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About Us

Susan Gibbons


Susan Gibbons started Sara's Legacy Pet Sitters / Dog Walkers in 2009 and named our business after my first dog. It has been wonderful getting to know and love so many of our local fur and feathered friends and their families. I will care for your friend and companion as I would care for my own. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and English. After college I went on to study animal communication and canine learning theories. Aside from dogs and cats I also have experience caring for birds, fish, ferrets, hamsters, frogs, lizards and guinea pigs.

There is no animal I do not love and I will love yours, too. 

Sara’s Legacy team members have experience with special needs pets; giving shots, medications, eye and ear drops plus. 

Lisa Swanson

Lisa Swanson grew up in a small farming community in Central Indiana.  She frequently worked on her grandfather’s farm with all kinds of animals.  Her love of animals grew always having a dog and or cat around for her entire childhood.  Lisa enjoyed a long career in commercial real estate, but always remained passionate about animals.

After moving out on her own, Lisa’s first dog was a 108lb Chow-Rottweiler mix named Sully.  Sully was her first “child” and developed a bond she never knew possible.  Lisa was married and soon had human children of her own- 2 very bright, athletic girls with fierce confidence who also share a love for animals.  Today, Lisa manages her daughter’s hockey, track and cross-country schedules along with providing loving care for a docile 130lb German Shepherd named Samson and a 75lb Lab-Pit rescue named Sunny.  Additionally, she cares for 4 guinea pigs- Chief, Sweet Pea, Emmylou and Milly.  Lisa loves animals and you can rest easy knowing that your pet will be loved and well taken care of while you are away. Many of our animal friends already LOVE Lisa!

Taryn Heaton

Taryn Heaton  has a way with animals and years of experience as a volunteer at both the humane society and horse rescue. Taryn also has over ten years of experience in the health industry, working as a nurse assistant and case manager. With a caring spirit and empathetic, heart she has also volunteered at homeless shelters. Taryn has boundless energy and looks forward to sharing her conscientious care with your furry loved ones. Taryn swims competitively and has the energy to keep up with even our most exuberant friends!

Taryn owns Aunt Taryn's Pet Care

Char Slater

Char Slater , a resident of Traverse City for over 40 years, recently retired from her position as career advisor for a non-profit agency. She now looks forward to a new career of caring for others furry loved ones. Char grew up around animals but didn’t become a pet parent until the 1990s. Her first love was a black lab mix dog named Bernie. Then, she acquired a shepherd mix named Maggie (pictured). Bernie and Maggie were great siblings and wonderful companions, sharing lots of long hikes with Char on the VASA trails.

Although Char currently does not share her life with a furry friend, she frequently has the pleasure of caring for her family and friends’ dogs and cats when they travel. Char says, “I will care for your animals like they are my own – with lots of love and kindness.” Char has already proven herself to be an invaluable addition to the team. “Char brings such warmth to those she visits,” relates Susan, “and she is meticulous about their care.”

Deb Johnson

Deb Johnson has been a resident of the Traverse City area for 45 years.  She retired after spending 28 years in a family practice office and owned and operated her own petsitting business in the early 2000’s.  After retiring, she also worked as an in home senior companion.  Deb has been an animal lover since childhood where she enjoyed a menagerie of dogs and cats in her home to care for and love while growing up.

Deb is the current proud owner of an 80 lb. chocolate lab (Pearl) and a 50 lb. field springer spaniel (Joey).  She believes that our furry friends are our most loyal companions and our greatest teachers, and that we are better people because of them.  She cares deeply about the comfort and well being of each and every pet in her charge and that meeting their individual needs while their owners are away gives her the greatest joy.

Deb is active in the Traverse Area Community Rowing club and loves to cross country ski on the Vasa Trail in the winter months.