Dog-sitting entrepreneur gets human, canine gratitude

Published on Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:35
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

NEWINGTON - For the past 5½ years, Christina Bengston has been living her dream job.

That’s when she founded The Great Crate Escape, a Newington-based pet-sitting and dog-walking service that has grown leaps and bounds in the time since.

A lifelong animal lover and pet owner, Bengston adores caring for other peoples’ animals.

That’s how it all started - because a neighbor asked her if she wouldn’t mind feeding and walking their dog midday, while she was at work.

Word of mouth soon spread and the business took off from there.

So why would she rather spend her days with furry friends than people?

“When people ask me why I do this, I say, ‘Every time I walk into the house or open a crate they are just so happy to see you,’ ” she explained. “I love that.”

But she doesn’t work alone. Several other pet-sitters and dog-walkers represent The Great Crate Escape. Bengston chooses her staff carefully, and can vouch for their trustworthiness and reliability. They are entering other people’s homes, of course.

“I’m very particular with who I hire,” she pointed out. “People are allowing us to come into their homes and take care of their pets, so trust is huge with us.”

Most of their clients are in Newington, but staff will travel to surrounding towns.

While some pet owners book visits just a few times a year when they are away on vacation or a business trip, other families need the service more regularly, to suit their work or school schedule.

And since visiting two homes in the same neighborhood cuts down on Bengston’s transportation costs and saves time, she offers neighbor-to-neighbor discounts.

She is also fully insured, a Certified Professional Pet Sitter, a volunteer with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation and a member of Pet Sitters International.

For more information on The Great Crate Escape, visit Contact Christina by phone or email to set up a meet and greet at 860-306-7607 or

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Business, General News, Newington on Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:35. Updated: Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:37.