Years ago when my family and I first moved to the area we were in the market for a pet sitter for our three dogs. We had plans to travel to another country and needed someone reliable.
We booked a pet-sitting service whose owner assured us that only one person would be attending to our dogs. That person was sent out for an initial interview and after carefully explaining to her the workings of our home, the needs of our pets and the schedule they needed to be on, the deal was done.
We had only just arrived at our distant destination, jet-lagged and not yet unpacked, when a call from our local police came. An intruder had set off the burglar alarm and was in our home. The person in question carried no identification and did not appear to speak sufficient English to explain why they were there.
The police explained that the intruder had entered our home, leaving the door behind her wide open (I was imagining our three dear dogs escaping into the night, lost forever in the streets of Bergen County.) The woman in question had been discovered cowering from the furiously barking dogs (who were dutifully protecting our home) in the bathroom, alone, crying.
Apparently the service we hired did not, as promised, use the same person for every visit. Instead they randomly sent out whoever was available, whether they were qualified or (as in our case)....not.
Opening your home to a pet-sitter can be an anxiety producing experience. But fortunately Miranda Coyle, owner of NJ Petsitters, runs her business with the kind of care, experience and genuine love for animals which will assuage the jittery nerves of pet owners(and keep their beloved critters content).
Unlike the service we had the misfortune to hire, NJ Petsitters:
- Has Offered Expert Care Since 2006
- Are an Accredited member of Pet Sitters International (PSI)
- Are Bonded & Insured
- Are Certified in Pet First-Aid
- Are Trained To Perform Medication Administration To Pets (Including Insulin Shots)
- Staff Members Have "LARGE DOG" Expertise
- And The Staff Receives Continuous Training
- Requires Pre-Employment Background Checks for Employees
"I truly love my work," service owner Miranda Coyle laughs. "I get to wake up every day and really enjoy the gift of animals."
Before starting NJ Pet Sitters Coyle worked in retail management. As a lover of animals she felt unfulfilled, and began thinking of careers in which she could utilize her passion for pets.
"Veterinary medicine meant dealing with animals in peril, animals in tragic situations," she says. "Although I want to help animals, I felt that dealing day in, day out with tragic situations would damper the joy I feel for them."
So Coyle began caring for pets, and soon the good word began to spread that there really was a terrific, loving, professional sitter available.
Realizing that she had planted the seed of a very successful business, Coyle began to select employees with great selectivity. "We are caring for people's homes, for their prized possessions," she says. "The responsibility of a caring for a pet is the same as caring for a family member."
To help ensure the balance of trust between herself and those she sends into the homes of clients, Coyle began to actually hire employees.
"Some services just find whoever wants to work and then send people into the homes of their clients," Coyle says disapprovingly. "I do a thorough background check of each potential sitter I hire. My employees work for me on an ongoing basis. They are not fly-by-night temporary workers."
Indeed, if you check out the webpage of NJ Petsitters, the site offers a photo and informative personal bio of each staff member. In addition, Coyle interviews every potential client. "I ask each client about their animal's health history, personality, emotional well-being and habits. I find out what, if any medications they are taking and what other issues they might have."
In addition, if for example, you have trained your pet with specific commands (such as before feeding you always say: "Seat yourself my precious little ball of fur!"), then Coyle will make certain that these exact words are always utilized by the sitter assigned to your pet.
And what if your particular sitter unexpectedly wins America's Got Talent and must fly off to Hollywood rather than attend to your pet?
Coyle can handle it. "When I send a sitter out for the initial interview, I also send a "back-up" sitter too. That way the client knows exactly who will be waiting in the wings should any emergency arise."
Some of the services NJ Petsitters offers include:
- Daily Dog Walking
- Intermittent Dog Walks As Needed
- Overnight Pet Sitting In Your Home
- Cat Sitting
- Litterbox Changing, Fish Bowl Cleaning And Various Other Miscellaneous Pet Chores
As someone who had the misfortune of starting out a much anticipated trip with a frightening phone call from home (and a sobbing pet sitter locked in the bathroom), I truly wish I had known about NJ Petsitters back then!