Pet Sitters Alleviate Worries

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As the hot days of summer quickly approach, slews of thoughts are probably swirling through your brain: What should we buy for Aunt Betty’s 80th birthday? Should we sign the kids up for swim classes at the Y? And, oh yeah, we’re going on vacation in two weeks, what should we do about the animals?
Some pet owners prefer to keep their pets at home rather than drop them off during the day or for any extended length of time. This is where pet sitters come into play. Mary Moses, owner of Affordable Pet Sitters in NV, has been showing up at people’s doors for more than four years to either take their pets for walks or sit at home with them until their masters return.

“I do this seven days a week,” Moses says. “You can start at 4 or 5 in the morning and go until 9 or 10 at night. And you work all the holidays. I’m going from 4 in the morning until 10 at night during Christmas.”

Moses says most of her home visits last about 30 minutes, which includes making sure the pet has food and water and taking the animal for a walk. The cost is $19. A 40-minute visit is $25 and a 60-minute stay costs $32. Overnight pet care, which includes staying in the customer’s home, costs $54 and goes from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Moses says she pet sits all animals including dogs, cats, horses, chickens and ferrets. She’s even taken care of desert tortoises.

“I have one desert tortoise that weighs 80 pounds,” Moses says with a chuckle. “When I’m out in the park walking, I pick dandelions. Tortoises love the stems.”

Moses is a member of the Southern Nevada Association of Professional Pet Sitters. SNAPPS, according to its website, is a networking organization for professional pet sitters who do business in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and surrounding communities. Its members are licensed and insured and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Moses suggests that anyone considering hiring a pet sitter to first make sure he or she is a member of SNAPPS.

“A lot of pet sitters are not licensed,” Moses explains. “We are required to be licensed. People should ask pet sitters to show them their license and ask if they are bonded.”

As a professional courtesy, Moses says she only works the Summerlin area, while other pet sitters work other areas of the Las Vegas Valley.

“I have had situations where I had to move into a person’s home for six months,” Moses says. “I had an insurance adjuster who had to go to New Orleans after (Hurricane) Katrina. You have to work with what the customer wants and make them feel comfortable. It’s not about the money. It’s about what’s best for them and their pets.”

Moses says most people don’t realize that pet sitters are an available resource. She points out that cats, and especially older dogs, feel much more comfortable staying in their own home instead of being dropped off at a place that may seem strange to them. And some dogs and cats, she adds, may feel uncomfortable being around other animals.

When asked whether she had ever refused to pet sit an animal due to a bad experience from a previous encounter, Moses emphatically says, “No.”

She added, “I have never had a situation where I wouldn’t go back because of the animal. I have had a situation where I wouldn’t go back because of the owner.”

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