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The Hustle

Name: Jess Montero (J.Tails Pet Care)

Posted By Andrea Perez

When Jess Montero returned to her native St. Pete with Great Dane Zola in tow, she saw a need. Montero saw that millennials like herself were busy - but that didn’t stop them from wanting to be good pet owners. Montero, who has a background as a vet tech, knew that typical pet care services were lacking in the expertise surrounding animal behavior, and the stimulation that some pets need. So she came up with a service to easily connect pet owners with tailored, convenient pet services at their fingertips. She partnered with Handlr, an app for booking personal care services that are trusted by friends and neighbors, created a pet care booking system, and hired animal lovers to help her along the way. Now she calls her co-workers (fur)panions. Each (fur)panion is interviewed based on their experience with animals, and their familiarity with giving medication and spotting problem behavior.

Years in Tampa Bay

7 (this time!)

Hustle (job)

Founder of J.Tails Pet Care

What do you do?  

I monitor all of our appointments, day to day operations, meet & greets, and when needed I jump in on appointments to care for the pets.

Why do you do it?

My favorite part of a Meet & Greet is when a pet parent apologizes for being a “crazy dog/cat owner.” I love it! I started in the animal field as a vet tech, because of this I encountered so many humans who lacked love and compassion for their pets. They thought of them as replaceable and a chore. It amazes me of how loving our pet parents are, and it makes me incredibly happy to give them assurance of their pet’s care when they are away.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

Zola, my Great Dane, was the catalyst for J.Tails Pet Care. The desire to create a modernized in-home pet care was caused by the lack of options of pet sitting that was app-based, and could hand her types of behaviors. As a previous vet tech and a millennial, I was disappointed with the lack of capability other companies had with handling different behaviors, and the absence of technology involved in keeping you informed on how your pet’s visit went. So I created a modern and versatile pet care option with reliable and qualified walkers.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

A lot of people believe that you can just have a neighbor pop in and care for your pet. However, our visits are more than just a potty break. It is vital that we stimulate your pet during our visit. This will minimize any negative behaviors that can come from boredom. As well, there is no room for miscommunication as we are app-based, allowing you to see when we arrive, chat/picture updates and so much more!

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

My most challenging part is ensuring we have the right (fur)panions, a.k.a. walkers. To join the J.Tails team you must be qualified to handle multiple pet behaviors, had previous professional pet care experience, be aware of common ailments and how to administer medications. Of course, you must also love all pets!

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

The power of NO and boundaries. I used to say yes to everything and would be constantly available, replying to calls/emails/texts well past normal business hours. It would quickly wear me out, as well as the (fur)panions. We became a better pet care business when I felt empowered enough to really say no, and to set restrictions on when I would be available.

What makes you different from others similar companies?

We really have tailored our pet care experience to the pet parent. Everything is app based, from booking/cancelling, GPS tracking, updates/picture chat and even payment.

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