Meet Our Team of Critter Care Specialists
We are more than pet lovers, each team member has extensive experience in pet care and are truly professionals in the field of career of Pet Sitting. Our Critter Care Specialists pass a thorough background checks as well as being vetted for their approach to animals and their care. All of our Critter Care Specialists are Trained in Pet CPR and First Aid.
Each of our our pet families will have two pet sitters reserved for their pets. Prior to the first appointment, we schedule an in home visit with both of your sitters. We do this so you and your pets will be comfortable with the sitter and you will have a backup in case of a sitter emergency or illness.
Let’s meet our sitters . . .
Jennifer is a native of the Virginia Peninsula and has lived in Newport News all of her life. Her experience with pets began at home where there were always a couple of cats running around. In the early 90’s she worked for Value Pet, a local pet chain that had several stores across Newport News, Hampton, and the South Side and managed the one located near Fort Eustis. During her years at Value Pet, Jennifer personally cared for two domestic shorthair Cats, Taffy and Raja, 55 Gallon Fresh Water Tank, a 35 Gallon Salt Water Tank, two Parakeets, a Rat, 3 Mice and a 2 Anoles, and a pair of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as pets.Jennifer started Critter Sitters and More in October of 2013 after her kitty Raja passed away from kidney failure. Prior to his passing, she had been planning a trip out of town and like many people, she “hired” the neighbor kids to come over and feed the kitties and take care of their needs. However, Raja’s health was deteriorating and she knew that the kids could not be expect to administer medications, monitor his health and care for their needs. That’s when she decide to find out what other options there were and began researching professional pet sitting. After Raja’s passing Jennifer decided to start own pet sitting business as a way to be around animals again. In October of 2013 Jennifer took on her first client and has never looked back. Jennifer actively pet sits and personally meets with all new families who are looking to book pet sitting and dog walking services with Critter Sitters and More.
Barbara Higgins, Senior Critter Care Manager
Barbara Higgins received her Bachelors degree in Biology from Christopher Newport University in 1994 and then went on to get her Associates degree in Veterinary Technology from Blue Ridge Community College in 2000. Barbara started out in the veterinary field as a kennel assistant but quickly worked her way up to veterinary assistant and then finally veterinary technician. Barbara has been at Poquoson Veterinary Hospital since January, 1998. She began pet sitting with Critter Sitters and More in June, 2015 and loves caring for her clients’ pets while they are away. In her free time, Barbara fosters pets that are looking for their forever home.
Brenna Poffenbarger, Critter Care Specialist
Brenna Poffenbarger was born in New York and raised in Arizona. She has traveled the world with her now retired military husband. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Troy University and is also a local Realtor! Brenna has an English Mastiff that she adopted from Southern States Mastiff Rescue. She is also involved with the Poquoson Lions club.
Erica Rice, Critter Care Specialist
Erica Rice is a Virginia girl through and through. Born and raised in Fluvanna County, just outside of Charlottesville, she has lived in Blacksburg, Virginia Beach, and, now, Yorktown. Erica has cared for pets all her life. Her home was “the zoo” growing up, and at one time or another included cats, dogs, birds, fish, a potbellied pig, a baby corn snake, mice, geckos, and bunnies. Erica received her B.S. in Computer and Information Science in 2011. After working in the IT field for 8 years she became a full-time entrepreneur. Through her digital consulting business, Erica helps other small businesses with their technical pain points including website maintenance, graphic design, social media marketing, databases, email campaigns, and more. She has been pet sitting since 2018 and joined Critter Sitters and More a year later to help more families in need of quality care for their pets when they are away. Erica enjoys karaoke, traveling, the outdoors, personal development, and spending time with her family, her dog, Doubleshot, and her cat, Espresso.
Vicki Vawter, Critter Care Specialist
Vicki is a Williamsburg native and has been working with animals through most of her life until about 10 years ago. She is a graduate from Lafayette High School and has business degrees from Christopher Newport University. While in college she was a veterinary technician and has many years of experience with obedience training and K9 work. She loves her critters and has experience in administering medications and many other forms of treatments. Vicki is also a Program Manager with the non-profit Here for the Girls as well as a wife and mom to 2 great adult “kids”. She primarily does visits in the Williamsburg and Yorktown areas and is especially fond of dog walks and of course cuddles.
Becca Bernett, Critter Care Specialist
Becca Bernett was born and raised as a military child and moved all over the world. Virginia is where she has planted her roots. She has had a love for animals since she was a small child. Currently she cares for one cat and countless foster cats. In her free time, you can find her volunteering at the Cat Corner in Hampton, at home with her cat, Saki, or playing with her foster kittens.
Cassi Harlow, Critter Care Specialist
Cassi is a certified veterinary assistant who loves working with and caring for animals. From a young age she spent a lot of time interested in and learning all she could about them. She was raised around what most people would consider regular indoor/ outdoor pets, as well as farm animals, and wildlife. Growing up she spent most of her summers exploring all of the mountains, rivers, and valleys that Virginia has to offer. She also enjoys traveling around in and out of the country. After becoming certified in 2013, she worked for a few years under some of the best emergency veterinary professionals on the east coast. It was there that she decided that one day she’d like to go back to school to become a Veterinary Surgeon. She’s currently one of the Critter Sitters and More pet care specialists who loves working with our clients, and giving the best care she can provide to their pets while they are away. She hopes to save up enough money so she can go back to school to work towards her dream career. When she isn’t working or planning for the future, Cassi enjoys spending time at home with her own two cats, traveling, playing/ streaming video games, cooking, swimming, reading, and watching movies.
Tracy Burnett, Critter Care Specialist
Tracy Burnett has lived in Hampton Roads for 25 years after having first moved here for an Air Force assignment at Langley AFB. Recently her family purchased a home in York County. Animal care has always been a passion for Tracy. She started volunteering for the Poquoson Animal Welfare Sanctuary in 2014 and she has not stopped helping peninsula animals since. She has experience in just about every aspect of cat care and trapping. She is also Mom to two dogs, Indiana Jones and Chewbacca. She has joined the Critter Sitter team because she loves helping folks with their animal care needs.