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Do you really know WHO is caring for your pets? Independent Contractors vs. Employees

When hiring an in-home pet care company, are you asking this important question to protect your home and furry babies?

When most pet parents look for a pet sitter to take care of their “furry babies”, they will check the obvious things; insurance, bonding, references, background checks, etc…  Having these things in place is important, but there is something else that pet parents should ask prospective pet sitting company that is even more important:  Are their pet sitters employees or independent contractors (IC’s)? If the company you decide to hire uses IC’s, there are a few things you should be aware of, and the company probably won’t share this information with you.

First, independent contractors cannot be trained.  A company who utilizes IC’s cannot do ANY type of formal training with them.  They cannot force them to follow company policies and procedures, and they cannot tell them how their services should be rendered.  For example, if an IC decides that they want to walk your dog off-leash (even though company policy states they are not allowed to do that), they can do that.  The IC decides how they get their work done, and the company that they work for cannot technically do anything about it.

Another problem with utilizing IC’s as pet sitters (and this is the scariest factor) is they can hire another person to do their work for them.  Think about a plumber.  If they are contracted by a construction company to do work as an IC, they can bring in anyone else that they want to help work on their job.  If your pet sitter is an IC, they can technically “hire” someone else, unknown to you, to do their work for them.  This means that you could have a strange person, who you (or the pet sitting company) have never met, entering your house and interacting with your furry babies!

Lastly, IC’s have to set their own schedule.  The pet sitting company they work for cannot direct them as to where they have to be at a specific time.  As long as they “get the work done”, they cannot be told when they have to do it.  Think about the plumber, again.  The construction company doesn’t tell them when to go to the job site, they only contract a “job” with them.  The IC can set their own schedule as to when they want to work.

If you are currently using a pet sitting service, or planning on using one in the future, make sure to ask them if their pet sitters are employees or independent contractors.  If they use IC’s, keep in mind that the company has very little control over the people they are sending to your home.  If you want a reputable company that has more control, regarding what their pet sitters do on a daily basis, find one that hires employees as pet sitters.  This way you can have peace of mind and know that the person who is taking care of your “furry baby” is competent and has had proper training.

Angel Pet Sitting is a professional pet sitting and dog walking company that only hires employees as their pet sitters.  In addition, all Angel Pet Sitting employees go through a rigorous interview process and training program.  This training program includes a one-on-one training with the owner, Jean Brillman, supervised visits, and Pet First Aid/CPR certification.  Angel Pet Sitting services the Main Line and surrounding Philadelphia Suburbs.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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