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Thread: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

  1. #21
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    The only ones whom I trust to take care of my girls properly are my parents. They always spoil them, but have learned to only give the veggies I approve (low calcium), they are just not immune to the begging wheeks!
    I use fleece, but use regular bedding when they go to my folks.

    I would consider my cousin, but only if she stays in my house, she lives at her parents and they have two pigs of their own, but her dad smokes. I am not putting my girls in a house that gets smoked in.

    It is a good thing I don't go away often or for long periods!

  2. #22
    Cavy Slave porkchophamster's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by KaileighRussell View Post
    @Inle_Rabbit 0____0

    I can't believe that! The worst experience I've had was actually with dog-sitting. We were going on vacation and left our elderly (16) year old golden retriever with a very reputable boarding facility. Our dog was really really arthritic and so we had supplied two big plush beds and on top of her injections her glucosamine.

    When we came back she had had an accident on both beds (she was not allowed outside because there were too many young dogs who were knocking her over) and those beds were in two garbage bags - still soiled. She had to sleep on hard concrete for three days. She was covered in feces and when we went to pick her up she just looked at us like "I thought you loved me?" Needless to say we're so picky with our animals.

    I've only left my girls and cat in the care of a very close friend who is awesome. I got daily update pics and questions. I always make it a point to leave "in case" money with the brand of pellets and hay for the girls in case they run out. I'm anal though and always have a back up bag of pellets kicking around anyway.
    Wow are you sure they didn't have some other blankets or anything that they used? I work at a boarding facility and can tell you that we won't use plush beds if they cannot be washed in the washing machine and the dogs have any accidents on our own bedding. We tell people, who insist on bringing them anyway and then say, "Oh they won't make a mess on them, she's perfectly housetrained." So we start out using a comforter or some plush blankets for the dogs and if they don't mess on them after 2 days, they get their beds. Unfortunately, a lot of them do have accidents so we can't use the beds or we get yelled out. That's why we tell people not to bring them. We always give free baths to the dogs if they have pee or poop on them though because we don't want them to go home like that, not to mention it's just gross and smelly

  3. #23
    Cavy Slave KaileighRussell's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by porkchophamster View Post
    Wow are you sure they didn't have some other blankets or anything that they used? I work at a boarding facility and can tell you that we won't use plush beds if they cannot be washed in the washing machine and the dogs have any accidents on our own bedding. We tell people, who insist on bringing them anyway and then say, "Oh they won't make a mess on them, she's perfectly housetrained." So we start out using a comforter or some plush blankets for the dogs and if they don't mess on them after 2 days, they get their beds. Unfortunately, a lot of them do have accidents so we can't use the beds or we get yelled out. That's why we tell people not to bring them. We always give free baths to the dogs if they have pee or poop on them though because we don't want them to go home like that, not to mention it's just gross and smelly
    Nope! This boarding place is no longer in service because the woman was totally cracked, but she told us that she didn't want to have our dog mess up her blankets unless we payed her extra to wash them - which wasn't offered. We brought two beds knowing that she would most likely have an accident (just with the new place and that) but they're the beds with removable outer layer and the plastic coated mattress inside so you can clean them really easy. We didn't mind paying for her to run a load extra - only because that makes sense she's running a business and that is extra work!

    I mean she wasn't allowed to go outside (this is what the woman told us) because the other dogs were beating her up so she moved kennels while hers was hosed down and then she was put back on cold, wet concrete. Needless to say she could barely walk when she came back to us and our dogs never went there again.

    It was just terrible, she was covered in feces and looked like she had had diarrhea (from stress) and just was allowed to lay in it and sleep in it the entire time she was there. There was a major complaint launched with the Humane Society over that. Thank god she's closed now. Our dog (who has passed away now - RIP Meggy girl) ended up coming with us all the time as she was so old and it wasn't fair to leave her someplace where that might happen again.

  4. #24
    Cavy Slave porkchophamster's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by KaileighRussell View Post
    Nope! This boarding place is no longer in service because the woman was totally cracked, but she told us that she didn't want to have our dog mess up her blankets unless we payed her extra to wash them - which wasn't offered. We brought two beds knowing that she would most likely have an accident (just with the new place and that) but they're the beds with removable outer layer and the plastic coated mattress inside so you can clean them really easy. We didn't mind paying for her to run a load extra - only because that makes sense she's running a business and that is extra work!

    I mean she wasn't allowed to go outside (this is what the woman told us) because the other dogs were beating her up so she moved kennels while hers was hosed down and then she was put back on cold, wet concrete. Needless to say she could barely walk when she came back to us and our dogs never went there again.

    It was just terrible, she was covered in feces and looked like she had had diarrhea (from stress) and just was allowed to lay in it and sleep in it the entire time she was there. There was a major complaint launched with the Humane Society over that. Thank god she's closed now. Our dog (who has passed away now - RIP Meggy girl) ended up coming with us all the time as she was so old and it wasn't fair to leave her someplace where that might happen again.
    Wow that's awful! I'm glad they aren't in business anymore....doesn't sound like a very nice place. We have "rooms" instead of kennels but we do have crates as well because some people prefer them. Just because a dog can't go with the others shouldn't mean that they can't go out at all. We still take the dogs out to the play yard and let them do their business and get belly rubs
    Diarrhea isn't uncommon either unfortunately we have people bring their own food because of that and some dogs are just very nervous so they get it anyway.
    We also don't charge extra to wash beds.....that's dumb. Dogs have accidents, what do they expect especially if they can't go out?
    Glad she never had to go through that again!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner spudsthepiget's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Now I'm really nervous about going to Reno this summer. I was thinking I'd have one or both of my brothers stay over to watch the pigs and I would leave them a set of detailed instructions. My younger brother just lives 5 minutes away, but he's so forgetful. My older brother lives and works an hour away, but he's more dependable. My main concern though, is the pigs not getting any attention, as my brothers aren't very found of them. I don't really have anyone else I can ask either. If I get home and something's happened to my guinea pigs, heads will roll.

  6. #26
    Cavy Slave Field-of-Dreams's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    My friend and I go to Mini horse shows a lot during the summer. Or we did- I won't go as much anymore. We had a woman come out to take care of our horses and the piggies. I never had any problems with the pigs, she was quite careful with them. But the horses..... oh, my! Now, she was a knowledgable horsewoman, or so she said.

    We had her several times. It's VERY hard to get anyone out to feed the horses in five different areas and barns. Plus we are very rural. We left DETAILED instructions- down to handy hints to make it less time consuming to safety checks. And she still managed to screw up:

    Last year we were at Regionals and they forgot to lock a gate. My geldings got into the feed area- fortunately none got sick. If anything would have happened to Sunny I would have sued. If not outright killed her. From now on, if I go to a show, even if he isn't showing, he'll come with me.

    We had a young colt who had choked and needed to be fed liquid "soup" feed. It wasn't hard, mix his feed with water and let stand for five minutes, then he could drink it. She didn't let it dissolve long enough and he choked again. She had to run him to the vet and left him there. After we got home and brought him back, he seemed tired but was eating his mush OK. I came home from work two days later- he was DEAD. Would he have died anyway? Maybe, but if she had fed him the right way he might not have.

    Another unlocked gate and a stallion got into the mare field- fortunately no foals resulted. She said when she went to catch him he was "tired". Ya think???


    So, it doesn't look like I'll be showing much this year, definitely not any "away" shows. I didn;t even go to Nationals last year. I was afraid- it was ten days away from the farm. We also had a friend feed, but there was something slightly "off" with that... I felt that the amount of grain that was left was way too much- like she hadn't fed properly. Either not enough, or she skipped some feedings. I dunno....

    Anyone know of a good, dependable farmsitter in N Central Texas?

  7. #27
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Well I thought I wanted to petsit.

    maybe I'll just stick to fostering instead.



    I'm not one to screw up (especially as bad as these stories... I mean you really have to put effort into being that bad of a pet sitter)... however the thought of pet sitting has always made me nervous because I knew if I messed up just slightly I'd have an owner blow up and ruin my reputation.

  8. #28
    Cavy Slave couchon's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    You are right - you can't mess up as a pet sitter. It's life and death that we are talking about, and even if it doesn't lead to death, it could lead to serious injury or even just upset the animal. It's a huge responsibility.

    Boogle, I am puzzled by your last sentce. You make it sound as if it's unjustifiable for the owner to be angry or upset if you screwed up or tell other people about it (if someone's pet sitter screwed up, I HOPE they would tell other people, so I don't end up with their pet sitter myself). If it's your error, it's your error. Of course, I think the responsibility is just as big in fostering.

    But yes, the responsibility is huge with NO room for mess ups. If you feel you don't know piggies enough to notice slight signs of illnes and take them to the vet IMMEDIATELY; if you have doubts, it's probably not a good idea to do it.

  9. #29
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    @Boogle and @couchon -- right unfortunately you can't mess up because it's a pet's life that is threatened. This is why it's so important to give (and get, if you are the one petsitting) very clear instructions about what to do. So for example, if someone leaves a certain variety of veggies in the fridge and you just tell the sitter to give them some each day, then they might end up giving the pig something like lots of sugary fruit or cabbage everyday! And since guinea pigs can go downhill so quickly, I don't know if there's anyone out of my friends and family I would trust to watch them for an extended period of time. That's why I took mine to a guinea pig rescue for boarding, they are the only ones who will know what to look out for.

  10. #30
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by couchon View Post
    Boogle, I am puzzled by your last sentce. You make it sound as if it's unjustifiable for the owner to be angry or upset if you screwed up or tell other people about it (if someone's pet sitter screwed up, I HOPE they would tell other people, so I don't end up with their pet sitter myself). If it's your error, it's your error. Of course, I think the responsibility is just as big in fostering.
    I see how that can be puzzling. Let me show you the wonderful world of Boogle's anxiety. As usual, I always think of horrible situations even if they are very unlikely to happen.

    so i have this fear that i'd have someone be like OH MY GOD CAN YOU PIG SIT?! and i'll be like DUH OF COURSE I CAN! I LOVE GUINEA PIGS SO MUCH I JUST WANT TO SHOWER THEM IN FRESH FOOD AND GIVE THEM ALL OF THE PETTING.
    and then upon arrival and introductions and what not the piggy looks to be in good condition, so after flawlessly following instructions throughout the day (because I'm a perfectionist and a super hard worker) i notice the guinea pig is peeing/pooping something unusual. So immediately I'm like "oh my god, this pig is sick. lets take it to the vet" and i call the owner and I'm like "hey you're guinea pig is having some unusual urine/poop, I'm taking him/her to your vet or a vet of my choice if you don't have one."

    And then the owner is all like THIS IS CLEARLY ALL OF YOUR FAULT BECAUSE I BET YOU DIDNT FOLLOW ANYTHING I TOLD YOU TO DO AND I CAN'T BELIVE YOU MADE MY SWEETY PIGGY POO PANTS SICK! IM GOING TO TELL EVERYONE HOW HORRIBLE YOU ARE AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER GUINEA PIG IN YOUR CARE AGAIN.


    and then i'll be like NOOO i love piggies so much! I'm really trying my hardest please don't be mad! *cries*
    or its like the exact same situation but the owner has their pig in a petstore cage and feeds it some crap pellets like Fiesta Max and like puts tang in the water because they believe its a good source of vitamin C... and you like have already agreed to pet sit and its like too late. OH MY GOD COULD YOU IMAGINE IF A PIG PASSED IN YOUR CARE?! *hands shaking*





    Where as like in fostering i'd be like "oh my god here is the most amazing C&C cage i have ever built and I'm doing such and such awesome things for this piggie but she/he got sick and I'm going to take her to a vet".
    then the rescue organization would be like "oh well let us recommend you one if we haven't already, hope they get better soon and thanks for keeping such close eye!"
    or the organization would have already given me a sick pig and be like "this is a special needs pig, it needs this medication once every twelve hours". and if the pig passed in my care it would be super sad but not horribly tragic because the piggy didn't have an owner who was super attached and was probably in poor condition in the first place because its last home was neglectful.




    *hyperventilating in a paper bag* oh my god like if anyone ever got mad at me for making a mistake during pig sitting i would probably have a panic attack and just like uncontrollably cry and beg for forgiveness.

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    Cavy Slave SheWolfSilver's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    I don't go out of town very often but if I did I would definitely board my piggies. I don't know a single soul that I would trust to take decent care of them. We are all rednecks around here so they either shoot it, stuff it or marry it! Since I don't want my piggies married off LOL j/k I will be boarding them! I do plan on going out of town for the night in May but I am well prepared for it! I have made a huge hay bag for them so they won't run out and they will get extra veggies that morning and I will make sure their cage and fleece is fresh and clean that morning so, they should be good until I get back.

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    Cavy Slave SheWolfSilver's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogle View Post
    I see how that can be puzzling. Let me show you the wonderful world of Boogle's anxiety. As usual, I always think of horrible situations even if they are very unlikely to happen.

    so i have this fear that i'd have someone be like OH MY GOD CAN YOU PIG SIT?! and i'll be like DUH OF COURSE I CAN! I LOVE GUINEA PIGS SO MUCH I JUST WANT TO SHOWER THEM IN FRESH FOOD AND GIVE THEM ALL OF THE PETTING.
    and then upon arrival and introductions and what not the piggy looks to be in good condition, so after flawlessly following instructions throughout the day (because I'm a perfectionist and a super hard worker) i notice the guinea pig is peeing/pooping something unusual. So immediately I'm like "oh my god, this pig is sick. lets take it to the vet" and i call the owner and I'm like "hey you're guinea pig is having some unusual urine/poop, I'm taking him/her to your vet or a vet of my choice if you don't have one."

    And then the owner is all like THIS IS CLEARLY ALL OF YOUR FAULT BECAUSE I BET YOU DIDNT FOLLOW ANYTHING I TOLD YOU TO DO AND I CAN'T BELIVE YOU MADE MY SWEETY PIGGY POO PANTS SICK! IM GOING TO TELL EVERYONE HOW HORRIBLE YOU ARE AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER GUINEA PIG IN YOUR CARE AGAIN.


    and then i'll be like NOOO i love piggies so much! I'm really trying my hardest please don't be mad! *cries*
    or its like the exact same situation but the owner has their pig in a petstore cage and feeds it some crap pellets like Fiesta Max and like puts tang in the water because they believe its a good source of vitamin C... and you like have already agreed to pet sit and its like too late. OH MY GOD COULD YOU IMAGINE IF A PIG PASSED IN YOUR CARE?! *hands shaking*





    Where as like in fostering i'd be like "oh my god here is the most amazing C&C cage i have ever built and I'm doing such and such awesome things for this piggie but she/he got sick and I'm going to take her to a vet".
    then the rescue organization would be like "oh well let us recommend you one if we haven't already, hope they get better soon and thanks for keeping such close eye!"
    or the organization would have already given me a sick pig and be like "this is a special needs pig, it needs this medication once every twelve hours". and if the pig passed in my care it would be super sad but not horribly tragic because the piggy didn't have an owner who was super attached and was probably in poor condition in the first place because its last home was neglectful.




    *hyperventilating in a paper bag* oh my god like if anyone ever got mad at me for making a mistake during pig sitting i would probably have a panic attack and just like uncontrollably cry and beg for forgiveness.
    LOL You so seriously sound like me! I have horrible scenarios I run through for everything! It's like this though I always imagine the worst and then I'm so relieved when it turns out so much better! As long as you followed directions I wouldn't blame you for my piggy getting sick. I wish you lived closer I would so hire you!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    You know, I've actually lost sleep wondering what it will be like leaving my two girls who are used to fleece and having it spot cleaned throughout the day. The few people I've approached about possibly pig sitting don't quite "get it". I will def switch to a carefresh type bedding when I go on vacation, which I am now dreading. :-(

  14. #34
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolfSilver View Post
    LOL You so seriously sound like me! I have horrible scenarios I run through for everything! It's like this though I always imagine the worst and then I'm so relieved when it turns out so much better! As long as you followed directions I wouldn't blame you for my piggy getting sick. I wish you lived closer I would so hire you!

    oh my gosh its horrible. Sometimes I worry about messing up so much that I mess up because I'm too focused on worrying about messing up!!!

    I used to be late to class a lot my junior year of college because I would walk out of my apartment and start walking down the 3 flights of stairs to the bus stop and be like "wait... did i turn off my hair straightener?" "did I leave the oven/stove on?" "did I lock the front door?" and there I am like climbing up and down stairs like 3 or 4 times.
    I lost SO MUCH weight that year! especially once I finally got onto campus I'd have to run to class!

    Thankfully now I have this amazing boyfriend who's there to help me calm down and pick up anything that slips my mind. Poor guy, I can really see how frustrating it can be to spend so much time with someone who's a few steps short of OCD. I'm so thankful for his patience, he really is super wonderful.

  15. #35
    Cavy Slave KimmiA's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    @Inle_Rabbit

    i had to read your story twice because I couldn't believe someone would even have the nerve to do that! That is SO HORRIBLE!

    you know what, serves that sitter right for going to jail. Geez, how can people be so inconsiderate!?

  16. #36
    Moderator / Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Inle_Rabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    @KimmiA - Yes, someone actually did that to our family property and animals. It was very heartbreaking especially for my parents. What this punk did destroyed the relationship between the family friend and my parents. We also did not go on a vacation for the next 2 years. I will never trust someone that I do not personally know to watch after my animals and home.

  17. #37
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Agrimony's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    I leave for 10 days of vacation Wednesday, as if I didn't have enough to be stressed over! My boys are all on carefresh at least so I won't have to worry about major tasks with cage cleaning. And luckily after a few months of systemic antibiotics my boar Pickle was as of yesterday finally put on topical antibiotics! Just in time, this will be much easier to show someone how to do once a day rather than a large does of oral antibiotics twice a day.

    Petsitting can be very stressful. My roommate and I pet sat a friends rat last summer. I really didn't want to, because he was almost 3 years old, had a bad URI and his cagemate passed away 2 days before we got him. He also had severe mites of some sort- severe enough that after holding him by her neck for a short about of time they began burrowing into my roommates skin, seen as barely visible black dots (i know they say you can't see most mites, but this may have been an especially severe case/some other parasite). We took the best care of him we could, were going to be bringing him to a vet even (this rat was actually a friend of a friends, who I'm sad to say suffered neglect and no one really wanted him) but we were not able to get him there in time and he died the second day we had him. It felt so horrible to have a pet die in my care. The person who gave him to us to watch was expecting that to happen and no one, besides us, were even upset about his death. As awful as it felt that poor rat had it the worst. I couldn't believe they would let him live like that. We brought him to the vet to be cremated and were not reimbursed for anything. It was a real unpleasant experience.

  18. #38
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    After reading these stories I never want to leave me pets!
    i will have to figure out something for about a week though, I'm going to my sisters wedding out of state in July.

    I've left my dog once before for three nights. My mom came to baby sit and Jerry loves her so I knew they'd be fine. I've never left my piggies before and my mom is now several states away (and attending my sisters wedding) so she is definitely a no go this time. I feel like I should start trying to find someone good now!

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    Cavy Slave Kristine's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    We have a friend who has done a wonderful job pet sitting our pigs and dog when we go out of town.

    The only issue of this nature I've had was with a contractor, not our pet sitter. Over the past year we had new windows and wiring on the house so there was a lot of people in and out and I couldn't be there all the time. The contractors and electrician were great with our black lab and even let him out to potty when I was at work. (Above and beyond) Unfortunately our dog is a little too well behaved and is easily forgotten about. Twice they forgot to let him back in and after awhile he would get side tracked and wander off, he also has petit mal seizures and gets confused. I would then get a call fom our vet letting me know he had wandered off and was found. Sigh. He loves kids and if he gets left outside he goes down to the park to play with them. Once he was picked up by the police and when I got there he was in the police garage playing with them. The contractors felt really bad about it and were more careful after that. Luckily we never got fined and our dog was ok. I also now have a sign on the door asking everyone to check to make sure the dog is in the house.

  20. #40
    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Pet Sitter Horror Stories

    I am blessed with an amazing sitter.
    I am devastated that I will be losing her this summer due to graduation.

    I have another person in mind that I trust with the pigs but I don't fully trust in my home. Too much of a looky loo.

    I leave instructions and have her take a pic of each pig when she comes in twice a day to feed them.

    She was attentive enough to note that my Charlie was not well last year and I was able to adjust his diet while I was still out of town.

    A good pig sitter is a thing of beauty. Hope everyone who is looking for one finds a fantastic one.
    Last edited by Kim37040; 04-08-13 at 12:03 am. Reason: corrected spelling

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