Are you constantly pestering your parents for a dog, cat or herd of pygmy goats? Why don't you channel that animal-loving energy into a career as a neighborhood pet sitter or dog walker?
Pet sitting is a particularly valuable service during the summer months and over winter or spring vacations, when families go on extended trips. It costs between $30 and $50 a night to board a dog at a kennel. For half of that amount, an enterprising pet sitter could offer to walk the pet, feed it and play with it while the family is away. It's a bargain for the pet owners and a boon for your piggy bank.
A dog-walking service is trickier because it's harder to work around school hours. But with some careful canvassing of neighbors, you might find someone with an older dog that doesn't need to go out as often, but can still use an afternoon trot around the block. Check with the dog's owners that it is kid-friendly and has all its shots.
There's not as much need for cat walking. But cat sitting is a pretty sweet deal, if you can get past the whole litter box thing. To get started in your business, put up some flyers in your neighborhood mailboxes or bulletin board offering your services. Or post your services on a neighborhood Listserv if you have one.