Common Ground with…Corinne Antonetti

Common Ground with…Corinne Antonetti

Wisconsin native Corinne Antonetti is the owner of Paws and Claws, a dog walking and pet sitting business based in Madison. The animals Corinne and her team take care of range from dogs and cats to snakes and even hissing cockroaches.

Before working in animal care, Corinne spent four years in the Marine Corps. She then moved to Tennessee to begin her undergraduate degree in biology. Corinne returned to Wisconsin five years ago to be close to her family, then bought Paws and Claws from her sister, Nicole Rice, who began the business 10 years prior in 2009. Nicole decided to focus on running a dog boarding business and felt it would be best to separate that from the pet sitting and dog walking side of Paws and Claws.

On top of running Paws and Claws, Corinne has been balancing motherhood with the completion  of her biology degree at UW–Madison.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our community faces?

In the animal/pet community, there’s two facets that I think would be huge issues. For the pet side, just overpopulation. And unfortunately, the huge cost of living increase has led to more people surrendering their pets, so there’s this need for fosters in the community. There’s this need for adoption. There’s just so many pets, and, unfortunately, not enough people, it seems, that are able to afford it at this time. In the people space, I can’t speak on behalf of them, as I’m not a vet myself, but I do network with quite a few. And I also volunteer for rescues and network with a bunch of people that work at rescues as well. There’s just a lot of burnout and compassion fatigue amongst people that care for pets in these capacities and see pets at really dire points, see the neglect and abuse of animals.

What do you wish people in our community understood better?

Kindness is definitely really needed for people in these spaces and for, of course, pets. I just think that there’s just not enough kindness and also there’s just so many ways to get involved and help pets in our community that aren’t necessarily financial. You can donate your time, you can donate your money, you can donate your items. But you can also share posts on social media. You can just try to bring awareness. You can also foster, just as a weekend person. You don’t necessarily have to be available 24/7 to foster, you can help temporarily. 

What is one change you would make if you could that would make life better for people in our community? 

Just stopping the exploitation and abuse and neglect of pets for sure. I wish that everybody could afford pets and have the time for pets. Overall, just making sure that people are kind. 

What in our community gives you hope?

So in Madison and Wisconsin as a whole, we definitely do love our pets as family. And you see that a lot in this community. It’s a very dog-friendly and cat-friendly area. And unfortunately, some other places aren’t as accepting of that, but here in Madison, I feel like we really do love our pets and that gives me hope.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. 

If you’re in the Madison area and in need of dog walking or pet sitting services, please visit to learn more about Paws and Claws.

Photo of Corinne Antonetti. Photo by Amélie Mahony.

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