Del Schroader, left, and Cindy Rettke sit with some of the dogs from Staycation Pet Care. From left, Bailey, Duke, Abby and Bella are dogs that play together at Rettke’s house in Albert Lea.  --Tiffany Krupke/Albert Lea Tribune
Del Schroader, left, and Cindy Rettke sit with some of the dogs from Staycation Pet Care. From left, Bailey, Duke, Abby and Bella are dogs that play together at Rettke’s house in Albert Lea. -- Tiffany Krupke/Albert Lea Tribune

Archived Story

Girl meets boy, starts Staycation Pet Care

Published 12:46pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

By Tiffany Krupke
tiffany.krupke@albertleatribune.com

When you enter Cindy Rettke’s home, the first thing you hear is a symphony of dog barks. Rettke and her boyfriend, Del Schroader, own and operate Staycation Pet Care, a service that provides doggie day care at Rettke’s house and in-home pet care for their customers.

For Rettke and Schroader, watching animals is a labor of love.

The pair service about 180 pets. And to this day, Rettke has never had her animals stay in a kennel.

During the day, Rettke works as a teller at a local bank and Schroader stays with the pets.

Del Schroader sits with Bailey, a yorkie.
Del Schroader sits with Bailey, a yorkie.

“It is a fun job because animals don’t talk back to you or argue with you,” Schroader said, laughing. “All animals have their own personalities. It is great.”

Schroader uses their dog Jasper, a chocolate Labrador, to ease new dogs into care. He calls Jasper the dog whisperer.

Cindy Rettke sits with Abby, a beagle that goes to Staycation Pet Care.
Cindy Rettke sits with Abby, a beagle that goes to Staycation Pet Care.

Schroader said watching dogs is not unlike being a child-care provider. With the exception of a few spats, all of the dogs get along. He said people enjoy taking their dogs to day care because they get more exercise.

“The animals are tired when they pick them up,” Schroeder said.

The dogs act in a pack mentality, according to Schroader, and socialization is important for dogs.

When Rettke gets home from work, she helps take care of the pets as part of Staycation’s overnight service. Staycation has mostly dogs but also watches cats and birds. Rettke also manages marketing and promotions.

Both Rettke and Schroader have lived in the area most their lives and, of course, always loved animals.

Schroader was around them on the farm he grew up on, and Rettke enjoyed taking care of animals. It wasn’t always Rettke’s dream to open a pet care service, but she has wanted to work with pets her whole life. They have two dogs and two cats.

The animal lovers donate 5 percent of their profits from Staycation to the Freeborn County Humane Society. They are fundraising to build a self-serve dog wash in Albert Lea, with 50 percent of the profits going directly to shelter animals. The two are working on fundraising both through their website and the community.

Staycation is busier than ever, but they have no plans to slow down.

Jasper relaxes on a couch at Staycation Pet Care.
Jasper relaxes on a couch at Staycation Pet Care.

“I once heard someone say that if you are going to go into business, do something you love. That is what I’m doing,” Rettke said.

To find out more about Staycation Pet Care or to donate to the pet wash fund, visit www.staycationpetcare.com. The phone number is 369-3116.

 

Cindy Rettke

Age: 45

Address: 718 Valley Ave., Albert Lea

Livelihood: bank teller, business owner

Family: children Samantha and Jordan Mahus

Interesting fact: She never knew she would own her own business.

 

Del Schroader

Age: 52

Address: 718 Valley Ave., Albert Lea

Livelihood: dog handler

Family: children Jacob and Brianna Schroader; parents Elton and Beverly Oakland

Interesting fact: He said he fell into the business by accident after meeting Cindy.

  1. Quentin Sickels

    Great people and a great place to take your pet. They are always willing to watch your pet and truly treat them as one of their own. I would recommend them to anybody. Thanks Cindy and Del!