Let the Internet Help You Avoid Pet Sitter Disappointment
Author, Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
Perhaps you’ve heard news stories about pet sitters accused of stealing from their clients. You may have even heard the recent news story about a Memphis cat sitter charged with stealing more than $10,000 worth of jewelry from her client’s home. According to police, clients of Lisa Bacon began locking their valuables inside a closet as they were beginning to suspect items were being removed from their home while Ms. Bacon was cat sitting for them. The couple installed video cameras in their home and were shocked and dismayed to find their trusted cat-sitter bypass the lock on their closet and rummage through their belongings. When confronted by police, Ms. Bacon admitted she did indeed steal the jewelry, but claimed she threw it away after receiving a phone call about the theft complaint.
So, how do you know you’re trusting your pets and home to the right person when you’re away? Are there precautionary measures you can take to ensure someone like Lisa Bacon won’t be welcomed into your home? Can you be confident your pet sitter is as loyal and honorable as you hope? All it takes is a little research to lessen your chances of being the victim to someone like Lisa Bacon.
- During your search for a trustworthy, dependable, caring pet sitter, recognize the difference between a hobbyist and a professional.
- First off, understand that a hobbyist is a person who is engaged in pet sitting in his or her spare time, while a pet sitting professional is an expert who has made pet sitting his or her career. The daughter of your neighbor from down the block who offers to pet sit for you on weekends is a hobbyist, as is the lady who holds a full-time job at your local grocery store but pet sits on her days off. On the other hand, someone who has a licensed company and likely other pet sitters on the payroll is a professional.
- Take a cue from your dog and do some digging when it comes to choosing a pet sitter.
- In instances like this, the internet is your best friend. Conduct Google searches, read customer reviews, check out Facebook pages, carefully investigate websites, etc. Make sure the person you select to care for your precious pets works for a bonded, licensed and insured professional company. These three things will protect your pets as well as your home and belongings.
- Is this Pet Sitter a legal Business in Your State?
- If you are okay with just anyone caring for your pets or home, then you may not care. But if anything happens, you may not have a legal leg to stand on. Contact your state department or look online to see if a business is registered with the state. In NH, my business name is registered and my logo is trademarked.
- Look for a Website, NOT a Facebook page or a listing
- Why? Because this is a person who is serious about taking care of your pets. They are not just a person who wants to pet sit today and be one tomorrow. they have put in time, money and effort to be a business.
- So how does this BENEFIT YOU and your Pets? They have done their research, they have educated themselves, they WANT you to trust them, so you will come back and use their services later.
- Make Sure there is an Owner History on that Website
- Not just a paragraph or two. If you are going to trust your beloved pets and everything you own in your home to a person, shouldn’t you know more then just a few jobs and likes about a person? My history from the time I was born in 1961 until almost present day, is on my website.
- STAY AWAY FROM LISTING SITES – BUYER BEWARE
- What is a listing site? A listing site is just that, it enables people to just make a listing for their services. This is similar to a newspaper classified ad section. Sites like craigslist, care, rover, dogvacay and wag. These listing sites are there to make money off of YOU and the person listing. They are TECH Sites not Pet Sites. They may even tell you that these people are insured, etc. But I have hear HORROR stories from clients who are now with us, that have used people from these sites. People who come on the first visit to pick up a check and never go back, people come home to find the sitter passed out drunk on their couch and the dog locked in the basement, and more. I have been told these sites have been sued over and over, they just banish the sitter (who goes to another site or lists under a new name) and these sites just settle out of court with payments but it certainly does not bring your beloved pet back.
- Look for Longevity in Business
- Why is this important? Well, Besides knowing that this business will be there when you need them (also look for a business that provides service 365 days per year – you never know when an emergency will arise and you do not want your sitter on vacation every other week if this is a hobby), a business that has been in business for years will have the experience of anything happening and have a plan in place to make sure your pets are cared for.
- Look for at least 5 years in business or more, why should you be their learning experience!
- Check out the Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Hiring A Pet Sitter
- Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Hiring A Pet Sitter
- You can also READ about what other people have experienced from using pet sitters on listing sites here
- Here is a list of THIRTY things to look for in a Pet Sitting Company
- What To Look For In A Pet Sitter/Company
- Please read the above in its entirety, whether you use my company or NOT, please stay safe
So, what does it all mean?
A company that is bonded ensures the job you have hired them to do is performed and that you are protected against losses from theft or damage done by the company’s employees. In the event you, as the customer, suffer a loss due to a pet sitter who is employed by a bonded company, you can recover damages from secured money held by a bonding company. Now, if the company’s individual employees are bonded, that means a bonding company has investigated the person’s background and finds them trustworthy and “good” enough to insure.
A company that is licensed has filed the necessary paperwork to the proper county, city and/or state and has been approved to conduct business. While a license does not mean the business or its employees are qualified to do a particular job, it does show intent to run a legitimate business, as opposed to a unlicensed worker who isn’t registered with any government entity.
Finally, a company that is insured protects its employees should anything happen to them while on the job. For example, say Mary the pet sitter is walking down your stairs alongside your dog, Bruno, and she trips on Bruno’s tail and takes a tumble, spraining her ankle and breaking her wrist. If Mary’s company is insured, her claim will be taken care of by the insurance company, rather than her filing a claim against your homeowner’s insurance.
- If you’re still uncertain that the person you select to tend to your pets and home during your absence is trustworthy, look for a company that does background check on employees.
- Whether a pet sitter working for a company, or the friend of a friend who has agreed to stay in your home while you’re on vacation, a background check can give you peace of mind.
What does Professional Pet Sitting Etc do?
We at Professional Pet Sitting Etc do background checks, thorough interviews, personality tests, training, shadowing, gps tracking and so much more to give ME, the owner, peace of mind so YOU, the client will never even have to think about anything while you are away!!
The bottom line is, the Lisa Bacons of the pet sitting industry can be avoided. Take the time, put forth the effort, and consider the safety nets available when choosing a pet sitter. After all, your pets, your home and your belongings are all precious to you; you don’t want to trust them to just anyone.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a fully licensed and insured company, employing pet sitters who are bonded, insured and have passed thorough background security checks.
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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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