Keeping keys separate from your files, and coding them so that your ID is
not on the key, is very basic for a professional petsitter. Anyone who uses
less security measures is incompetent.
Bonding is only for employees; a sole proprietor should have insurance but
does not need bonding. Licensing is really just a formality between the
petsitter and the local government and does not mean much, but it's good for a
petsitter to have.
If your sitter called and didn't even know how many cats you have, I would
definitely switch. A professional petsitter should come over for an initial
interview before actually sitting for you. It should take close to an hour;
the sitter should meet all the pets and learn their routine. There should be
forms to fill out that cover all the details of caring for your pet,
including emergency information. Basic information like number of cats and when to
feed them should not be left out.
I have a page on each pet, a page on the client, a page for vet information,
and a two-page service agreement that we both sign. I get every conceivable
detail onto those forms, and I take them to my jobs. Any professional
petsitter should do that, especially for a special needs pet such as a heart kitty.
sitter makes her visits, the keys are kept in a
separate place from my file (they are coded somehow so
she knows whose keys they are) so that if someone got
their hands on the keys, they would not know which
house they went to. When she does not have the keys
with her, they are in a locked cabinet. Also make sure
they are licensed and bonded, and that any employees
are on their insurance.
"I'm not sure if I'm going to hire my most recent
sitter again, because she seems somewhat scattered.
She called during my last trip to clarify when she was
supposed to be feeding them, and to ask how many cats
I had. This call came at 6pm Sat, when she was
supposed to be giving them dinner. I had a feeling
about her being scattered when I hired her, but didn't
listen to it b/c I needed someone right away. So I'm
going to be interviewing some other ones before my
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