Kristen Fallon and her kids were at New York's LaGuardia Airport to meet the newest member of their family: Rex, a mini Bernedoodle puppy. But getting tiny Rex to the Big Apple, during a pandemic, was a problem.
Pet adoptions amid the coronavirus pandemic have surged in many areas of the country, with kennels and breeders barely able to keep up. The demand for pets, coupled with ongoing travel restrictions, has spawned a unique business that's booming: Pet nannies, who help transport animals to their new owners around the country.
"Our breeder is in Colorado," Fallon told CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. "So, we couldn't exactly fly from the East Coast out to Colorado. So, you need someone to transport them,"she said.
One such someone is pet nanny Sue Murphy. For about $500 plus airfare, Murphy will see to it that a puppy gets VIP treatment from its current location all the way to its new home anywhere in the country.
"The minute I get the puppy, I'm in contact with my clients the entire time with pictures and videos," Murphy said.
For Rex, that meant a pickup in Montrose, Colorado, followed by a flight to Denver and then another to New York. Murphy makes about 13 trips like that a month. She says she feels safe flying and business has doubled in the past year — she even hired her husband to help out.
For Murphy, working like a dog to get these pooches to their forever homes is a labor of love. "It's to me not like a real job, because I just love it so much and it makes everybody so happy," Murphy said.
So much so, it brings tears to her eyes — and her clients' eyes.
"Tears of happiness," Murphy said.
CBS News' Kris Van Cleave contributed reporting.