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State Licensed, Insured, Bonded, Professional Certification

The Owner

Joanna Taylor
Owner and Certified Professional Pet Sitter

Thank you for your interest in learning more about Mountain Pets. When you 'contact us', you are communicating directly with Joanna Taylor as the business owner and your professional pet sitter. 
Pet Sitting Beginnings
The short story of how I started Mountain Pets began following a rewarding 30-year career with a federal wildlife conservation agency. It had become time to formalize what I loved to do for and work with animals and build trusting relationships with their owners. It is indeed a part-time labor of love for me. I began dog boarding in 2017 and established a full-service pet sitting business two years later to include farm and sitting in the State College area in Pennsylvania. Mountain Pets is the culmination of the breadth of my 30 plus years of experience, knowledge, training and love I have for a variety of animals. While my intent is to "keep it small", I am fully engaged in continued learning and building professional pet care options for farm and pet owners.
Dog Experience
My parents instilled in me that life without a dog in the house is not an option. As a young adult, I researched dog breeds and decided that I had a strong interest in Australian Shepherds and I got my first puppy at age 24, raised three litters and am on my forth Aussie now. I began boarding dogs in 2017, and through this have had the unique fortune of getting to know the individual characteristics of many, many dog breeds, some of which I had never heard of before. Over the past eight years of boarding dogs, I have become exceptionally skilled in assessing dog behaviors and temperments. Alongside of this, I continue to learn best practices through dog-specific training courses and networking with other dog professionals. I have gained an extraordinary amount of insight into managing multiple dogs together in a home environment and in off leash situations. I have built my business around this with the goal of offering clients a different option than what is available at traditional kennels or at a family members house. 
Bird Experience
As a child I had my own parakeets and lovebirds in my bedroom and learned very quickly that sleeping IN with birds is not an option. However, most of my critical bird experience was gained early in my adult career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, first as an animal caretaker and then a biological technician. There, I worked in the captive propagation research group for endangered birds, including whooping cranes, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, Andean condors, vultures, masked bobwhite quail and chickens. I cared for and handled a variety of birds on a daily basis, assisted with veterinary health checks and emergencies and performed artificial insemination. I managed a chicken flock for surrogate incubation of endangered crane eggs and managed the breeding flock of endangered masked bobwhite quail, producing and rearing approximately 3000 chicks per year for release back into the wild. This work gave me a one-of-a-kind foundation for bird care. I began offering bird boarding through my business a year ago and am completely set up to house and care for a variety of pet birds and continue to take bird-related training.  
Horse Experience
I began riding horses at seven years old and volunteered at a large Appaloosa horse farm until I was thirteen, spending weekends on the care crew; feeding, turning out and bringing in horses, mucking stalls and assisting with horse breeding by handling the mares. I became a horse owner at age thirteen and acquired my second horse in my twenties. I owned both horses for their entire lives and moved them around with me across the country. At times I worked for reduced board to make it work and other times I kept them with me at my home and managed their daily care. Besides the breadth of experience I received at that Appaloosa farm as a child, I learned so much about horses as the health of my own two began to fail due to old age. My horse ownership chapter closed in 2019 and I am now focused on leveraging my horse-related knowledge, skills and abilities to offer care for people who have a difficult time finding experienced and reliable care options.
Below are a few more details about my qualifications. I am happy to provide personal and/or client references on request. Thank you for your time.
Pet Sitting Certifications                       
Professional Memberships
Animal-related Experience
  • 40 years of horse ownership and horse farm management
  • 30 years of owning and breeding Australian Shepherds
  • 30 years of cat ownership
  • 10 years of owning freshwater aquariums, pet birds and rabbits​​
Mountain Pets owner with a Yorkie on her lap
Mountain Pets owner with a spaniel on the porch
Mountain Pets owner holding a whooping crane
Mountain Pets owner and one of her horses

Mountain Pets

The home at Mountain Pets
House in the Field

Mountain Pets physical location is our home and is located on 200-acres within the beautiful Bald Eagle Valley in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania. We serve clients in the State College area and throughout Centre County.

A pet care business that prides itself in offering a private, kennel-free dog boarding experience, homestyle bird and small animal boarding and professional farm sitting care at your own farm and home. A combination of services not commonly found. 

The amenities on our 200 acre property really make this a dog paradise and offers your dog their own vacation while you are on vacation or away on a trip. We board no more than 2-3 dog clients at a time and do not have any kennels/cages on the property. Boarded dogs are integrated into our home and routine and are treated just like our own house dogs. In addition to a 1-1/2-mile lane walk, we maintain hiking paths throughout the property for dog walks and have a pond and small creeks running through for swimming or cooling off on those hot summer days.

Mountain Pets is licensed with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement as a boarding kennel, License # 17360, K Class BK1. Kennel licenses are required by anyone who boards at least 26 dogs per calendar year for compensation. As a licensed boarding kennel (their term), the Bureau performs 3 unannounced inspections per year.

Mountain Pets holds general liability insurance by a pet sitting insurance company and includes care, custody and control coverage. Care, Custody or Control (CCC) Coverage is the key ingredient to insuring a pet sitter. This provides coverage for the client's pets and personal property in the pet sitters care, custody or control - which includes pets while in transport in a vehicle, pet taxi and other means. We are also bonded to provide you with peace of mind while you are granting me home and farm access. Proof of clear criminal background checks with the FBI and state of Pennsylvania are maintained and available on request.

Mountain Pets was founded as an LLC in April 2019 and we moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania in November 2019. The physical location for the business is our residence, so we are not open to the public except by appointment for dog boarding clients. Joanna Taylor is the owner and operates the business as a solo professional pet sitter with no additional staff.

Our Dogs

If your dog comes to Mountain Pets for overnight boarding, daycare or a play date, he or she will be engaging with and probably become good buds with our two Australian Shepherds. I couldn't do what I do without their help!


Hi. I get along super well with other dogs, assume the role of silent leader with guest dogs. I am well socialized but have healthy boundaries and don't like drama queens. I'm great friends with Toby. We play hard together but I am reserved with guest dogs until I get to know them better. On walks, I'm either trying to keep up with Toby or walking beside my mom.

  • Australian Shepherd

  • Spayed female

  • 12 years old

  • 50 pounds



Hey there. I was adopted through Australian Shepherds Furever rescue and I couldn't have landed at a better place. I am great buds with Gabby and get along well with other dogs too. On the trails, I'm out there leading the way! I'm quite the outdoors fella and love exploring the woods. 

  • Mini American Shepherd

  • Neutered male

  • 7 years old

  • 20 pounds


Licenses, Certifications & Professional Affiliations

Pet Sitters International logo
Certified-Professional-Pet-Sitter Badge
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture logo
Pet First Aid & CPCR Badge
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