Live-In Pet Sitting

Emmy Scammahorn is an independent pet sitter with more than 10 years' experience.

Live-in care—starting at $65 a night—for your pet in your home

Pets "speak" in a free online photo blog or journal

The pet sitter pets would call, 
if pets could call

Why Choose Live-In Care?

Studies show that pets that live at home during their owners' absence are safer and less stressed. A round-the-clock presence will help keep loneliness at bay for your pet, as well as avoid diseases that could be found in kennels. Older pets, especially those whose health, eyesight, or hearing are compromised, are more comfortable in familiar surroundings.

Why Choose "Emmy the Pet Sitter"?

I offer a rarity in the Washington, D.C., area—reasonably priced, dependable live-in pet care in your home. For $65 you get exclusive 24/7 care for one pet. (For more than one pet, see Rates and Services, right.) There's no extra charge for giving medications, trips to the veterinarian, pet-related errands, and holidays. Check the schedule (below) for availability.

A lifelong pet owner and animal lover, I worked briefly in a vet's office, where I learned to give medications and intramuscular shots. I'm certified in American Red Cross: First Aid for Cats and Dogs and have practiced basic equine care. In addition, I have experience in energy healing for animals (Integrated Energy Therapy, TellingtonTouch, Reiki, and crystal healing). I had a long career as an editor/producer at National Geographic. I enjoy Western riding, travel, photography and writing. As for a sense of humor . . . I never leave home without it.

Unfortunately, arthritis in one knee makes stairs difficult, and I can only work in homes with a bathroom on the first floor. I am comfortable walking dogs, however. 

Before You Go
At an introductory visit, you and I review the needs of your pets and your home. Plan to sign a Veterinary Release Form, which your vet may have on his or her web site.

While You're Away
I follow your pet's routine and your behavioral methods. Your pet's life goes on as usual. I take out the trash, recycle, waters plants inside and out, clean up pet waste, and handle any other household needs. My goal is that you have peace of mind.

To keep you updated, I send photos and information via text or email; and/or posts photos on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. I can also create an online story about your pet—free!

The most important thing I offer your pet is love. I've fallen in love with every single one of the animals I've cared for. I can sense when an animal is upset or withdrawn (maybe missing the owner); at those times I sit quietly with him or her until the mood passes. My round-the-clock presence gives pets a sense of security.

Because I need to arrive at each pet sit refreshed and ready to take the best care possible of your pets, I can work only a certain number of nights each month. I am so sorry if this means I'm not available when you need me. 

In 2014 I am booked:

• All of April

• All of May

• All of June

• July 25 - 31 (dates tentative)  (Lily-Avery)

• August 1 - 2 (dates tentative)   (Lily-Avery)
• August 7 - 9  (James-Austin)

• September 12 - 21   (Lily-Avery)

• October 10 - 13  (Lily-Avery)
• October 29 - 31  (BarkWorld)

• November 1  (BarkWorld)


If you want to talk to references, call or email Emmy at

If my dogs could speak (and I think they DO speak to Emmy) they would tell you they love it when we go away because it means Emmy comes to stay with them. I never have a moment’s worry when Emmy is on the job. She cares for Arlo and Darcy with warmth and affection. She loves them as much as I do. ~ Brenda M., Falls Church, Virginia

Sight unseen and just speaking over the phone, Emmy worked out well. My dog, Coco, thoroughly enjoyed her. I was able to keep in touch when I was away. All went very well. Her blog about Coco is priceless. It is obvious she is an editor and a very good one. I plan to share it and print it for keeping and also as a history reference.
~ Gloria H., Prescott, Arizona

Emmy is an extraordinarily responsible, caring, and thoroughly competent house and pet sitter. Our beloved 16 year-old family Dachshund has been blind for several years—she has come to think of Emmy as she would a family member, and the feeling is clearly reciprocated. My wife and I and the three kids can rest easy when we are away that the family's 'oldest sibling' is going to be perfectly fine, and that our house will be secure and clean, as well, for our return. (For peace of mind, she is worth her proverbial weight in gold, which is worth a lot* these days.) ~ Tom G., Alexandria, Virginia

We have a full house: 5 dogs (including 2 senior citizens, one of whom is very grumpy), 4 cats, and an outside feral cat that we take care of. Emmy cared for everyone in April 2011. She was wonderful, and took good care of everyone. Emmy is very trustworthy, totally organized, and I would recommend her to anyone who needs in-home care of his or her animals. ~ Elizabeth P., Washington, DC

Thank you so much for caring for my family while I was away. The dogs were much less anxious than usual when I got home, which tells me they were content with their substitute mom. I can’t tell you how great it felt knowing you were in charge. They will be thrilled to see you again. ~ Juanita H., Maryland

We LOVE the blog!!! What a talent you have for “channeling” the furballs’ thoughts. You of all our surrogate dog-parents got the most amazing shots of the "kids"! We have shared your blog with friends who know the “kids” and they love it too. I can't tell you how much we miss the little munchkins...but they are in good hands and that's all that matters (and getting brushed far more than they did when we were there!!) This homecoming was all the better for everything you did to keep it going and happy while we were away [for a month]. Deepest thanks. ~ Susan M., Colorado Springs, Colorado

Michelle H., owner of a ranch in Prescott, Arizona, can talk with you about Emmy's work with her Arabians. Contact Emmy if you would like to speak to Michelle.


  1. This is such an inspirational website and I am looking forward to more insightful post!
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    1. Thank you! Do you have a blog or web site? My blog is

  2. What and interesting and informative site. I look forward to more. Mike Mc. Burlington, IA.

    1. Should I tell? Mike's my cousins and I paid him to say this! Just kidding. Thanks, cuz.

  3. Interesting post. Thanks for the information about your pet sitter business. I've been interested in finding someone for my trip to Europe. Do you do extended stays, or is your service a short term one? Thanks for the help!

    1. Thanks for asking, Gary! I live in the Washington, DC, area and can stay one night or a month, whatever you need, depending on my schedule (see above). When are you going to Europe?

  4. This page is really great better to keep on posting! Any way I'm interested also to the post of cat sitter ny.

  5. Great blog and I love the pictures of all the adorable fur babies!

  6. Hi Emmy, is your pet sitting service available during the weekends? Is it available 24 hours?

    I am currently searching for pet sitting and dog walking Long Beach

    Ben cares