Swooft opened in March of 2015 when Sarah Homan (founder) ran into a dilemma. She lived in far northwest Chicago and despite being within city limits, had very few options for pet care for her then 8yr old collie mix, Allie. Long work and commuting hours made it necessary to find a reliable daily dog walker and she was shocked at the limited options in her area, so she made it her mission to establish a loving, reliable, and professional pet care service for far northwest Chicago and the surrounding area. Sarah left her full-time job in technology recruiting in October of 2015 to continue to grow the business. Today, the mission and vision of Swooft has grown, focusing on providing the highest quality of pet care for families and a better quality of life for pets and their people.
Our quality as a company starts with our staff. We are proud of our team, including how we select, train, and treat them. Our Dog Walkers are all W2 employees, not independent contractors, and this is important to the quality of care our customers receive.
✖ No obligation to set work schedule
✖ Specific, temporary duration of contract
✖ Training not provided by hiring company
✖ Not eligible for paid time off, worker comp, or other employee benefits
✔ Predictable schedule with regular hours
✔ Employment is ongoing (unless resigned or terminated)
✔ Receives training and instruction
✔ Eligible for paid time off, mileage reimbursement, worker comp, and other employee benefits
Swooft is also a proud member of the Pet Industry Coalition, an industry organization that requires 100% legal compliance in all operations.
MEET OUR TEAM
Field Service Manager
Lisa is a wife and mother of two talented young ladies and two lovable pups, a German Shepherd and a Lab mix. She started out with S'wooft as a dog walker and within her first year was promoted to Office Manager due to her keen attention to detail, natural customer service, and unwavering care for all our fur clients. She is a licensed and practicing massage therapist, and originally came to S'wooft when she needed to reduce her client load following a significant wrist injury. She's a health and wellness nut and a true Jackie of all trades, adding value and improving the landscape in everything she does!
Diane recently returned to Chicago after spending 20yrs in North Carolina working in business administration and Human Resources. She has a soft spot for adopting dogs with disabilities. Following adoption of Sadie, a 13 year old blind and diabetic Collie/German Shephard mix who lived to be 16, Diane adopted Cheetah, a five year old three legged rescue Cockapoo. Professionally, Diane has a degree in Interior Design and her passion is for learning different forms of art. As a Human Resources manager for small businesses around the country, Diane is happy to work with and build in-person relationships with the team at S'wooft.
Kristine (“Kris”) has been working in high end retail for over 15 years and was looking for a change, specifically dog walking. She was seeking a fulfilling part-time role and up for the physical challenge of walking dogs of all sizes and temperaments. Her previous managers had great things to say about her reliability and punctuality, professionalism and customer service, and their ability to trust her with anything. They said she’s always been a leader among her peers and we were lucky to have her. She has always had dogs (several larger breeds) and lives right in our area!
Roger was born and raised in Chicago. He is a lifelong gamer (as you can see by his hat!) and movie enthusiast - he even worked at a GameStop for a few years to be surrounded by fellow gamers. Throughout his life he's cared for a number of dogs, cats, and even guinea pigs. His family has two mastiff mixes so he's no stranger to large breeds, and he shows an incredible amount of patience and support for our senior and special needs fur friends. It's that experience and innate love for animals that brought him to S'wooft and we're so happy to have him as part of our team!
Stacy holds a degree in healthcare administration and while that’s her primary career interest, she’s been keeping busy working as a logistics team member for a major retailer. She’s also been a nanny (and pet care provider for those families) and was thrilled to learn of the opportunity with S’wooft. Her references consistently spoke to her work ethic ("shows up early, stays late, ‘get things done’ kinda girl”), her personality (everyone thinks and speaks highly of her), and her care for pets, kids, and customers alike. Stacy is also the proud mama of a (human) teenage son and a Yorkie/Shi Tzu.
Katherine is an NIU graduate who grew up in the NW Chicago area and has worked in accounting for many years. She's the mother of an active sports family (with 4 kids) and enjoys watching their games. She also enjoys biking, traveling, reading books, and taking Bailey (her Lhasa Apso) for daily walks in the neighborhood and Uptown area. Katherine loves animals, especially dogs, and enjoys getting to know each individual pup's personality.
Blanca is the proud mother of two daughters (ages 9 and 6) and is a Certified Medical Assistant. Despite earning her degree, Blanca decided to be a stay at home mom to provide the best possible care for her kids and to not miss their early childhood milestones. After they were well into elementary, she was looking for something part-time that she could enjoy while still being available to pick them up from school each day, so her love for pets led her to S'wooft! Blanca also enjoys decorating and baking for parties and family gatherings, and spending time with her two dogs Sunny and Koke.
Josh is a Honduran expat and flight attendant based in Chicago. Josh has always had a passion for dogs and cats. In fact, if he had it his way, Josh would have two basset hounds and two cats living at home with him. Due to the travel nature of his job, he can’t have any pets of his own, therefore walking for S'wooft gives him the opportunity to have his necessary puppy fix. When Josh is not traveling the world or walking your fur babies, he enjoys singing opera, playing violin, and taking care of over 100 tropical plants in his Chicago apartment.
Kelly is a native Floridian who loves to scuba dive, travel, and watch baseball. She comes from a family of pet lovers and grew up with a rotating menagerie of dogs, cats, gerbils, rabbits, birds and even a chinchilla. She's a pet parent to Pickle, an energetic Beagle/basset/blue heeler mix. Kelly is a professional mascot performer and spent 12 years in the MLB (Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays) and the NHL (Tampa Bay Lightning). When she's not walking dogs she's performing for The Chicago Dogs baseball team in Rosemont. Come check out a game! www.thechicagodogs.com
Skip was born and raised in Southern California and recently moved to Chicago to pursue a B.S. in Business and in Political Science at DePaul. Skip grew up with two pugs, but has experience with all dog sizes, and has a genuine love for pets and pet care. He also has previous management experience within the food industry, so S'wooft is glad to welcome him to our management staff. When not hanging out with dogs or studying, Skip enjoys being a fan of the New York Mets and exploring Chicago’s food scene.
Nicole has a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies from the University of Northern Iowa where she played all 4 years of soccer. She is currently going back to school to complete her Paralegal Studies Certification. She has 2 dogs whom she adores; a Yorkie named Gizmo and a Morkie named Rocco. Nicole has always loved dogs and when she 's not walking a fur friend, she is busy working as an Intake Coordinator/Project Manager for Adoption Choices, where she helps Adoptive Families and Birth Mothers in creating adoption plans, shepherding them through the adoption process. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling , attending concerts, cheering on her Chicago Bears, rehabbing recycled furniture and goods, and spending time with her loved ones.
Karla was born and raised in rural Arizona loving on bunnies and dogs that her family raised. She spent most of her childhood summers on her uncle's dairy farm, helping with daily chores and loving on the barn kitties and all the cows! She attended college in Indiana and moved to Chicago right after graduation. She's been living in Chicago for 8 years, and recently started an allergy friendly bakery focusing on gluten free and vegan baked and savory goods. She does pop ups all around the city and is currently opening a storefront!
Erik lives with his wife in Arlington Heights and was looking for a part-time role that would get him out of "corporate America" and into something he would personally enjoy. He is also focused on building up his student base for music lessons (guitar/bass). Erik grew up with a WIDE range of dog breeds all his life and has taken care of pets for several friends and family members, including some pets with special health or behavioral needs.
Heather was born and raised on Chicago's South Side. She pursued a career in mixology that spanned just under a decade, then went on to become a certified cicerone after she fell in love with the world/culture of craft beer. After moving to the north side in 2019 she decided to follow her dream of going back to school and has been working toward a degree in communications. She has always loved animals so S'wooft was a great fit for her while in school. Heather is a very energetic, young at heart individual who is known for her fun-loving spirit.
DeMontré received his BA in International Relations from Centre College, where he participated in several extra-curriculars including football and track/field. DeMontré works security at a local bar on the evenings and weekends, focusing the rest of his time studying for the LSAT. He was seeking daytime work that was both financially sustainable and emotionally rewarding, which is what brought him to S’wooft. He is an all-weather bicyclist with experience with animals (including a cat of his own, Atticus). He is personable, responsible, detail-oriented, and has an energetic spirit.
Paige is a Loyola University graduate with a passion for ceramics and pets. While she’s following her major/degree focus of ceramics by building her ceramics studio and business, she also wanted something more active and structured during the day. She saw walking with S’wooft as the perfect fit for both her love of fur babies and her logistical needs, and we’re glad to benefit from her professional experience in pet care. In addition to being a lifelong pet owner (currently with a German Shepard mix and a Pomeranian), Paige worked at a nearby animal hospital for a couple years and has been doing in home pet sitting since about 2006.
Michael worked with a dog walking company for about 3.5 years (further downtown) and really enjoyed his full walking route each day, as well as assisting with training of new staff members, both for handling skills and tech orientation. He was frustrated with the constant turnover of ownership/management, so when they also transitioned to more of a tech than a service company, he left to look for a more stable “home” in the dog walking world. He’s an all-season bicyclist and the first of our S’wooft bike squad!
Sid recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Social Work. After working in a crisis shelter for about a year, they felt they needed a break from such a high-stress work environment. When seeking out jobs, they fell back on their love for animals. When they aren’t walking dogs, they’re volunteering at their local cat shelter, curling up with a good book, or hanging out with their two cats at home, Teddy and Goober.