Managing Trupanion’s office pet program — and more than 275 pets! — doesn’t feel like work, she says.
What do you do? I’m the pet director for Seattle-based Trupanion. My position is a function of human resources supporting a major employee benefit — we allow team members to bring their approved personal pets to the office with them! I am responsible for managing our employee office pet program, ensuring a safe and harmonious environment for over 275 cats and dogs in the office and our Trupanion team.
How did you get started in that field? I’ve worked in the veterinary industry for 20 years. After several months working in claims, I presented the idea of the position to HR. The position is the first of its kind in corporate America and I hope to see more companies adopt it and the benefit.
What’s a typical day like? A normal day can range from a new hire orientation to reviewing pet applications or a new pet evaluation on its first day in the office. [There’s also] tours, consultations, managing pet records to ensure health and safety, planning events and play times for employees and pets. I recently helped revise our pet policy to create innovative ways to increase our number of office pets — 275 just isn’t enough!
What’s the best part of the job? Developing relationships with new team members and their pets, managing a corporate dog-walking team to take our employee pets out for a walk each day, playing with puppies and kittens and being encouraged to continue to be innovative in a safe environment with amazing trust and support from the entire Trupanion family. Almost everything about my “job” is the best! I realize it is my job, but it is not work when it is something you are so passionate about.
What surprises people about what you do? How well-managed it is. When I give tours people are shocked to see how many pets are here, as you rarely hear them and certainly don’t smell them, but see them – yes – everywhere. The idea of allowing employees to bring pets to the office has proven to increase morale and productivity while decreasing stress significantly. More and more companies are adopting the idea and looking for answers on how to do it — successfully.
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