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10th Anniversary

Mike’s Pet Care


Instagram: mikespetcare

Mike Russell has been looking after Barkley, this Akita breed, for his friend for some time. Photo: Eric Heinz

In January, Michael Russell will celebrate 10 years of business in San Clemente. The animal technician turned care provider said he worked at an animal hospital for years before deciding to branch out into his own venture.

Russell said he offers pet care as well as medical assistance—anything from walking a pet to overnight stays to giving animals their daily medication.

Russell said he credits the longevity of his business to being honest and “treating people right.”

“I offer something that’s a little unique, but that’s taken a while to get going because you have to make strong relationships with veterinarians,” Russell said. “You have to do the marketing well to be seen.”

Russell said it’s impossible to know how many animals he’s cared for over the years, but he said he’s completed at least 15,000 appointments.

“I’m fairly consistent now, and I see about 200 appointments a month, work seven days a week and I bring a lot to the table,” he said.

Russell said he also works with some exotic animals. He said the most challenging aspect of his work is when an animal he cares for dies.

“You’re not just apathetic to the situation; you bond with the animals,” he said.

Russell runs his operation on his own. Over the next 10 years, he said he wants to continue his business but not necessarily expand.

“I’m making a decent living and helping a lot of people in town,” he said.

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