As the pet-care industry grows, it is important that pet owners are more prudent than ever when selecting a pet sitter. Our pet care team will give the best care to your pets. Have the peace of mind that comes from using an educated, responsible pet care provider that will provide special attention to your pets unique needs.


– CAS Founder / Pet & Horse Care Pro

Rhonda Brown founded Custom Animal Services pet care team in 2002. Rhonda worked for both La Plata Animal Clinic and Riverview Animal Hospital for a combined total of nine years. Rhonda received her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1994.

Immediately after graduation, Rhonda relocated to Durango where she has resided since. In addition to extensive small animal experience, Rhonda owned, competed, and cared for horses for nearly 40 years.

Rhonda enjoys spending time with her daughter Alli, Dodger her reservation rescue dog and a flock of both chickens and ducks. Rhonda enjoys, baking, hiking, camping, traveling, gardening, and being outside.  She loves working with all types of animals and has cared for a wide variety of large & small animals, including exotics.


“Of all the wonderful people I’ve come across in my life, I don’t believe any of them could exceed Rhonda’s deep commitment to excellence and responsibility in dealing with the care of our animals. Rhonda’s desire to start Custom Animal Services was a perfect fit for her as well as a necessary link for those of us who love our animals so, that we find it difficult to leave them. Rhonda’s constant involvement with animals, as well as her many years of working in veterinary clinics give me all the comfort and reassurance necessary to leave my animals in her care. When I want to leave home and simply not worry about anything at all, I call Custom Animal Services.”


– CAS Pet Care Pro

Suzie has been caring for animals her whole life. In 1991 she decided to make it her career as well as personal life. She spent the next 22 years working in Veterinary Medicine as a Veterinary Technician. She has had a very diverse career working in Clinical, Emergency, and Research hospitals. In June of 2000 a clinic where she was working was featured in Veterinary Economics as a Hospital of Excellence.

Suzie moved to Durango in February of 2012 from the Fort Worth area. She is truly enjoying Durango and spends as much time outside as possible. She lives with her husband Jason, his mom Gail, and their wonderful fur family, Nama a mixed breed reservation rescue, PD a short haired dachshund mix, and Doodles a long haired dachshund mix. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, gardening, skiing, and any other fun activity that comes her way.

Suzie joined the CAS Team in 2013.


“We love and appreciate Custom Animal Services.  Suzie takes great care of our two dogs, and sends us adorable pictures so we know they are doing well while we are gone.  We can’t always take our dogs with us when we leave town, and Custom Animal Services takes the stress out of the process.  Thank you!”

“Suzie pays attention to the details of care for each animal and takes care of them just as I do.  No worries!  Thanks!”

“Suzie did a great job with all our animals.  She kept us informed on a daily basis and gave the impression she really cared about our pets. I would recommend her to any of our friends.”

Dog sitter
Pet Care Pro


– CAS Pet & Horse Care Pro

Lori was born and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since childhood visits to her great uncle’s cattle ranch in Ada, Oklahoma, she has always been drawn to animals and the country lifestyle. Her Uncle Harvey was like the famous author James Herriot being a small and large animal veterinarian.  Her given responsibility at her uncle’s was to take care of the kittens and puppies.

Horses have always been her passion so she started riding at a local stable at age 6. She has owned many horses throughout the years.

Lori graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a fine arts degree and still enjoys painting acrylic pet portraits. Lori’s life in Durango started in 1987 after marrying Jack Peterson. He built a beautiful 6 acre home in Hermosa plus planted 150 trees, 50 of them fruit trees. In 1990, they had a daughter Ashley that also shares the love of animals. She was in 4-H for ten years showing dogs and horses. They have had an assortment of cats, dogs and horses throughout the years. Some of her other interests include downhill skiing, hiking, horseback riding and visiting her family’s vacation home of over 50 years on the island of St. Maarten.

Lori joined the CAS Team in 2018.


“Terrific service.  Prepped in advance, excellent communication, dedicated care.  Felt secure leaving my 18.75 year old cat over the holiday.  Thank you.”

“Lori stepped in and bailed us out in an unplanned visit due to travel issues.  She was really patient and accommodating.  Extremely professional.  Looking forward to using her with great confidence for a trip next week.”

“Great service as always!”


– CAS Pet Care Pro

Dawn is a life-long, avid animal lover who followed her passion for animal rescue very early when she would bring home stray dogs, caring for them until she and her parents were able to locate their families or find them new homes.

Dawn graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in education.  She spent 5 years in the classroom before becoming a full-time, stay-at-home mom to her now grown daughter.  She homeschooled her daughter through most of her school years, during which time she rekindled her passion for caring for animals.  For over 16 years she worked with animals in a variety of capacities including wildlife rehabilitation, volunteering at a big cat sanctuary, and volunteering nearly 8 years at a county shelter working primarily with dogs with behavior issues with the goal of helping them find their perfect homes.  She also has many years of experience pet sitting.

Dawn and her husband David moved to Durango in 2019 following another longtime dream of living in the mountains.  She enjoys hiking, reading, being out in nature and hanging out with her rescued dog, Scarlett.

Dawn joined the CAS Team in 2020.


“Dawn did an excellent job caring for our horses and cats.  She cared for them as if they were her own.  She kept us updated as to how they were doing and sent photos we greatly appreciated.  She contacted us quickly whenever she had any questions.  Our animals were all happy and healthy when we returned.  We were able to relax and enjoy our vacation knowing Dawn was taking care of our beloved animals the way we would.”

“Dawn was very loving to our pets and gave all of them special love and attention.  They were well taken care of and happy while we were gone.”

“Dawn has been amazing the past two times she has pet sat for us.  She does exactly what she says she is going to do and also more.  We love how much she communicates with us and keeps us in the loop.”

Dog sitter
Pet Care Pro


– CAS Pet Care Pro

Lauren grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has always loved animals. Over the years she has had many dogs, cats, birds, and a spotted leopard gecko. After graduating Denison University, Lauren traveled the world for 8 months, including volunteer work in Africa and Nepal. In 2010, she moved to Evergreen, Colorado to work for a travel company and an online education company.

Lauren moved to Durango in 2011 to continue working as an online educational researcher. She recently adopted Takoda, a rescue from Farmington. Luckily he is a very athletic dog that can keep up with her hiking, trail running and stand up paddling.

Lauren joined the CAS team in 2014.


“Lauren was excellent! I appreciated that she came over ahead of time and met the animals, etc.  Service was great!”

“Lauren was amazing… kept us in the loop daily with pictures… she was so sweet with them, they LOVED her!!”

“Polite and professional.  Lauren texted me photos of my pets and let me know all was well!”

Dog sitter
Pet Care Pro


– CAS Pet, Bird & Exotic Care Pro

Karen has been a lifelong animal lover and is blessed with natural abilities to care for critters of all kinds.  She has had quite a variety of pets – dogs, cats, parrots, a monkey, ducks, and rabbits.

Karen and Tim, her husband of 38 years, currently share their home with a Yellow-Naped Amazon, Boggie, a.k.a. “Bogetta.”  Originally thinking “she” was a “he,” having had her for over eleven years, she laid several eggs!  She has a BIG personality with an extensive vocabulary.  Boggie laughs, sings opera, cries like a baby, and keeps Karen and Tim, as well as friends and family, entertained all the time.  You might be fortunate enough someday to see Tim bicycling around town with Boggie on his shoulder. In addition, they have a rescue Ragdoll cat named Annie. She’s literally “a dog in a cat’s body” and is the sweetest and most loving cat they’ve ever had.

Karen and Tim came to Durango in the fall of 2016 to visit friends and fell in love with the area, the friendly people, the amazing beauty, the wildlife, and the peaceful pace of life here. They purchased a lot, waited for their home to be built, and retired to the Animas Valley in May of 2018.

After years working in the airline industry and then as a professional court reporter, Karen decided it was time to do something joyful and started her own pet-sitting business in southern California.  It grew rapidly by word of mouth and referrals from local veterinarians.  When her husband had a career move to northern California, she sold her business after six wonderful years.  During that time, quite by accident, she discovered the joy of working with exotic birds.  Most of the pet sitters in the area referred all the exotic bird jobs to her, which of course, as these things do, led to exotic bird rescues.

In addition to Karen’s passion for animals of all kinds, she loves to hike, walk, swim, travel, read, and bake.

Karen joined the CAS Team in 2018.


“I can trust my aging animals with medical needs get very special care and all instructions are carefully followed.”

“Karen is such a caring person and showers the pets with love.  Her little touches of bringing in the mail, watering flowers and making the bed are such a kind surprise when we return home.  We love the pet updates and photos too.”



– CAS Pet & Horse Care Pro

Born in Seattle, Catherine has been an animal lover since day one. She moved to Durango after falling in love with the area when the eldest of her two sons attended Fort Lewis College. Catherine is an avid hiker and always loves canine company.

Her professional career with horses started in middle school when she would ride sale horses at hunter jumper shows. Her passion for horses has taken her from a horse crazy girl to barn management and trainer. While horses are her first love, she enjoys all animals and has a wide variety of experience with all types of animals, both large and small.

Catherine balances her time outdoors enjoying horses, dogs and hiking, with a love of good books and French cooking.

Catherine joined the CAS Team in 2014.


“Catherine is an amazing soul!!  My dog and I are so very happy with the TLC she provides!!”

“Catherine is warm and caring.  She takes great care of my cats, they are so relaxed and happy when we get home from trips.  She also checks to make sure that we have successfully returned from our trip, which is reassuring!”

“Catherine, simply said, is a wonderful person!  Always a job well done!”


– CAS Pet Care Pro

Born in Farmington, New Mexico, Debbie moved quite often in her childhood.  When she was 13 her family moved from Tucumcari, NM to San Diego.  But the one constant in her life for as far back as she can remember, were her animals. 

In 2010, Debbie’s heart led her to Durango, where Mike, her third grade childhood sweetheart from Tucumcari, resided.  Leaving her two daughters and two grand-daughters in San Diego was hard, but coming to beautiful Durango made it so much easier. 

In the summer of 2011 Debbie was adopted by Don Juan DeMarco (DJ) her Chihuahua / Pappillon mix.  DJ, along with Debbie and Mike, enjoy hiking (DJ even hiked Ice Lakes!), riding on the Harley Davidson, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking.  Entering his golden years now he’s slowing down a bit, enjoys slower walks and camping in the 5th wheel.

Debbie joined the CAS Team in 2012, was a client for five years, then rejoined the CAS Team in 2018.


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