Updated January 2021

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1.  Visits

     Pet Sitting

  • A pet sitting visit includes feeding, most medications, potty time/walking, play/quiet time spent with your pet, and care for your home.
  • All Pet Sitting visits are done within a time frame of +/-30 minutes for dogs and +/-60 minutes for cats. (A visit scheduled for 12:30 p.m. could be done anytime between 12-1 p.m. for dogs). This allows the sitter time for unseen pet issues or traffic.
  • When we schedule morning visits, diabetic pets are done first, then any animals needing medications, then all other dogs, then all other pets. The opposite holds for the last visits of the evening.
  • All pets must be visited at least once a day. We do NOT do every-other-day-visits while pet sitting.
  • We count ALL pets when calculating your rate, but for smaller pets such as mice, hamsters, gerbils, rats, hermit crabs, and fish, we can give you a more reasonable quote depending on the care needed and the number of cages. 
  • We have a three (3) visit minimum if you are a new client. Existing clients may schedule single visits at any time.
  • For Pet Sitting visits, your sitter will be happy to send you an email update or “Pawgress Report” after each visit. When returning home, please call or text Stephanie (484-433-5101). You can leave a voicemail message at any time. If we haven’t heard from you by the next potential visit and are unable to reach you, we will make every effort to continue your pet’s care on their regular schedule. This will result in additional charges.

     Dog Walking

  • A dog walking visit is just a walk or potty time, treats, and fresh water. No feeding is involved.
  • Dog Walking visits are done as 1, 2, or 3 in one single day. 
  • For Dog Walking visits, your sitter will send you a “Pawgress Report” after every visit, so you know what happened (#1, #2, etc.). These reports can be accessed at any time in your account.

Overnight Slumber Parties

  • An overnight visit is when a sitter stays with your pet through the night and includes the last pet sitting visit of the first day and the first pet sitting visit of the next day. Your sitter will spend the night in your home with your pets as instructed by you. 
  • The time is approximately 9 pm until 7 am for a total of 10 hours. We also have a 15-hour package that can be tailored to your needs and times. We do the same services as listed under pet sitting. 
  • You will receive a Pawgress Report when the sitter leaves your home each morning.

2. Meet and Greet

  • This is a free visit done before any services start. It is for everyone to get acquainted, for you to show us your pet’s routine, etc. and for us to answer any questions you have and to discuss the details of our services.
  • The meet and greet typically lasts around 30 minutes.
  • Meet and greet visits are done within one (1) week of the start of service. This is so the information is fresh in the sitter’s mind, and the pets have an easier time remembering their sitter.
  • We require two (2) sets of keys at the time of the meet and greet. (see the Keys section for more details.) 
  • If we must return for another visit for additional instructions, there will be a charge based on time.  

3. Reservations

  • Reservations can be made by phone, email, text message, or through your client account.
  • ALL reservations, cancellations, and any other changes MUST be done through Stephanie and NOT the other sitters.
  • Reservations are NOT confirmed until you receive an email from us. Please check that the days and times are correct.
  • It is best to reserve as far in advance as possible, especially during summer and the holidays.
  • Each time you go away, you will receive an email confirmation a few days before our first scheduled visit. It will ask you to update your Current Trip Information and any other pet care duties that may have changed since the last time we visited. This information is needed for your sitter EVERY TIME YOU GO AWAY.

4. Deposits and Cancellations

  • Dog Walking visits – If any dog walking visit is canceled by 8 a.m. the morning of the walk, there is no charge; if canceled after 8 a.m., there is a full visit charge.
  • Pet Sitting visits – A 50% deposit is required for services more than $300. If any pet sitting visit is canceled 48 hours or more before service starts, the deposit goes to credit; if any pet sitting visit is canceled less than 48 hours before service starts, the deposit, and any payments made, are non-refundable. If no deposit or payment has been made, you will be billed for the visits. 
  • Overnight visits – A 50% deposit is required to reserve dates. If canceled 72 hours or more before service starts, the deposit goes to credit; if canceled less than 72 hours before the service starts, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Holiday visits – A 50% deposit is required to reserve dates. If canceled 7 or more days before the service starts, the deposit goes to credit; if canceled less than 7 days before the service starts, the deposit is non-refundable.

*We have 9 days we consider a “holiday” – New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter,     Memorial Day,   July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

*Time of cancellation is calculated from the first visit back.

*Cancellation times and policies are the same whether there is a deposit made or not. 

*We do not issue refunds. Deposits that are credited to your account never expire.

5. Payments

  • We accept credit and debit cards and ACH debit only. For ongoing services such as midday dog walks, bi-monthly auto-billing is required.
  • Bi-monthly auto-billing – If you are requesting repeat services each month, we ask that you enter your banking information in the system and select “auto payments.” The payments will be deducted on the 1st and the 15th of each month for all visits done prior to that date. A receipt will be emailed to you after each payment.   
  • For all other visits, payment must be received by the last day of service. Payments can be made online through your client portal or the auto-pay feature will activate three (3) days after your invoice is due if still unpaid.

6. Keys

  • We require two (2) sets of keys at the time of the meet and greet. One is for your sitter, and the other is kept in a locked box in our office for a backup. There will be a $15 charge for us to pick up/drop off keys at any time other than the meet and greet. It is recommended that your key is entered into our secure key system for future use. All keys are given a random number that is unrelated to any of your personal information. It is marked with a key tag and kept in a locked key box in our office when not in use. 
  • If making a new key for us, please check that it works before our meet and greet. We will not be responsible for making a new key. Leaving a copy of your key anywhere on your property for us to use is done “at your own risk,” and not recommended.  
  • Lock Out Service – If you lock yourself out of your house, you may contact us to see if we can bring you your key. This service is not guaranteed, as it depends on the time of day and our schedules. Remember, we do not carry your key with us, so it must be retrieved from our office. We charge a fee of $35 for this service.

7. Miscellaneous

  • Visitors – Please notify us if there will be anyone else entering your house while you are away. This includes family, friends, neighbors, workers, house cleaners, etc. There is a place in your client portal under Current Trip Info for this information. We will “share pet care duties” with your friend, family member, or another sitter. Please be aware that if this is the agreement, our liability insurance may not cover issues with your home, keys, or pets.
  • Steph’s Pet Sitting will not be liable for any damages caused by the acts of others in clients’ homes. 
  • Emergency Veterinary Care – If your pet requires any emergency veterinary care while you are away, we will contact you, the owner, first. If we are unable to reach you and your pet’s condition cannot wait, we will take them to the best-suited veterinary hospital for treatment. If you have a veterinarian listed in your account, and they are open and able to see your pet, we will go there first. If they are not open or available, or if there is no veterinarian listed, we currently use The Cat Hospital of Media for cats and VCA Old Marple in Springfield for dogs or after hour care. All fees charged by the treating veterinary facility are the sole responsibility of you, the owner. There is also a fee for us, Steph’s Pet Sitting, to transport your pet to and from the facility, and is based on time (see Services and Fees). Please make sure your pet’s veterinarian is listed in your account. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have a credit card on file, as some facilities require a deposit to begin treatment for your pet.
  • Heat/Inclement Weather – Our #1 goal is to keep your pets safe and comfortable while in our care. If it is extremely hot/cold outside, visits and routines will be modified to achieve this. We are aware that certain dog breeds don’t do well in hot temperatures, and they will be strictly limited to the outdoors during bathroom breaks. The same is true for extremely cold/snowy/icy days for all pets.
  • In case of snow, ice, etc., we will do our absolute best to make every scheduled visit on time. We will plan by leaving extra food, water, etc. for all pets before bad weather hits. An email will be sent to you before you leave on your trip if bad weather is predicted while you are gone. It will ask you to speak with your emergency contacts to make sure they are available if needed. We may have to call on them to help if the roads are bad. It’s also a good idea to speak with neighbors close by and leave them a key for emergency use.
  • Driveways/Walkways – Please consider your pet sitter’s safety by removing any snow, ice, and debris from all walkways and driveways before you leave on your trip. If you are away, please be sure someone is ready to plow and shovel your driveway and walkways if bad weather is predicted. Our insurance policy does NOT cover any personal injuries that occur on your property.  
  • Pictures of your pets – Please let us know if you do NOT want us to use pictures of your pets on our website or social media pages. We always make sure our “location” setting is turned off when we take any pictures and never use last names, so your privacy is protected. 
  • Dogs left outside – We strongly advise you not to leave your dog(s) outside, unsupervised, in a fenced-in yard or electric/invisible fence. If you choose to do this, we will still care for your dog(s), but we assume NO responsibility or liability if they are injured, become ill, or run away/escape. 
  • Tips are not expected but are certainly appreciated. 100% of your tip goes directly to your sitter. There is a place when paying your invoice to include a tip.

*All policies and procedures are subject to change without notice at the discretion of Steph’s Pet Sitting, LLC.

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