Five years ago, Alysha Fraser was looking for care for her 10-week old puppy, Chloe. She only wanted the best for her new furry friend, and was very particular in her search. Fraser found very few professional, full time, insured, and bonded pet care businesses available. Certain that she couldn’t be the only pet owner in central RI with a need for quality pet care, she left her full-time corporate job to start her own small business, Furry Friends Pet Care Services.
From the beginning, Fraser has been committed to growth. She has grown Furry Friends from a staff of one, to a regular team of 3-6. She and her team have grown personally as well, through education: all Furry Friends staff members are Pet CPR and First Aid certified. Fraser herself completed her animal behavior and training certification from Mt. Ida College in Newton, MA. The company’s offerings have also expanded from dog walking and pet sitting to include private and in-home dog training.
“Our mission is to treat your animals with the same love, care, and respect as if they were our own. We strive to offer only the best in professional in-home pet care while still maintaining a focus on high quality and environmentally friendly products as well as civic and social consciousness.” – Alysha Fraser
It’s rare to meet a business owner who is as committed to her community as Alysha. In the past five years, through Furry Friends, she has donated time, money, and services to many organizations including The American Cancer Association, Gloria Gemma, A Wish Come True, RISPCA, EGAPL, and the Warwick Animal Shelter. Furry Friends’ closest ties are with their community partner, The Providence Animal Rescue League. Fraser began volunteering with them five years ago to assist with coordination of community events and fundraisers. A portion of Furry Friends’ proceeds goes to PARL through sponsorships, gifts, and other donations. In 2009, Alysha Fraser and her business, Furry Friends, were the recipients of the Outstanding Community Partner Award from PARL.
Recently, she worked with PARL on their annual event The Rescue. Volunteering as Stage Manager for the event for the second year in a row, Fraser, along with dozens more volunteers, helped PARL raise over $30,000 for the shelter – despite having been rescheduled due to a snowstorm.
In addition to her involvement with events and fundraisers aimed at improving animal welfare, Alysha has developed her own annual charity event, Stand Up for Animals. Many local businesses have contributed to this event – generous sponsors include The Comedy Connection, The Coliseum, Williams & Stuart Real Estate, Gracie’s Gourmet Goodies, Jack’s Snacks, and many more. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this event go to The Providence Animal Rescue League. In the 3 years since Stand Up for Animals was first created, almost $10,000 has been raised for PARL.
Future events include PARL’s Petwalk on September 22nd, where Furry Friends will have a booth and provide some of the prizes, and the upcoming Pints for Paws, for which Furry Friends will donate raffle prizes.
“If every business did a little something to help our community it would be amazing how large and impact that would have on our little state.” – Alysha Fraser
The Future of Furry Friends
When asked about the future, Fraser says she would like to ultimately open a storefront where they would offer doggy daycare, training classes, and a retail store with good quality, well-made pet products. At the moment, all-natural and eco-friendly toys, treats, and spa products are available on a small scale through Furry Friends.
“The way I approach pet care comes from the heart. I look at my pets as members of the family and I understand how stressful it can be to leave them when you go on vacation, or even leave them alone for the day when you are at work. I customize my services based on what would make you and your pet comfortable. Our focus is on truly understanding how you take care of your pet, and doing everything possible to give them that same level of love, attention, and care when we are taking care of them.” – Alysha Fraser, Furry Friends Pet Care