Why are your sitters all Staff Employees?
Although it’s an added expense for the business, Lucy made the choice to fully-invest in our sitters and our clients…while still keeping costs affordable for our clients. By having all of our sitters as staff employees, rather than going the way of many pet sitting businesses and hiring independent contractors, we’re able to provide the very best in care and protection for our sitters and for you. We pay towards our sitters’ taxes, social security, medicare and unemployment. Having sitters as staff also allows us to ensure our specific standards and guidelines are implemented (this is not allowed, when hiring independent contractors). Thus, we are able to support continuous training, so that our sitters are always learning and growing their knowledge of all things related to pet care. Our sitters are covered under the company’s umbrella of liability insurance, bonding and worker’s compensation. These policies protect you in the instance of home damage or of injury to your pets or the sitter. Many independent contractors are not covered with all of these insurances, which means you may be liable and have to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance.
Why would I choose to pay for professional pet care?
Many pet parents call us in a panic because their friend, family member or neighbor who was lined-up to care for their animals is unavailable, at the last minute. These folks are, understandably, highly-stressed. They have no back-up system in place and are worried they’ll have to cancel their long-awaited vacation. When you reserve pet care with us ahead of your vacation, you can rest easy and enjoy the anticipation of your future get-away fun! We have our own, in-house back-up sitter system. Because we work as a team of sitters, we’re not reliant on one person’s availability. Any one of us can step-up at a moment’s notice to make sure your animals are always well-cared-for.
When asking friends, relatives or neighbors to care for your animals, you may not feel comfortable asking for all of the details of pet and home care that we provide. You may feel awkward, or as though you’re imposing. Our services include all the bells and whistles, at no extra cost. You’ll have complete care of your pets and home.
What if something were to happen to your animals or home, while in the care of someone other than a professional pet sitter? That person may not have the skills to handle unforeseen emergencies. And, will not have liability and bonding insurance to cover any costs. Pet care is our profession and our passion! Our focus is on the health and happiness of your animals. We have systems in place to handle pet health emergencies.
Bottom Line: Many times, you get what you pay for. Reserving your pet care with us is like purchasing Pet Care Travel Insurance. We deliver peace of mind and a worry-free experience.
Watch this short and fun video for more info: Why Hire a Professional Pet Sitter?
Can I have a friend do some of the visits? For liability reasons, we cannot “share” pet care.
How do you match me with my primary sitter? We make the best sitter match according to your pets’ needs and personalities. We make sure your sitter is available to provide care on the dates you request. Also, if your pets require injected medications, we’ll make sure to assign a sitter who is knowledgeable in administering shots. And, if your pets do better with a certain gender, we’ll take that into account.
How do I know my sitter is trustworthy?
Lucy interviews and screens every sitter, prior to hiring. Every one of her sitters is someone with whom she’d feel confident in having care for her own home and animals – and, some of them have done so! In addition, every sitter has passed a criminal background check. We also carry full pet sitter liability insurance and bonding on all of our sitters.
Will I get to meet my sitter before my scheduled pet visits?
Yes. Your primary sitter will schedule a convenient time for your free initial meet and greet. If your primary sitter is ever unavailable for future reservations, you will have the opportunity to meet with your backup sitter, if time allows. There is no charge to meet with your backup sitter. Should you move, acquire additional pets, have significant pet care changes, etc. we recommend a secondary consultation. For this meeting, you will be charged for a 30-minute visit.
What can I expect at my initial meet and greet?
Allow about 30-minutes for the meeting. You’ll have ample opportunity to get to know your sitter, to ask questions and to go over your pet and home care. Your sitter will review the information from your profile to make sure he/she is clear on all instructions. You will provide your sitter with 2 tested sets of door keys, as well as the signed pet sitting agreement.
Will I be charged for the initial meet and greet?
There’s never a charge for the initial 30-minute meet and greet. We understand the importance of meeting the person who will be taking care of your pets and home, in your absence. This is an opportunity for you to see, first-hand, what a great match your sitter is for your family.
Why do I need to provide you with 2 sets of keys? Can I give you my garage door code, instead?
As part of our “Easy Key” program, your sitter will keep one set of keys for use during all future reservations. Lucy keeps the second set, as a backup. Garage door keypads and door lock keypads use batteries, which can easily run down, during scheduled services. For this reason, we require actual door keys. If you choose to opt-out of this program and wish your keys to be returned after service, a $15 charge will apply.
What if my sitter loses the key?
We make sure all client keys are only identifiable by our secure number code. There’s never any other information which could lead the key back to your home. Your sitter will still be able to complete your scheduled visits by using the backup key.
Will my sitter provide me with updates, while I’m away?
Absolutely! As many updates and by whichever means you request! Your sitter will always leave a written note in your home. In addition, you may want to receive emails, texts and/or picture texts. We’re happy to oblige!
Can I ask the sitter to bring-in my mail and newspapers, water some houseplants, open and close the blinds, etc.?
We’re happy to provide these home services, at no extra cost. You may indicate on your profile which services you’d like to include.
I have an outdoor garden that’s my pride and joy. I don’t want everything to die, when I go on vacation. Will my sitter take care of the watering?
Yes, just ask us at time of reservation request. We’re glad to make sure your fruits, veggies and flowers have plenty to drink.
What about my wild outdoor feathered and furry friends? Will my sitter take care of them?
Yes, just ask us at time of reservation request. We’ll take care of refilling bird feeders, bird baths and water buckets. And, we’ll set out corn or feed for deer and squirrels.
Will I be charged a fee for my sitter to give my pet medicine?
There’s never a charge for administration of medications.
Do I have to reserve the same length of visits for the entire reservation?
Our services are fully-customizable. You can mix-and-match for whatever works best for your needs and budget. For instance, you may choose a 30-minute breakfast visit, a 30-minute dinner visit and a 15-minute bedtime visit.
When do I pay for services?
We are a prepaid service. You will supply us with your billing credit card information. First time clients are charged for reservation in full at time of first reservation confirmation. Existing clients are charged weekly or monthly on the Friday before reserved services. For holiday reservations, existing clients are charged 15 days before first visit.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MC, Discover and AmEx credit cards.
What if my sitter becomes ill or is otherwise unable to complete the schedule of care with my animals?
We work as a team of sitters. With our backup systems in place, we’re able to insure that your animals and home will have continuous care, until your return.
My cat is very independent. Will you visit her every other day?
In the best interest of your pet’s health, we require at least once/daily visits for cats, birds and all other small mammals. If a health issue were to arise, your pet has the best chance of recovery if the issue is discovered within 24-hours. Also, cats are curious by nature, and may become trapped in a cabinet or closet and be away from food, water and litter boxes. You may find these articles helpful, as you gather information to make a decision about your cats’ care:
My dog has a doggie door and free feeds. Can I just leave him a big bowl of food and have once/daily visits?
Dogs are very social creatures and need company to remain healthy and balanced. We require a minimum of twice/daily visits for dogs, whenever the owner is out-of-town.
What if my pet becomes ill, while I’m away?
Your sitter will keep you advised if there is ever a question about your pet’s health. If deemed necessary by you (or your emergency contact or your sitter and Lucy, if you are unreachable), your sitter will take your pet to the appropriate medical facility for care. This will be either to your primary vet or to the emergency vet. To prepare for these situations in the instance where you may not be reachable (out of phone or internet service range), we ask that you provide us with at least one local emergency contact (friend, family member, neighbor, etc.). We also ask for credit card information to give to the emergency vet. The emergency vet will not attend to any animal without prior proof of payment.
What if there’s severe weather, while I’m away?
Your sitter will do his/her best to maintain the schedule of reserved visits. However, for your sitter’s safety, visit times may need to be modified. Your sitter will keep you advised of any changes to the schedule. While at your home, if your sitter notices any damage from storms, he/she will advise you. Your sitter will do his/her best to make sure your animals are safe and dry. In the case of more severe property damage, where it’s unsafe for your animals to remain at home, your emergency contact may need to help you to make other arrangements for your animals, until your return home. Will my Sitter still come in Bad Weather?
How do I request a new service, change an existing reservation or cancel a reserved service?
On becoming a client, you will receive instructions to activate your online account. Once activated, you may request new services, changes to existing reservation or cancel a service, through this system. Once you have submitted your requests, you will receive follow-up from Lucy to address your schedule changes.
What is your cancellation policy?
Standard Cancellation Policy:
Less than 24-Hour Cancellation: No refunds or credits
24-48-Hour Cancellation: 50% of total fee will be applied as pet care credit
Greater than 48-Hour Cancellation: 100% of total fee will be applied as pet care credit
Early Return Home: No refunds or credits
Holiday Cancellation Policy:
15 days or more notice: 100% of total fee will be applies as pet care credit
7-14 days notice: 50% of total fee will be applied as pet care credit
6 or fewer days notice: No refunds or credits
Early Return Home: No refunds or credits
Why do holiday fees apply to days other than the actual holidays?
During holiday periods, there is an increased need for pet sitting. Most folks requiring our services take a long weekend or the entire week surrounding the actual holiday. We charge a holiday surcharge to help compensate our sitters for the very full work schedules they take on to accommodate as many folks needing our care, as possible. And, for sacrificing their own holiday time, when they might otherwise be with their own loved ones.
Do you charge more for visits on weekends? No, our charges are the same 7 days per week.
Can you help me with a last-minute pet care request?
Give us a call! We’ll do our best to help with your pet care.
Will you care for my friend’s pet, while I’m away?
Our pet sitting agreement only applies to care for the signed client’s animals. If you would like us to include another owner’s animals, we’re happy to do so. We just require 1) those animals be present at the initial meet and greet, and 2) all owners sign a pet sitting agreement and complete pet and emergency information in the online profile.
Does Lucy’s Pet Care support the local pet community?
We offer continued support to many local non-profit animal welfare organizations. We extend our help with our Pet Sitting for a Good “Paws” Program.
Have More Questions? Ready To Request A Booking? Contact Us, Today!
Lucy’s Pet Care offers pet sitting and dog walking services in Durham, North Carolina
Zip codes 27701, 27705, 27707 and 27713