About Us

Christie with her beloved dog, Dexter.

Christie with her beloved dog, Dexter.

The Barks Story

Barks and Recreation was founded by Christie VanHorne after she recognized the need in Dutchess County for a professional pet sitting service with a personal touch. Christie grew up on a family dairy farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and has been an avid animal lover her entire life. If her husband would allow it, she would have a backyard full of chickens, goats and rescue dogs. Christie worked for a dog walking and pet service business called Canine Walkers during her time as a graduate student in Melbourne, Australia, and she loved it.

Christie is an active member of the Dutchess County community, she has worked in the public health/nonprofit sector for over 10 years. She is a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), sits on the United Way Health Council and Community Impact Council.  In 2015, Christie was named AAUW's Emerging Leader and she has recently joined the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce Women's Leadership Alliance. She is dedicated to providing quality care for your pets, and improving the community we live in!

Why Use Barks?

Barks and Recreation offers customer conveniences you won't find with other pet sitters and dog walkers. All of our clients have their own personal pet portal where you can access information on visits, receive updates after each visit with your pet, and pay invoices. We also except credit cards. And the peace of mind...

Peace of Mind

We are proud members of Pet Sitters International.

Barks and Recreations is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) that is  fully bonded and insured. You and your pets are in safe hands with us!   

Barks and Recreation has completed the Pet First Aid and Disaster Response Training through Health-Quest. Christie is prepared to care for your pets before, during and after an emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, pet CPR, caring for possible wounds, choking and checking for vital signs in the heat and cold. We are dedicated to providing the best possible care of your beloved pets.

Coverage Area

We provide service to Dutchess County residents living in Poughkeepsie and Wappingers Falls. 


Barks and Recreation is open 7 days a week to meet the needs of your pets while you are away. We do our best to accommodate visits year-round. Please contact us to discuss specific dates and availability at info@barksandrecreationpets.com.