Core Value’s

June 30, 2023
Barks & Recreation Core Values

Barks & Recreation Core Values

Who we are and why we do it

Elizabeth with a pack in 2019

Whether you’re a long-time dog walking 🦮 or small pet 🐱🐇🐹🐥 care client of Barks & Recreation, a pet parent who is looking for a professional to walk, play, or care for their four legged family members, or you’re just learning about us and weighing your options for pet care, we are eager to share with you what fuels our passion for getting up and out there every day to love and celebrate the fur families of Southeastern Connecticut. It all started 5 years ago with a fanny pack and a dream!

Barks & Recreation was started in November of 2018 by our founder, Elizabeth.  After a long career in corporate America, Elizabeth was given the opportunity to run a non-profit animal rescue for a few years before she started Barks & Recreation.  Between the two jobs, she had acquired many of the skills needed to start her own business doing all the things she loves: working with animals ✅, providing an excellent customer experience ✅, and leading a fun and engaged team ✅. As the business and our team grew, Elizabeth used this experience to expand upon her skills as a business-owner, and most importantly, the leader of a team of fellow pet-lovers who joined Barks & Rec with top-notch pet care as our greatest passion and priority.

Guiding everything Elizabeth and her team does are the Barks & Recreation mission statement (what we do) and our Core Values (who we are).  We turn to these values and statements anytime we need to make a decision.  Our core values are at the heart of all of our decisions.

Mission Statement: 

We support pet parents in giving their pets their best lives by providing exercise, stimulation, socialization, and love. We aim to eliminate pet parent guilt & build meaningful, lasting relationships with the pets & pet parents we serve.

Core Values

Best Interest of the pets, Integrity, Resourceful, Delight, Growth

Our Core Value statement

We are a RESOURCEFUL team of problem-solvers who work cohesively to support & DELIGHT the Pet Parents and Fur Families we serve, always acting in the BEST INTEREST OF THE PETS we care for.  We pride ourselves on our INTEGRITY and are committed to GROWTH as a company and individuals.

Best Interest of the pets

Let’s start off at the center of everything we do; Acting in the Best Interest of all the pets we care for. 

The Best Interest of the Pet is at the heart ❤️ of each of our core values, and we ensure we are living up to this in every way. During the pandemic, we started doing virtual consultations 💻 to provide a contact-free way to learn all we needed to learn about each client’s home and their pets. This was so well received that we have made virtual consultations a standard part of our new client onboarding process. We record 📹 all of our consultations, as it’s in the best interest of the pets for anyone that will be on their care team to watch the recording and “be” at the consultation. This means when our Pet Care Specialists visit your home 🏡, they already know where your pets will be, how they will act with us, where their equipment is 🦮, the best place to take them for their neighborhood walk, solo trail hike, playdate, or pack hike and so much more! It’s better than any notes could convey! 📝

We also do tick checks 🔍, provide fresh water 💦, do body scans as we interact 🦮, and take note of any behavior changes that might indicate something is going on. We let our clients know when their pet has a lump, symptoms of a possible illness or infection, or anything thats a flag ⛳️ for concerning, unusual, or out of character behaviors. We are there to advocate for all the pets we care for and we always do what is best for the pets 🧡

At the center of everything we do is acting in the best interest of all the pets we care for.  As animal advocates we love helping pet parents give their pets their best life, and we care for their pets with the utmost attention to detail and love


Integrity is next up in our Core Values, and we ensure every person has it before joining the team!

We understand the responsibility of being in clients’ homes 🏠 and caring for their furry family members, and we value our clients’ trust, which is why innate integrity is a must to work with us.  Our seven step hiring process tests for integrity, along with all of our core values, but integrity is most significantly considered in candidates since it is not something that can be taught; you either have it or you don’t. It is our policy to always be honest and transparent, both within our company and with our clients.  That means you will hear about anything out of the ordinary, regardless of how big or little it may seem.

Integrity also means we do what we say we will. One hundred percent of our more than 22,000 visits were completed as agreed upon, and the 60+ five star reviews ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from our clients are there so you don’t have to just take our word for it!

We are always honest & transparent, showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. We do the right thing because it’s who we are.


Resourcefulness is a must when working with animals!

Working with animals is often unpredictable: new situations and challenges pop up every day and we have to make decisions quickly.  Being resourceful means that we utilize all the tools at our disposal. Our software, Time To Pet, contains everything we need to know about the pets we care for and their homes. We refer to the recorded consultation and consultation notes to ensure each Pet Care Specialist is fully equipped with the knowledge they need to care for the pets in the way requested by their parents. We utilize two different pet care training platforms to ensure we are always up to date with the latest in pet care.  Our team communicates all day on our chat platform so if they run into uncertainty or a question while out with a pet, we can work as a team to use the past experiences we have with that particular pet, or the knowledge we collectively possess as a team, to answer the question or come to a solution.  As resourceful people, we see the many solutions to the situations that come up, and focus on the solutions and never the problems.  You could say we are glass (or kibble dish!) half-full kind of people.

We are curious, optimistic, and determined to find solutions in quick and clever ways to overcome any difficulties. We stay positive in the face of adversity and solve problems with creativity, openness, and growth in mind.


Of course you want to be delighted 😃!

We know your pets are going to have a good time with us and be delighted with the adventures 🥾 we go on, but it’s equally as important to us that you, as pet parents, are delighted by the care and attention we are providing.  One way we do that is with our Visit Care Reports.  Our visit care reports are a feature of our company that clients often feel most delighted by. 

After each visit with your pets you will receive this visit report (to your email or right to our app) and read all about what we did, how much we loved on your pet, and you’ll have a better understanding of how we are working hard at connecting and understanding each pet as we build a relationship with them! In this visit care report we’ll talk about what we did with your pets, the personality traits that we see, and we’ll also be sharing some great pictures of them having fun, and of course we let you know who did their business 💩, ate 🥘, or got medication 💊.  We love to love our clients, 2 or 4-legged, and hope you feel delighted along your journey with us.

We delight our clients by providing exceptional, attentive, detail-oriented, and loving connected care to all the pets we serve. We build deep and lasting connections with our clients and their pets, and delight pet parents with our above-and-beyond care and love!


Growth is key!

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been” – T.D. Jakes

Life is full of opportunities to grow 🌱, both as a company and as individuals, and we like to grab those moments and lean into them. We know that challenges help us to grow and be better and we actively seek out opportunities for growth. Every month, team members have a “Bark Back” (essentially a bidirectional feedback meeting) with a Support Squad team member to review how things are going and ensure we are all on the same page. The feedback goes in all directions, meaning these meetings are used to help both our Pet Care Specialists and our Support Squad grow! Additionally, everyone on our team completes new hire training that is more than 15 hours of online learning and another 15-20 hours in the field training with a Team Trainer to ensure they know and understand all of our policies and procedures (as we have plenty, that’s how we ensure a great experience!).  After their initial training, all team members  complete 30-90 minutes of continuing education every month.  

We love and appreciate direct and immediate feedback because we love and appreciate growth, both personally and professionally. We know that there is always room for improvement and actively seek out ways to be better.

Core Value’s Wrap Up

While our company is constantly growing and evolving to better meet the needs of our clients and their fur families and to stay on top of the latest and greatest in pet care, these core values are the steady and consistent principles that motivate us and keep us focused on our mission as devoted pet care experts, even through periods of change and development. When you put your trust in Barks & Recreation you can rest assured that these core values guide everything we do each day and that in accordance with these values and our mission, we are committed to upholding the standards you’ve come to expect as we have the opportunity to love and care for your beloved pets. 

Warm Wags,

Elizabeth and the pack at Barks & Rec