Meet The Owner…

Hillary Rich

Owner & Sr. VP, Belly Rub Operations


Meet Hillary RichHillary is originally from New York, where, as a little girl, she rescued her first kitten.

That kitten was promptly named Pepsi because Hillary had decided that Pepsi would become best friends with the cat of a close family friend, whose name was…

…you guessed it! Coke!

As it turned out, Coke was a bit of a loner and Pepsi got tired of always having to pick the kibble on movie night, so the friendship was short lived. Hillary’s love for animals, however, was clear even way before the Coke & Pepsi debacle of 1978.

The pet store at the local mall served as a surrogate babysitter for Hillary’s mother. Hillary would stand, for what seemed like hours, in front of the glass wall that housed all the puppies and kittens for sale, hoping to make eye contact with just one.

She was literally mesmerized by the abundance of cuteness in front of her. Her mom knew she could set Hillary up in front of that glass wall, go return her dress at Macy’s, pick up the latest Linda Ronstandt album at Sam Goody, and thirty minutes later, Hillary would be right where she left her.

Prior to making Cary, North Carolina her home in 2003, Hillary lived in San Francisco, where she volunteered at the San Francisco S.P.C.A. as a cat & dog socializer, as well as an adoption counselor.

It was the San Francisco S.P.C.A. that brought Hillary together with the two kitty loves of her life, Charlie & Chelsea, when they were just ten weeks old. Charlie turned 17 years old this year and just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. Sadly, Hillary and Charlie lost their beloved Chelsea to kitty lymphoma in 2014.

While Charlie is clearly the one in charge, Hillary, and her husband, Jim, also share their home with Ollie, a very hyper Jack Russell Terrier; Sammy, a slightly less hyper West Highland Terrier; and Lacy, a beautiful, pure white kitty that they rescued as a 6 month old kitten so Charlie’s could have a new BFF. Lacy will be turning two this year and has grown quite a bit since Hillary and Jim brought her home from The Durham Animal Shelter on Halloween day 2014. They are currently in negotiations to have her name legally changed to Lady McButter Fat or Fatty McButter Pants. Decisions…..Decisions……

Hillary graduated with a degree in Communications from the State University of New York at Cortland. After spending more than 20 years in “corporate America,” and never feeling professionally fulfilled, something had to give. Prior to launching Best in Show Pet Sitting, Hillary was a Healthcare Finance Analyst with UnitedHealthcare. As her 10 year anniversary with the company approached, Hillary got her “blessing in disguise” in the form of a lay-off.

At long last, Hillary knew this was the right time to pursue her dream of working with animals for a living. A big thanks goes out to Janie Ebner with Love’m & Leave’m Pet Sitting in Durham. Janie hired Hillary as a pet sitter and midday dog walker and really showed her the ropes of the business. Hillary dove right in and very quickly knew professional pet sitting and dog walking was the career for her.