” Ross said. “She said that she knew students needed money the most and asked if I knew another student to help her friend.”
Ross had an idea to create a group with a few Auburn pre-vet students. Next thing you know, she decided she wanted to make a true pet service business, and AU Pet Crew was born.
Right now, the team is made up of three pre-vet students. Ross recruited Auburn freshman Peyton Armstrong and junior Jacob Birch.
“All I have to say is your pets are in good paws with us,” Armstrong said with a laugh.
First, the crew only marketed their services through the veterinary school. After gaining a few clients, Ross thought about advertising in local Facebook groups.
“I posted it in Facebook groups on (Oct. 11), and it spread like wild fire,” Ross said.
I had like 20 to 30 people message me; it was non-stop the entire day—even in the middle of my classes I’d see notifications popping up.”
AU Pet Crew works on a first-come-first-served basis. The team offers pet sitting, bathing, pet care and walking, and they are working on adding homemade pet treats.
Prices start at $10 for nail trims and $15 for baths, and pet-sitting prices are negotiated depending on each client’s situation.
“We’re just client driven, and we want to be able to work with as many people as we can,” Ross said. “People who are struggling financially a little bit more, we want to work with them on the price as well.”
From horses to chinchillas, the team is open to taking on any animal.
“Our passion is animals, and we want to do everything we can to help the owners,” Birch said. “We want to keep the bond between the owners and pets alive.”
Before pet sitting or dog walking, AU Pet Crew will do a short meet and greet to get to know the client and their furry friend.
Anything to do with animals doesn’t feel like work for the three students.
“The best thing is the connection you build with the animals. There’s nothing better than that,” Ross said. “Animals are just so innocent and develop a bond with you that’s unbreakable. They’ll love you unconditionally if you’re their owner or not.”
To book an appointment and set up a meet and greet, head over to www.aupetcrew.com or call 270-312-7646.
“We may still be undergraduate students, but we can definitely say our passion for animals is almost unbeatable. We are so excited to meet and work with everyone,” Ross said.