Who We Are


Gentle Paws is a family-owned and run business, building on tremendous experience with animals and a profound love of all creatures. The human-animal bond is one of trust, gentleness and respect.

Lorna Steele                                                                                     

IMG_7538Lorna is the owner of Gentle Paws Pet Sitting, and the main person responsible for the care of your pets.

She was Director of Humane Education at the Rhode Island SPCA for a three years, and has also taught a wide range of animal topics at Bristol Community College, at many local schools, and at community centers.

She is a former Veterinary Technician and over the years has worked with several veterinary hospitals in the area. She is a level II-X wildlife rehabilitator, licensed by the RI DEM to rehabilitate small mammals and rabies vector species, which is why you’ll also find wildlife information in our links section.

She studied Marine Mammals at URI and spent three years working for the Seal Rescue Clinic of Mystic Aquarium, rehabbing stranded, injured and orphaned seals and is still on the Stranding Team. Lorna served as a board member of the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of RI for six years, and a board member of CATS Rescue, for whom she also fostered kittens and cats. She is also a foster parent for the National Great Pyrenees Rescue, and for PawWatch.


Her domestic pet experience includes almost 40 years of caring for dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, chinchillas and small rodents. She has a warm, loving personality to which animals respond well, and a conscientious attention to detail that ensures your pets will get the care they need.

When she is not caring for animals, Lorna is an avid organic gardener (though she makes Patrick do the tough stuff), a voracious reader, and writer, and active in the environmental movement.

Patrick Fahey

Patrick and SaoirsePatrick hails from the west coast of Ireland but speaks fluent cat and dog, and seems to draw both like a magnet. He is the energetic one in the family and particularly enjoys dogs with high exercise requirements. He is fond of brisk walks, frisbee games, impromptu soccer and splashing in waves, and never met a tennis ball he wasn’t willing to throw.

Patrick is a senior manager in the automotive industry, but looks forward to his time pet sitting. When he’s not working or caring for animals, he is an avid reader, is writing a gritty historical fantasy novel, knows the words to most pub songs and plays the Irish bodhran for anyone who appreciates a good Celtic beat. He is learning the tin whistle, which only occasionally makes the dogs howl.

Playtime with Patrick

Fun Fact: Researchers at the 2011 People and Animals for Life in Stockholm presented findings that fifteen minute or more interaction between women and their companion dogs raised the levels of oxytocin, a bonding hormone, and cortisol, a stress-fighting hormone, in both the women and their dogs! I guess that’s one of the reasons hugging and petting our pets is so soothing.

Golden Retriever friend

“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.” ~Robert Brault

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, ‘My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!'” ~ Dave Barry

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as a dog does.” ~ Christopher Morley

“The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.” ~Louis Sabin