Meet Shawna Gibson of Shaw’s Pet Services, our new guest contributor. Courtesy Facebook

As part of the Weekly’s annual Creature Comforts, we’re introducing the inaugural edition of a new feature for pet advice from Shawna Gibson.  Welcome to Critter Corner!

Guest contributor Shawna Gibson from SHAW’S Paws Pet Services (@FetchPetSit, 817-296-1769) has been caring for their own (and other people’s) furkids for more than 14 years. Her Fort Worth-based business offers doggie daycare, daily walks, overnight boarding, and wellness checks. Translation: She’s seen it all.

On an ongoing basis, we will be publishing Shawna’s answers to your questions. (Think: Dear Abby.)  To kick things off, yours truly has a question.

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Question: In light of the recent unfortunate happenings with a boarding facility in Arlington mishandling some pets, which led to some animals perishing, what is the best way to vet (no pun intended) a potential boarding facility for your pets? Given that reviews can be manipulated or faked, what do our readers need to know? -Jennifer, Concerned Staffer

Answer: I would encourage clients to speak to their veterinarians and groomers. Ask who they would refer outside themselves. Who do their clients use? Would they be comfortable sharing information? Facebook groups like area neighborhoods may have great suggestions, too, good or bad. Look for the places that have been suggested to you on Facebook, see if you have friends among their followers, and read the previous posts. Then, narrow it down to your top three choices and call to ask for a free day of play. That way, both the parent and guest get a face to face prior to boarding. Short answer? Referrals from friends (in real life and on Facebook) are the best.

Readers, do you have questions of your own? Please email

Enjoy all the pages of this year’s Creature Comforts issue from nose to tail, cover to cover, in a magazine flipbook format here.