Downingtown-Based Pet Sitter’s Counterintuitive Approach Helps Reunite Lost Pets with Their Owners

Image of Cathy Herman-Harsch, right, via Steven Falk, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cathy Herman-Harsch – who has been running a Downingtown-based pet-sitting business, All Things 4 Legged & Personal, since 2004 – also helps reunite lost pets with their owners, writes Rita Giordano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Navy veteran and former IT worker learned how to locate runaway dogs and cats by studying and observing companion animals for years.

“It’s understanding their behavior,” said Herman-Harsch, 58. “It’s thinking like a dog, thinking like a cat: ‘If I was out here lost, what would I do?’”

Herman-Harsch runs her “pet finder” operation, free of charge, with three other women and her 17-year-old son, Johnathan.

What she tells pet owners who are searching for their runaway animals usually seems counterintuitive. Chasing the pet and calling its name are big no-nos.

“People don’t realize it is not your pet at that moment,” she said. “It is a frightened dog, a frightened cat, and all they think is, ‘Predator. Someone is trying to hurt me.’”

Although her pet-sitting job has been decimated by the pandemic, Herman-Harsch still refuses to charge for her pet-finding efforts.

“My heart just can’t allow that,” she said.

Read more about Cathy Herman-Harsch in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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