Craig Muniz, Owner & Founder of WestFetch
Craig was born in Sarasota, FL and grew up on a “farm” that included horses, cows, pigs, bunnies and lots of dogs. They were a dog rescue, of sorts. Many dogs that couldn’t find a home ended up with them and enjoying the remainder of their lives on his parents eight-acre property.
Craig attended college at the University of Florida, where he met his wife, Michaela, who was working on her Animal Science degree at the time and aspiring to be a veterinarian. After Craig graduated with a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering and an MBA (and Michaela with her Animal Science degree), their lives moved them to the Tampa area where they now reside in Westchase. Unfortunately bills and time were not on Michaela’s side so she had to abandon the vet school dream and pursued a professional career of which has grown to Director of Insurance Plan Management at Dental Care Alliance.
After working in the corporate world himself, from a Logistics and Inventory Manager at McNichols Co. to a Regional Delivery Manager at Home Depot, Craig was unfortunately part of job eliminations at Home Depot in 2005. Taking this opportunity to pursue his dream of owning his own business and combining it with his love of animals, WestFetch was born on October 1st, 2005.
One thing Craig and Michaela noticed about the local pet sitters at that time, none were really into it “full time”. “It was frustrating”, Craig states, “we would call them for our dogs, Ashley or Dante, and it wouldn’t be unusual for them to take days to return our calls, sometimes to only say that they couldn’t do it. We knew there was a demand for a full-time, professional pet sitting and dog walking company that had pet sitters on duty 365 days a year and that were easily accessible via phone, email or even text.” And indeed there was, WestFetch has grown tremendously since first starting out in 2005 and is still going strong today.
In fact, in 2015, Craig & Michaela purchased a property just outside of Westchase to expand their services to offer doggie day care and boarding. Noticing that the typical day care was in a warehouse with hard floors and little or no outside areas and also noticing a typical boarding facility left the dogs alone, locked up, overnight with no human interaction, they knew a better option was in need for our furry family members. The day care/boarding property has over an acre of greenspace so dogs can enjoy a spacious outside environment but also having a comfy, cage-free home for them to relax and hang with human companionship, even overnight—just like home.
Craig says the job cuts at Home Depot were a blessing in disguise. “It was a scary time not knowing how we were going to cover all our bills, but we were blessed in getting things up and running and into the black in a comparatively short amount of time” Craig says. “There is nothing more I’d rather be doing.”, he also states, and hopes if the need arises for help with your pets, don’t hesitate to contact WestFetch. “Not only do we treat your pets like our own, we’ll be there like your best friend and neighbor, helping any way we can.”
Dog Day Care Assistant & Handler
Lisa was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. When Lisa’s mom and sister moved to Tampa, Florida in 2000, Lisa decided to stay behind and continue to work on her career and education. In 2016, Lisa decided that it was time to join her family in Florida.
Lisa has always been an animal lover. Growing up if Lisa came across a stray cat, she would often bring it home and keep it in her room until her mom could bring it to a humane society. As she got older, Lisa would often make her friends pull their cars to the side of the road to help stray kittens. Along with cats, Lisa had rabbits and chinchillas.
To support herself, Lisa jumped into the legal corporate world at a young age. When she moved to Tampa, Lisa continued her career in the legal corporate world. After many years at fast-paced, demanding jobs, Lisa decided that it was time for a change and to finally follow her true passion.
When Lisa came across WestFetch’s post on Indeed, it was a no-brainer to apply. Upon seeing WestFetch, Lisa felt like she was home and knew this was where she wanted to be. “I always thought that a doggy day care should feel like home not only to the dog, but to the human too.” Lisa says that the best part of the job is all the doggy kisses, giving belly rubs and having them crawl into your lap for a nap. “It always makes me laugh when the bigger pups pretend they are little lap dogs. It’s adorable!”
Lisa currently lives in the Land O Lakes area with her husband, Jay, her rescue dogs, Sahara, a Blackmouth Cur mix, and Meatball, a pit bull and three rescue cats Bessie, Jessie, and Pickles. Lisa has her Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Human Services, Associates degree in Business Management and Certificate of Completion in Natural Health Care for Pets. She enjoys volunteering twice a week at Elizabeth’s Animal Rescue and Sanctuary (E.A.R.S.) in Odessa, FL.