Photo by Honest Paws on Unsplash

PetsRN, a new Silicon Valley company, is transforming the way pet health services are delivered.

Bret Waters
3 min readNov 12, 2020


In the past twenty years, many business sectors have been transformed, but veterinary services are pretty much the same as they’ve always been. Some big consolidators like VCA have bought-up a bunch of local veterinarians, but the way services are delivered hasn’t changed much. Your dog gets a foxtail in their nose, you call the vet to make an appointment, you get put on hold. Finally you get an appointment, hustle the dog into the car, drive to the vet, sit in the waiting room, and finally get shown into the examination room where the vet removes the foxtail.

You’re a hundred dollars poorer, and the dog is now traumatized.

Sandra Schatz, founder and CEO of PetsRN, has a different approach. She’s a licensed veterinary nurse and she delivers in-home, on-demand care. Her clients know they can text her anytime and she’ll come over, delivering everything from basic wellness advice to post-surgical care, from weight management to chronic disease issues and, (eventually) end-of-life care.

I often say that many great ventures are founded by an entrepreneur who notices a problem worth solving. The problem that Sandra noticed was a “skills-gap” in pet care. There are veterinarians who provide highly-skilled medical care in clinics, and then there are pet sitters who will come to your house and watch your pet. Sandra saw the need for a new category — a veterinarian nurse who can provide skilled services to fill that gap. Someone who can provide a higher standard of care in the comforts of home. Someone available on-demand via text or video. Someone who is able to talk to your vet, get all the medical information, and help you to understand it and deliver great care to your pet.

Sandra now has a thriving business in the San Francisco Bay Area — in fact, she has more business than she can handle. So now she’s taking it to the next level, turning PetsRN into a nationwide service. If you’re a pet owner in Denver, and you need on-demand in-home pet care, you’ll be able to use the new PetsRN digital platform to quickly find the right qualified professional, available now. Similarly, if you are a veterinary technician anywhere in the country, you can become PetsRN-certified and the platform will be matching you with new clients and awesome pets.

The market size for this is huge — American consumers spend nearly $100 billion/year on their pets (my wife and I certainly contribute to this). And the PetsRN concept is well-aligned with the expectations that consumers have today; expectations driven by Uber, Instacart, and DoorDash.

We all love our pets. With PetsRN, Sandra is delivering to us what matters most — qualified in-home care for our pets, on-demand, when we need it. Sandra is an entrepreneur who is filling a skills-gap, keeping our pets happy and healthy. Soon she’ll be rolling it out nationally, on a new digital platform.



Bret Waters

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Accelerator, and mentor startups at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.


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