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Local Business

How to become a pet sitter

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If you’ve ever thought about becoming a pet sitter, now is the ideal time.

The need for qualified pet sitters is critical, says Sandy Hafenbrack, animal lover and owner of  Critter Sitters Pet Sitting Service, LLC. While the demand is year-round, summer is a critical time, when many families go on vacation.

“You don’t have to be licensed to pet sit, but you need proper training,” says Hafenbrack, a professional pet sitter for 30 years. .

Hafenbrack advises would-be pet sitters and pet owners alike to be cautious of smartphone apps that connect walkers or sitters with clients. “It can lead to disaster. The sitters are not trained, they’re not insured or bonded, and not employed by the apps,” she says. “If anything goes wrong, under Illinois law the person in control of the animal is liable. The sitter, and the client, are up a creek.”

A legitimate pet sitting service trains its employees, notes Hafenbrack. “We hire our employees, train them, take out taxes, offer workman’s comp, and are bonded and insured. If something goes wrong, we have insurance to cover that client. There’s accountability.”

Critter Sitters trains its sitters from day one. “They spend the first day with me; it’s a working interview,” Halfenbrack says. “They can ask questions and see if this is what they actually want to do, and I see how they’re interacting with the pets and determine if they’re a good fit.”

Once hired, a sitter starts work with simple training in pet care and how to follow instructions from a client. “They spend a week with me, then with my other sitters to get into the groove. Once they are comfortable I start them with one or two sits so they’re not overwhelmed.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” says Hafenbrack. “I love it.”

Critter Sitters is currently hiring for the Sugar Grove, Yorkville and North Aurora areas.

Critter Sitters : 630.844.9554 : http://www.alltopcrittersitters.com/