How did the owner, Cheryl, get started in this business? What was her background?

Cheryl’s background was in Special Education-working with special needs children, multiply-handicapped, and abused kids. After leaving teaching, she worked in a variety of occupations-including working for attorneys, numerous physicians and managerial positions. Having stressful jobs led to a need to traveling more often and the next dilemma was: Who was going to watch her pets? Kenneling them was not an option for Cheryl so she opened up Pet-tenders in July 1983, her pet-sitting service, and the concept took off. It seemed to be a common need that the public had.

   What is Pet-tenders®?
We are one of the original pet-sitting services in the World opening July 1983. We are also the largest and most experienced pet-sitting service in San Diego county.

   Do I bring my pets to a Pet-Tenders location for care?
No. As an alternative to the usual board and care facility – the kennel – many owners are now choosing to keep their pets in less stressful surroundings at home. (Cat boarding, however, is offered to select pets dependent on openings). 

   Will my dog get walked while I’m away?
Yes, if your dog is used to walking on a leash daily, we will gladly walk your dog. Walks are approx. 15-as our visits are approx. 20-30 minutes.

   Will Pet-Tenders clean up after my pets?
Yes. We clean up litter boxes and yards, and change cage paper, as needed-if the owner regularly cleans up.

   Does Pet-Tenders administer pills to my pets?
Yes, we administer any necessary medications but this is dependent on your pet’s temperament.

   Does Pet-Tenders offer any supplemental in-home services?
Yes. We will also water plants, bring in mail and newspapers, alternate lights, open and close draperies, and set alarm systems so that the home appears occupied.

   How often does Pet-Tenders visit my home while I’m away?
We provide drop-by visits once or twice daily (three times for special needs pets).

   How much lead time does Pet-Tenders require when I book their services?
It is preferable to call at least 4-10 days ahead of the first time you utilize the services (during the holidays, 2-3 weeks).

   What are your cancellation policies?
Since we have reserved dropby petsitting service for you, we do charge 50% of the reserved dates for canceling with less than 5 days notice; Holiday* Cancellation Policy: 50% of the reserved dropby dates for canceling with less than 10 days notice-both are due and payable upon receipt. Housesitting (overnight care)-there is a 100% Nonrefundable fee charged for cancelling overnight care with less than 30 days notice
If owner arrives home early, without notifying Pet-tenders previous to departure or fails to contact pet-sitter from their vacation with one day’s notice that owner will be home earlier than their reserved dropby dates, owner agrees to pay a cancellation charge of 50% of the remaining reserved dates. If owner arrives home early and Pet-tenders has already made the trip to the home, the owner will be charged in full for that visit.
For Housesitting (overnight care reservations), there is a 100% nonrefundable charge with less than 30 days notice to cancel; 100% nonrefundable charge over any holiday timeframe in the event you cancel your overnight care reservation with less than 30 days notice.
If you arrive home early or have another person continue care (for whatever reason) during your overnight reserved dates, there will be no refunds or credit given. Some exceptions may apply.
Terms and rates are subject to change without notice.*see holidays that are surcharged

   Why is an in-home service preferable to a kennel?
It is less stressful for your pets to stay home. They can enjoy the comfort and familiarity of their daily routine, and exposure to illness is reduced.

   What qualifications does Pet-Tenders owner have?
Some of the best in town. Cheryl was one of the original pet-sitting services in the World and now has over 40 years (in business) of experience in the industry. Cheryl was a Charter Member of the National Association of Professional Pet-sitters, and served on their Ethics Committee from 1996-2000. She was a Charter Member of Pet Sitters International and is a certified Feline, Canine, Avian, Reptile and Small Animal Specialist, receiving her credentials from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

   What about references and recommendations?
Pet-Tenders maintains a notebook of extensive credentials, including more than 250 unsolicited letters of recommendation from satisfied clients, and articles in numerous publications-which are available to view. Please ask ahead of time before your interview.

   How long has Pet-Tenders been in business?
Since July 1983.

   How can I learn more about the owner?
For a complete list of articles and listings, see owner’s Curriculum Vitae.

   What are the rates for pet-sitting?
Please click on the Rate Information tab at left.

   What are the rates for overnight care?
Please click on the Rate Information tab at left.

   Is there any additional charge for holidays?
Please click on the Rate Information tab at left.

   When do I pay?
Please click on the Rate Information tab at left.

   May I use a credit card to pay the fees? What other forms of payment are accepted?
Yes. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, cash and checks. (Credit card fees are applied to your total)

   Does Pet-Tenders offer any discounts?
Yes. Please click on the Rate Information tab at left. Discounts are not combinable and will not be offered with credit card usage. 

   What else does Pet-Tenders offer?
Gift Certificates, Educational Handouts, and some pet supplies – see our Pet Supplies page.

   In what areas of San Diego County does Pet-Tenders offer its services?
Pet-Tenders services clients north to Del Mar, TBA south to Chula Vista,  TBA east to El Cajon and west to the beaches.

   How do I contact Pet-Tenders?
Please click on our Contacting Us tab at left.

   How can I learn more about pet care?
If you would like to receive a Basic Package on Pet-Tenders services, including our brochure, email or call us with your mailing address and we will be happy to send you one.

   If Pet-Tenders doesn’t service my area, can they refer me to someone who does?
Referrals may be available if Pet-Tenders does not service your area or cannot provide care for your pets.

   Since a pet-sitter is going to be coming into my home, does Pet-Tenders do any type of background check to make sure they do not have any criminal record?
Yes. Keeping your home security as a priority, it is Pet-Tenders policy that all Pet-sitters working with Pet-Tenders have had background checks for criminal/civil records.

   Does Pet-Tenders work with employees or Independents Contractors?
Pet-sitters working with Pet-Tenders are Independent Contractors.

   Someone told me that Diane Langley from Paw Prints and/or Susan Martin from Spoil Me Rotten and/or Rita Carter and/or Lorri Maida and/or Ann Greg used to work for Pet-tenders. Is that true?
That is true. Many years ago: Diane Langley worked with Pet-tenders 3 years +, Susan Martin under 1 year, Rita 7 years+, Lorri 8 years+, Ann Greg 2 years+.

   I prefer calling the sitter directly for reservations. Why should I call the office?
Pet-tenders has a check and balance system set up for animal care and safety. The office receives the dates from the owner and records it on a central board; notifies the sitter who confirms the dates with the owner. We have had many problems in the past when the owner contacts the sitter and each one states that “she told me these dates were correct.” Having the office be the nucleus prevents error. If  you continue to contact the sitter and not honor our policy, we will have to ask you to hire another service.  We do Everything for the sake of your pet.

   I would like the petsitter to contact me every day, either by phone, text or by email-is that possible?
We offered this service until 2010 and then more and more clients began requesting it. We found that we were spending far too much time on the phone, on our computers, texting and talking to the owners instead of doing our job-which is taking care of the pets and homes. Sometimes a sitter would forget to contact the owner-which lead the owner to think their pets were not being cared for-but it was quite the opposite. Now, upon request, we can contact you every few days-by phone, text or email (if the sitter has text/email access). Periodically, you can also send an email to the office directly to pettenders@aol.com to see how everything is going-if your sitter does not have email/text capability. Pet-tenders’ office keeps in touch with the sitters often. Emails/phone calls will not be returned on Sundays, Halloween and/or any holiday. Also, please do keep in mind time zone differences when calling/emailing.

   I really liked the pet-sitter who came the last time and found out she was terminated. Why is she no longer there?
Cheryl Dagostaro, the owner, answers this by saying “I would be a very foolish employer to let a Great pet-sitter go. I am happy that you had wonderful service from that particular sitter, but countless others had not-YOU were fortunate. I would only terminate a sitter when it is in the best interests of the pets she is watching and the owner’s home she is caring for. If I would not want this sitter in my home, I certainly would not want her in my client’s homes.”

   I have read some things on the Internet that are not flattering to Pet-tenders. Who is writing these things?
Pet-tenders was recently involved in a legal matter to determine the publisher of these False/Libelous statements. We reached a settlement out of court this year where the attorneys , of course, found this person guilty. We were very grateful to have the help of all the Internet companies (Yahoo, CraigsList, Google, Insider Pages) to work with us on the identity of the posters. We think many people are under the erroneous impression that they can post anything intentionally vindictive and malicious on the Internet and not be found out or prosecuted-simply not true. My advice-have your attorney subpoena the postings and move forward with prosecution so you/your business name is not damaged. On another note, if you happen to notice any people and/or pet sitting services that seem to continuously focus on criticizing Pet-tenders-there is a strong possibility in my opinion-they may have worked for Pet-tenders and were Terminated.

   Under what circumstances you would stop working with someone?
From the owner “No matter what the circumstances, ceasing to working with a pet-sitter is not a pleasant thing to do. In the past, I made mistakes in giving a couple of pet-sitters too many chances thinking they would improve on the quality of their work, their work habits, their attitude or their character. With some pet-sitters, offering suggestions did work and I was very glad it had. With a couple of other pet-sitters-nothing worked. I would cease to work with a pet-sitter, with documented proof, for some of the following reasons:
Any kind of animal neglect, theft/embezzlement/fraud, incompetency/numerous errors that are not corrected, chronic client complaints, alcohol/drug problems, habitual lying/unethical behavior, soliciting Pet-tenders clients. For anything serious, we would hope clients would assist us as I take the above things very serious.”

   The sitter left me her own refrigerator magnet, told me to contact her directly for future reservations as she was going in business for herself. This seems dishonest to me. What should I do?
First off, it is dishonest and if a sitter is being dishonest with the company, (s)he will be dishonest with you. Every sitter that Pet-tenders works with signs a Trade Secret Agreement so they all know what they are doing is illegal. If that should happen to you, please contact the company immediately at 619-298-3033.

   Automobile Car Signs (or Advertising the Pet Sitting Business on the Car).
This is a concern that we are asked about often. Keeping your home security as one of our top priorities, it is Pet-tenders policy that all petsitter’s cars, while on the job, will not have any identifying signs or marks that alert others to your absence. Pet-tenders is very concerned about your home safety, privacy and security than we are advertising or trying to promote our own business. In this day and age, break-ins/home and car theft are very important arenas for homeowners or tenants to worry about. Over a decade ago, we had signs on our cars that read “Petsitting in Your Home While You Are Away”. We had a couple of clients that pointed out to us we were directly advertising to their neighborhood that they were out of town! We stopped using the signage on our cars the following day and our clients became much more at ease-which is a key component to our business. Peace of mind while you are away~not only for your pet’s care but also for your home. Contrary to erroneous information that is posted on the Internet (esp. Yelp), our cars do not advertise the business name anywhere or park in anyone’s driveway.

   How can I check when a business officially opened if it is not noted in the yellow page ad and the owner tells me something I may not believe?
You can always ask the owner to see the original business license and the original fictitious business name statement. All owners should be able to provide that to you upon request to verify when the business legally began.  When a business opens up, they have to print their Fictitious Business Name statement for 4 weeks in a newspaper notifying the public that they own that business name. During this time, the business owner can also apply for their business license. You can also check with the CITY to see when the business actually opened and received their first business license.

   How can I verify if a business owner’s bond  or their liability insurance is current?
Ask the owner for the telephone number of the bond company or their liability insurance to verify coverage. The bond company will then let you know if the owner’s premiums are current. Some services advertise that they have coverage-always best to verify it.