Leading Ladies 2017

Debbie Heaney


Inspiration can come in many forms. For Debbie Heaney, it came from her beloved husky/chow mix, Dakota. “I’ve been passionate about animals my whole life,” she says. “I just didn’t realize how that passion could completely change my life.” Having worked at a stagnant job for three decades, Debbie decided to follow her life’s dream at age 51 and opened her own business. “I found out that it’s never too late to do what you love,” she says. “When you do, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

Dakota’s Pet Services offers a caring and stress-free environment for four-legged friends. Open since 2011, the reputable company provides walking, day sitting and overnight care services. “We give your pets the care and exercise they need when you’re at work, away or too busy,” she says. Along with her husband Steve and daughter Courtney, Debbie is certified in pet CPR and first aid. She also holds a certification from FEMA: Animals in Disaster, Awareness and Preparedness. “Your pet’s safety is our top priority,” she says.

Married for 28 years, Debbie and Steve have three grown children and four male corgis. Dakota sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge a year after the business opened. “She really was a partner in my business. She had this way of putting clients at ease,” Debbie says. As she approaches Dakota’s Pet Service’s six year anniversary in June, Debbie is still humbled to be the only pet sitting business in Rhode Island that’s family operated. “I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love, to be surrounded by dogs all day,” she says. “It’s so much fun and rewarding each and every day.”

164 Sinclair Avenue, Cranston | 862-6097

Debbie Heaney, Dakota's Pet Services, Leading Ladies, Leading Ladies 2017


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