Several months ago our family contacted Little Critters—Shauna Norton—to discuss the many major problems that we were having with our 15 month old toy poodle mix, named Joy. Joy had food, toy and people aggression. She was extremely aggressive with all but one of our family members. Joy would growl and snap daily at the children. Because of the fear we had regarding the safety of our three children, and potential visitors, we needed to make a commitment to retrain ourselves to help Joy become a loving family dog. We also made a decision that if this effort was not successful, we would have to place Joy up for adoption.

Shauna was able to teach us techniques and training skills to help Joy understand she is loved but is a dog . . . not a human. With commitment and consistency we were able to train Joy to wait for her food and toys. Joy is now able to come when called and sit and stay when asked. She no longer growls or snaps at the children. She is rewarded with treats and much praise.

Shauna has made a huge difference in our lives and the lives of our pets.


Douglas and Janice Richardson

Testimonial #2We have worked with several pet sitters and trainers and it is such a delight to find both in one amazing person. Shauna Norton started walking our two Havanese when my oldest, Jasper (who is not even three), was going through a difficult time. The only way to describe it is that he was depressed. We will never be sure what set him off—he has been reserved on and off for his whole little life—but this was different. He was a blue, blue dog, but since working with Shauna on obedience, along with some dietary changes, my boy is a happy puppy again.

Shauna uses traditional training methods but modifies them for each dog and each person. She will go home, think about the problem, and come back the next time with something else to try. What I appreciate most about Shauna is she takes each personality, both the pet’s and the human’s, into consideration. The training methods are only a starting point for her.

Shauna also walks Jasper and Cash when we are both at work. Again, I have to say I have noticed a huge difference in both dogs’ attitude since we made the switch from another pet sitter. Shauna is gentle and loving, and the dogs just know they must love and respect her back. And love her they do.

Shauna is reliable, very flexible, and amazingly loving and honest. I trust her with keys to our house and more importantly with my boys. She has become a vital part of our pack.

M & M, Framingham

Testimonial #3Shauna has made such a difference for all the members of our family, and we found her at just the right time. We have two Labrador Retrievers, Rosco and Gino, who would have failed regular puppy classes because when they saw another dog they went crazy, licking and sniffing them. We tried to train them on our own, but soon came to realize how out-of-control the situation had become when we were practically wrestling the dogs to protect any visitors to our home.

That’s when Shauna came into our lives—she quickly assessed the situation and made recommendations that yielded fast results. She set up training sessions for Rosco and Gino individually, three days a week; however, she quickly realized that they needed to be crated and trained separately. We watched Gino’s confidence grow, and saw how Rosco was becoming more obedient. Shauna started training them on basic obedience skills, and the dogs became easier to control each week.

At the end of the first year, Rosco and Gino are completely different dogs. They listen to commands, come when called, and thanks to Shauna, they can find their way home if they ever become lost. An important aspect of their training came with the weekly meetings. Shauna sets them up to teach us how to train the dogs, go over our progress, assess the next step in training, and address any other issues that may arise.

Scheduling has been a dream with Shauna. She will change her visit days based on what is best for us, even up to the night before. (She has also come to let us in when we locked ourselves out of the house, but that is another story!) We almost needed her for an emergency vacation sitter, and she was able to make herself available three days before we were leaving to petsit for the week we were gone. She made an extremely frantic time trouble-free.

Shauna is also flexible with pricing. We could not believe she charged by time and not by the number of dogs. This enabled us to have one-to-one training for both dogs in our home rather than having to bring them to a class. Over the course of the year, Shauna has accommodated our needs by offering various pricing options. There were times when we could afford more visits, and times when we could not, but Shauna was flexible enough to allow the dogs to get the training they needed at a price we could afford.

We now have control over the dynamic duo, and can bring them to places such as Faneuil Hall, the North End, and the pet store. Rosco and Gino love Shauna and so do we!


Andrea and Antonio Galante

For more than six years, I have depended on Shauna Norton and Little Critters Training & Care to care for my three indoor cats, my plants, and in general, watch over my home when I travel. My work often takes me away two or three times a month, and often for periods of a week or more.

Shauna and her staff have consistently been available to meet my schedule—often with very little advance notice. More importantly, they have developed such a warm and trusting relationship with my pets that sometimes I think the cats hardly miss me when I’m away!

An important factor for someone who travels as much I do is knowing that the individuals coming into your home each day are not only caring and trustworthy, but are also alert to their surroundings and watching for sign of anything out of the ordinary. Several years ago, while I was on an extended trip in mid-winter, Shauna arrived at my home and noted that it was unusually cold. She investigated and found that the pilot light had gone out on my furnace. She not only called my emergency contact person, but agreed to stay at the house until my friend could get there—in this case, a matter of hours. In the interim, she located a service number on the furnace and decided to call them for advice. By the time my friend arrived, Shauna—with telephone assistance from the furnace repair service—had reignited the pilot light and had the situation under control. Had Shauna not been alert to the change in temperature—or had she chosen to ignore it—my pipes would have frozen and it is likely that the temperature would have eventually dropped so low that my cats would have suffered or worse.

Petsitting is a difficult and demanding business, and turnover of staff can be particularly difficult for the business owner. Shauna has worked hard to make sure that her clients don’t suffer when she loses a staff person or someone is out sick. She regularly steps in to cover commitments—often resulting in long hours and days without a break for her.

I am pleased to write this letter of support for Little Critters and the quality of their work.


Kathy Savesky

Shauna Norton of Little Critters Training & Care has been working with me and Charley ever since I got him at eight weeks of age. Charley is now an adult, well-adjusted Yellow Lab. I can’t imagine what raising him would be like without Shauna’s care and guidance. Through her daily notes, Shauna has guided me through the joys and heartaches of raising Charley.

Before I even asked Shauna to help care for Charley, she was offering her expertise, suggesting reading material and counseling me on how to choose the right breeder. I made up my mind at that point to ask Shauna to care for my dog once I chose the puppy that was right for me.

Shauna has a love for animals and their welfare that comes shining through. She is dependable and flexible, which has been such a godsend. I’m not sure where Charley and I would be at this point if Shauna wasn’t there guiding us through every step of the way. I’m sure I would have much less furniture and might be missing a finger or two!

I highly recommend Shauna to anyone who is in need of a dog walker, petsitter, and trainer, or even for general advice, without any reservations. I entrust the most important aspect of my life to her: my dog Charley.


Jennifer Callaghan

Testimonial #5I would like to give my highest recommendation to Shauna Norton and Little Critters Training & Care. We hired Shauna as a dog walker for our Lab puppy Cosmo nine years ago. More recently we adopted a second dog, and Shauna has been both a walker and a trainer for him as well.

I can recommend Shauna for several reasons. First, it is very clear that she loves the dogs and they love her. She never hesitates to contact us if she feels something is out-of-the-ordinary. Second, she has been very flexible. Our schedules tend to be hectic and are subject to change on short notice. Shauna has graciously adjusted her schedule to meet our changing needs. Finally, she is a professional. I recall that during the interview process, Shauna was the only dog walker who sat down with us, explained her philosophy and clearly identified the guidelines that she and her employees would use when visiting the house and working with the dogs.

I was impressed and I have not been disappointed.


Jackie Foster


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