CHARLOTTE – Lake Norman Pet Sitting helped raise $1,585 for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s SWAT Canine Unit.

It all started when a colleague mentioned to Huntersville resident Leanne Kinsella that she had seen a national organization on the news that needed bulletproof vests.

Kinsella, director of market development for Charlotte-based print company Classic, decided rather than raise money for a national organization, she’d call local police units, specifically those with SWAT Canine units, to see if there was a need.

CMPD Officer Matt Yoder told Kinsella that while his department had a generous donation last year from a Charlotte corporation and were “all set” on bulletproof vests, two of the dogs needed harness systems that canines wear when going into dangerous situations.

The harness systems are expensive and tailored specifically to CMPD’s needs.

Getting buy-in from her pet sitter, Paulette DeRonda of Lake Norman Pet Sitting, they set out to raise donations with a goal of having the money by April 30.

Mid-way through April, she and DeRonda contacted Yoder to share the news that the donations had flooded in.

This isn’t the first time that Lake Norman Pet Sitting has performed community service.

DeRonda, of Huntersville, collected dog food, old dishes and towels from clients to donate to the Cornelius Animal Shelter over the holidays.

DeRonda is celebrating Lake Norman Pet Sitting’s one-year anniversary this month. Prior to working with animals, she spent several years employed in the banking and insurance industries.

“Dogs, cats and animals have always been a passion of mine since I was a kid,” DeRonda said. “Before, I didn’t have the support that I needed to go out on my own and do my own business.”



Want to learn more?

• Lake Norman Pet Sitting offers offers home visits, dog walking and petting sitting services. Details: or 704-438-9793.

• Classic, an Imagine! Print Solutions Company, with projected earnings of $280 million, supports Fortune 500 companies nationally. Details: