Walkadoodles & Whiskers: How Kathy Vorisek Turned a Passion for Pets into a Business for the Well-Being of Her Community

Kathy Vorisek, a dedicated mental health advocate, and a pet lover, founded Walkadoodles & Whiskers Pet Concierge this January 2024; already a thriving pet care company with a profound impact on both pets and their owners. Her journey from the high-stakes world of sales to the serene company of pets highlights a powerful narrative of personal transformation and community support.

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Image credit: Kathy Vorisek

Kathy’s mental health journey is deeply personal and rooted in an ongoing journey of self-healing. “I’ve always felt I’ve been called by God to be a mental health advocate,” she shares. “Through therapy, I learned that everyone’s feelings and truths are real. Healing is a daily process and something I’ll be proactive about for the rest of my life.”

Transitioning from a successful sales career to pet care was a transformative experience for Kathy. With a background in broadcast journalism and a career in pharmaceutical and medical device sales, she had achieved remarkable success. However, after taking time off to raise her children, a divorce, and facing a series of job losses, Kathy found herself at a crossroads. The demanding nature of sales and the pressure to keep up with younger competitors took a toll on her mental health.

Her turning point came when she saw an ad for a dog walking and pet-sitting company. “I’ve always had a love for animals, and I thought if I can do something I love, why not give it a try?” Kathy recalls. Working with the business owner, Kathy discovered the therapeutic benefits of spending time with dogs. The exercise, fresh air, and companionship of happy dogs provided much-needed relief from her struggles.

Building on this newfound passion, Kathy joined Rover.com to offer pet-sitting services independently. Despite facing personal hardships, including the passing of her mother, she remained resilient. The final push came when she lost her last job. Despite this, she remained unfazed. “It’s okay, I know what I’m going to do,” Kathy told a friend over dinner. This moment of clarity led to the formation of Walkadoodles & Whiskers.

This concierge company offers a range of services, including dog walking, pet sitting, pet transportation, overnight care, and even special event services. Each service is tailored to meet the specific needs of pets and their owners. “We treat every pet like they’re our own, and give our clients peace of mind,” Kathy says. “We provide one-on-one attention, ensuring pets feel comfortable and loved,” Kathy explains. The introduction of a GPS-enabled app has been a game changer, offering clients real-time updates along with peace of mind.

The app allows pet owners to track their pet’s activities, receive detailed reports, and view photos and videos of their pets during walks or playtime. They love the accountability and transparency the app provides while showcasing Walkadoodles & Whiskers’ promise on their delivery of the services, giving more confidence in them.

Kathy’s personal journey has instilled in her a deep commitment to mental health advocacy. She openly shares her struggles and triumphs to inspire others. “Dealing with my own mental health has been a daily process of healing,” she says. This advocacy is reflected in her business model, where she emphasizes the mental health benefits of pet ownership and interaction. “Pets bring joy, gratitude, and a sense of peace,” Kathy affirms.

For her, the benefits of working with animals are profound. “Exercise, gratitude, and joy – that’s what pets bring to our lives,” Kathy says. Whether it’s a wagging tail or a playful bark, these moments of connection help people stop and appreciate life’s small wonders, significantly improving mental health.

In addition to its comprehensive pet care offerings, Walkadoodles & Whiskers is committed to giving back to the community. Through a partnership with WoofTrax, the company supports local charities with every registered dog walk. “We believe in treating everyone fairly and supporting animals in need,” Kathy says. “We don’t charge extra for this to our clients, but they can feel good knowing that they’re contributing to a good cause.”

With a string of five-star reviews and plans to expand services, Kathy’s vision for Walkadoodles & Whiskers is ambitious. She hopes to introduce training and grooming services, and potentially affiliate for pet products. “There’s so much more we can do to support pet owners and their mental health,” she adds.

As Gene Hill once said, “Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned a dog.” Walkadoodles & Whiskers embodies this sentiment, offering personalized care and peace of mind to pet owners across Indianapolis.

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