Have you made end of life plans? Do you have someone who will take care of your pets when you can’t?
Tough topic but let’s face it: we’re all going to leave this earth some time or another.
Sit-Stay-Play Plans for Pet and People Emergencies
Today, a pet sitting client passed away while she was on vacation.
This freak accident took a relatively young wife, mother and dog mom and now the husband is dealing with losing his wife and the pet sitter is handling things on her end until the husband comes home.
Luckily, the pet sitter had the ‘what-if’s’ covered and knew what to do if there was ever an emergency with her clients. She had the proper questions on her forms so clients could tell her who to call and what procedures to follow. She knew what to do if one or both spouses had an emergency while she was caring for their home and pet. She knows what vet to take the pets to if they ever have a medical emergency.
Unfortunately many pet sitters and pet care takers DON’T ask these important questions or even care enough to learn the business, learn the legal ramifications of pet sitting and pet care taking. Take this ad I just saw on Craigslist for example:
Hey, everyone! I’m here to offer affordable pet-sitting! This means in your home. I can make visits during the day while you’re at work, or stay nights while you’re on vacation–pretty much however you wanna do it!
I have plenty of references available upon request!
Contact me if you have any questions or are interested in setting up an appointment! I’m in Speedway, and would be willing to go downtown, Plainfield, Brownsburg, or close-by areas like that.
Due to having to watch my minutes, I’m currently only accepting texts and emails. So, text —-.
Would you really trust this person to come into YOUR home or apartment to take care of your pets and home?
She says she’s only accepting texts and emails and she had to watch get minutes, so what happens if she has to contact an emergency veterinarian while she’s at your home?
Will she ‘run over’ on her minutes or just scratch the idea of calling someone?
This person is just trying to make some extra money on the side, which is totally understandable in this economy, but this person probably isn’t running a legitimate business and as a consumer, you should be aware of these types of postings.
Here’s another example:
In-home, reliable pet sitting and services from ——–. Experienced with a wide variety of pets and habitats, including dogs, cats, small mammals, small and large birds, some barnyard animals, exotic reptiles, and large aquarium setups. Not at all squeamish. Capable of treating special needs and elderly animal friends who need a little more help. Every visit from ——– is guaranteed to brighten your pet’s day while you’re away!
Offering in-home necessities such as feeding, watering, checking habitat conditions (lighting, aquarium levels, etc), walking, play time, and changing litter/substrate/bedding.
Friendly and capable, with affordable rates starting at $15-$20 a day.
Rates starting at $15-$20 per day? Really?
Are they driving or riding a bike to the client’s house?
What does that include? One visit, two or three? And how long are the visits?
Is this person insured, do they offer a thorough consultation which will give the client and the sitter time to understand what the job requires, the expectations? I doubt it. Why? Because upon further inspection on google, the ‘pet sitting service’ in this second example couldn’t even be found.
No web presence (at least on the first 10 pages) except the good old Craigslist ad.
Again, this is just a person trying to build up a little side business or get some extra money but they’re probably not prepared for pet or people emergencies. This person has a entrepreneurial spirit and honestly, could really be great at what they do with proper guidance possibly. Without the education, preparation, legal forms and procedures, I’d be hesitant to use them and I pray the general public that read these ads agree with me and choose a professional for pet care.
Be Cautious and Stay Informed
Pet sitting is a serious business. A 15-year old high school student cannot legally sign contracts and generally speaking, the parents probably would be the ones on the hook if that young person were to cause an accident or commit negligent acts.
I don’t know the ages of the posters of the two ads I highlight above but more than likely they don’t have insurance, number one. That’s a huge red flag! Insurance is just one facet of a legitimate business and it helps set us apart from these rinky dink, fly-by-night ‘pet care companies’ that pop up on Craigslist daily.
Number two. These individuals might not have the pet care knowledge that I (as well as my staff) have.
Number three. Legal forms. We use them and they probably don’t.
Consulting with attorneys to draw up contracts, revise contracts, create new documents pertinent to the specific tasks pet sitters do, all takes money and knowledge.
3 Differences Between A Professional Pet Care Company And Hobby Pet Care Providers
#1: Insurance. We have it, they probably don’t.
#2: Pet Care Knowledge: Many ad posters are inexperienced, young and irresponsible. Obtaining important emergency information from clients usually isn’t done by hobby pet care providers.
#3: Legal Forms/Contracts: Our professional company uses forms drafted by attorneys. They’re legal, authentic and necessary. People who post on Craigslist might not use legal forms/contracts which could be disastrous for you.
Planning for safe-keeping of your property and pets is a serious matter and that’s why we plan for pet and people emergencies.
My pet sitting colleagues all over the United States have seen a rapid influx of people offering pet sitting and dog walking, even overnight care, through sites such as Craigslist, DogVacay and Rover. Be forewarned and be prepared if you do use sitters from these sites.
Anyone can post ads on these sites publishing their superior pet care skills and experience. Before you agree to use them, ask important questions and dig.
Plan for emergencies. If the person you’re attempting to hire doesn’t ask these hard questions, rethink it. PLEASE!
For professional pet sitting services in Muncie, Anderson, Yorktown, Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel and Brownsburg areas, please visit our website. We’re here to help you with your pet care needs or to answer questions that you might have about our services.
Our pet care providers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accommodate our clients. We can provide current testimonials from our clients as well.
Thank you for reading and stay informed and prepared,
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC