The perfect team — passionate, qualified, professional, experienced, gentle, and kind.


Ever since I can remember, animals have been my passion; my one and only; my saving grace; my life. I played with Beanie Babies instead of Barbies, volunteered at animal shelters instead of sleeping in or going to movies with my friends, and mucked stalls on my summer weekends just for fun.
— Melissa Hammond

Melissa Hammond, Owner & Veterinary Technician

Melissa is an experienced veterinary technician. She has a special interest in nutrition and behavior. She is a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America, Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association, Professional United Petsitters, Ferret Association of CT, and the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians. She is an active forum member of Holistic Ferret Forum, reads the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, and subscribes to VetGirl On The Run, Clinicians Brief, and Whole Dog Journal. Melissa is also an award winning photographer and artist of many mediums. She posses a great attention to detail and is kind, compassionate, and dependable. 

I naturally progress into jobs working with animals. I have over ten years experience in the animal care field having worked in kennels, doggie daycares, veterinary clinics, and barns. Personally, I am passionate about life, healing, nature, tiny houses, organic and whole foods, and sustainable living.

I am experienced with all hobby farm pets- canine, feline, equine, bovine, caprine, avian, pocket pets (hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc), aquariums, and outdoor ponds. I have limited experience with reptiles and amphibians, though they certainly hold an interest. I have personally owned ferrets, dogs, cats, and fish. My number one priority is taking care of your beloved family members (as well as your home) while you are away in order to ease any worry and make your trip as stress free as possible. I am dedicated, hardworking, responsible, non-smoking, and quiet. I have a few close friends and a very large, close family. My other interests include the outdoors, reading, writing, science, photography, art, and a good movie. But most of all, I simply enjoy the smell of a barn and slobbery kisses on the cheek.


I am committed to personal and professional excellence, which I carry out throughout the many facets of my life.
— Cara Fusco

Cara Fusco, Associate Pet Care Technician

With a lifetime of experience working with animals, Cara possesses the necessary knowledge and passion for what we do here at Backyards to Barnyards. A long term client of mine gave Cara a glowing recommendation, and I hired her without hesitation. She has been an integral, wonderful addition to our team since 2014.

Cara has been providing petsitting services for both large and small animals since 2001. Growing up Cara's father trained and showed champion American Staffordshire Terriers. She is a graduate of the United States Pony Club, which she joined at 6 years old. Cara has 25 years of equine management and training experience. Cara also has experience raising cattle, and cares for chickens and ducks. She has experience with veterinary care, and is adept at administering shots and IV/SQ fluids.

Cara's passion for animals does not stop at home. She has brought animals into her professional life as a teacher- teaching students about organic gardening, caring for plants, raising white peking ducks among other animals in a life skills program.


I like sharing my Mom with all of her clients and my furry friends. When she’s gone, I get to eat whaaaatver I want, throw late night ferret parties, and have sleepovers with my best friend Simonne.
— Noah the Ferret

Noah the Ferret, Office Support

Noah the ferret is Melissa's partner in crime, and has been since she found him abandoned outside in February 2012. Noah was a rescue and it is estimated he was 3 when he was found. He has a good life. Noah's favorite thing in the world is to play with his children friends. Noah is a hard working gib who traveled to work with Melissa everyday when she worked as a technician. There Noah enjoyed fostering kittens, playing with children, and sleeping. He has an obsession with velcro. Some of his favorite activities include sleeping, playing chase, going for hikes, sleeping on car rides, dancing, and stealing Melissa's shoes. Noah really likes to be "involved" in all of the paperwork, but tends to leave it scattered all over instead of neatly filed. He frequently can be found at the bottom of Melissa's briefcase, stealing her client's cookies. Some of his favorite foods are duck, quail, pheasant, rabbit, goat, and salmon.

Call us at 401-654-1396!