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After seeing recommendations for Rover.com, my blood started boiling due to my bad experience, and I realized I better post what happened so others have fair warning.

I needed to hire a sitter for my dogs while I had jury duty and thought I may be away from the house, 30 miles away, possibly all day. I found a middle aged woman who seemed reliable and had tons of glowing reviews. We scheduled a meet and greet and she seemed fine for the job. The dogs loved her, even Zooey LOL.

Well, long story short, instead of showing up at 7 am like she was supposed to, she broke into my house at 10:30 am and had a psychotic episode (drug induced, perhaps) and destroyed my property and stole my key. I thought she had stolen my laptop, but it was recovered in a neighbor's yard, where it had been dumped after the cover had been ripped off and thrown in my yard with other trash. I spent the rest of the day on the phone with the police, Rover, and getting the locks changed before I left the house. Thank God the dogs seemed unharmed.

Rover paid for re-keying my locks and part of my broken security camera that was ripped off the wall, but I still had a $250 "deductible" that they wouldn't cover. They do not background check people and are not bonded--anything anyone steals from your home will not be covered. I found out this person's last name, not by Rover, who "protect the privacy" of their pet sitters, but by sheer luck, did my own background check, and found out she is a criminal felon! Needless to say, I will never use Rover again!

So, my tips to you: Do a full interview and ask if the person uses drugs and/or has been incarcerated, do our own criminal background check, make sure they're bonded, call several references, and go with your gut.
 

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ZM I am so glad that you shared this here. I am horrified that Rover does not make things 100% right when stuff like this happens. It seems like they should have some accountability (I know they paid for your locks) but really they should have been paying far above and beyond that in my opinion for the nightmare that you went through all because of them!! Thank you for the reminder to conduct our own background checks on people. I know I would have just assumed that a site like rover does that for me.
 

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OMG! Very scary! I'm glad no harm came to the dogs though! Hope you have since found a reliable pet sitter! Take a look in your own neighborhood for someone who everyone knows!

There is a website called 'Nextdoor' and maybe your neighbors are posters......I've gotten to know quite a few people in my hood for recommendations for just about everything, and people even report on anything fishy or suspicious! Even loose dogs and cats are getting returned to their homes before they end up n the pound! Do check and see if your neighborhood has joined!
 

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OMG, this is horrible! The loss of property is bad, but when I think what could have happened to your dogs, just OMG!! She could have let them out loose, taken them with her, etc. The fact that they do not background check and are not bonded is amazing. If I were you I would post this all over the place, FB, any other chat groups you are on, etc. so the word gets out there...
 

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That is so frightening! I can’t understand how rover.com could shield the identity of a contract employee, involved in criminal trespass. Glad you and the dogs are okay. I get chills thinking about what might have happened...
 

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I am glad you posted this ZM. Leaving pets and having assurance there are good arrangements for their care is really hard. We now have two people who we know personally and trust deeply in addition to my mom, so we have some depth of coverage. I think we are really lucky.

We used to use Fetch Petcare. It is through them that we met our neighbor who we barter house sitting and pet care with now. Our local Fetch franchiser closed her business, but Fetch does do criminal background checks and their employees and the franchise are insured and bonded. If you need to consider this type of service provider and you have Fetch in your area you may find them more reassuring.
 

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Wow that's crazy. I will definitely do a background check when I switch sitters. Sandy has stayed with one family that I found off rover and seemed fine when I got back into town. I was given updates and she swam in their pool and stole their pizza. Made herself at home. I didn't rebook that one because of the distance so I went to a different rover sitter a couple of weeks ago. 68 Postive reviews and 20 repeat customers 2 acres with a fence all around their house. She stayed with them over the weekend and will be staying with them for two weeks during Christmas. They let Sand sleep with them and sent many (MANY) text updates/photos over a two day period time. The guy says he wakes p at5:30 and walks around with a black light to make sure no one had accidents ☺ .

It's like with Craigslist or any other service..you have to be careful.
 

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Oh my! That is scary. One would think a company would do background checks. I am lucky that someone is always home in my house and I do have a trustworthy neighbor that I could use if needed. She and I will do petsitting in our neighborhood.
 

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OMG! Very scary! I'm glad no harm came to the dogs though! Hope you have since found a reliable pet sitter! Take a look in your own neighborhood for someone who everyone knows!

There is a website called 'Nextdoor' and maybe your neighbors are posters......I've gotten to know quite a few people in my hood for recommendations for just about everything, and people even report on anything fishy or suspicious! Even loose dogs and cats are getting returned to their homes before they end up n the pound! Do check and see if your neighborhood has joined!
I am a member of Nextdoor, Molly, and that is actually where I found out the last name of the felon I hired....she is also on Nextdoor!!! But, it is a fabulous resource and we have a lot of neighbors on alert for crime in the neighborhood. Remember when you thought I was moving to Chino and were afraid of the crime there? Well, Chico is quickly becoming just as bad. I'm selling my house and moving at the end of the school year.

OMG, this is horrible! The loss of property is bad, but when I think what could have happened to your dogs, just OMG!! She could have let them out loose, taken them with her, etc. The fact that they do not background check and are not bonded is amazing. If I were you I would post this all over the place, FB, any other chat groups you are on, etc. so the word gets out there...
I was so incredibly grateful the dogs were okay. She left my yard gate wide open and the back door unlocked. The dogs have been known to open the back door if it is not locked! And I live on a road where people drive very fast, so they could easily be hit by a car. And yes, I thought thank God she didn't take my dogs!

Wow that's crazy. I will definitely do a background check when I switch sitters. Sandy has stayed with one family that I found off rover and seemed fine when I got back into town. I was given updates and she swam in their pool and stole their pizza. Made herself at home. I didn't rebook that one because of the distance so I went to a different rover sitter a couple of weeks ago. 68 Postive reviews and 20 repeat customers 2 acres with a fence all around their house. She stayed with them over the weekend and will be staying with them for two weeks during Christmas. They let Sand sleep with them and sent many (MANY) text updates/photos over a two day period time. The guy says he wakes p at5:30 and walks around with a black light to make sure no one had accidents ☺ .

It's like with Craigslist or any other service..you have to be careful.
Oh, yes, never, ever use Craigslist for pet sitting. My sister and I used a girl off of it and she abandoned our pets for the night. Thankfully, we were just gone overnight to a concert, so the pets were fine, but a little shaken up at being left for 12 hours. The girl had just come in to clean up all of their accidents, as we saw evidence of cleaning products just having been used. I left her a negative review on Craigslist and got a death threat. Nice.

So...now I'll only use my friend Kelley's service for drop in care, or board the poodles at their training center. Those of you who have trustworthy family or friends, count your blessings. I used to have my mom or my sister to watch my dogs, and I knew at the time how lucky that was.
 

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Thank you for sharing this story. I have a 2-week family vacation coming up where we need someone to watch our animals. My trainer will do pet sitting but my mom wants me to board my dogs with someone at their facility rather than inviting someone to live in your home. The cost difference is pretty massive and I still haven't decided on what to do yet. I think the cost difference comes out to be about $500 which is pretty ridiculous.
 

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That's really scary. I can't imagine. I'm so glad your dogs are all right. Thanks for the warning.
 

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Oh, yes, never, ever use Craigslist for pet sitting. My sister and I used a girl off of it and she abandoned our pets for the night. Thankfully, we were just gone overnight to a concert, so the pets were fine, but a little shaken up at being left for 12 hours. The girl had just come in to clean up all of their accidents, as we saw evidence of cleaning products just having been used. I left her a negative review on Craigslist and got a death threat. Nice.

Reply: Had the same thing happen, it was next door neighbor, the one I ran off,. I was to be home around 5PM the next day and due to business came at 10AM. Came in dogs in their play pen and poop that had gotten hard and crusty. I do not think she came at all, now you talk about mad. I went next door (she was still in bed and was to be staying at my house) and tore her apart, and told everyone I knew what she had done, as we had some of the same friends, that ended her with most friends. She is the same one that caused me to have to put Shotsie down. We lived in a duplex. so needless to say if she saw me coming in or going out, she stayed inside. She was scared to death of me after that, and she should have been.
 

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Reply: Had the same thing happen, it was next door neighbor, the one I ran off,. I was to be home around 5PM the next day and due to business came at 10AM. Came in dogs in their play pen and poop that had gotten hard and crusty. I do not think she came at all, now you talk about mad. I went next door (she was still in bed and was to be staying at my house) and tore her apart, and told everyone I knew what she had done, as we had some of the same friends, that ended her with most friends. She is the same one that caused me to have to put Shotsie down. We lived in a duplex. so needless to say if she saw me coming in or going out, she stayed inside. She was scared to death of me after that, and she should have been.
I'm so sorry, glorybee :( What a thoughtless POS.
 

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zooeysmom, OMG that is so scary, so horrible - and I'm so glad you posted about your experience to warn us about Rover and to carefully check any other service we use. I'm so glad that you found your computer that you thought was stolen, and oh so thankful the dogs were all okay and indoors.

I can't believe they were protecting the person who did this too you - I presume they had to release the information to the police.

I've been using Rover because the person I found to watch Babykins used to be on dogvacay which was bought by Rover. I never read all the terms and whether or not they did criminal background checks etc. In my case, I met the woman and see her most weeks at our small dog social. She is well known at the Human Society because one of her dogs is a very popular therapy dog - who can go into situations that most dogs can't handle such as a school for children with autism. My dog already knew her and her dogs, and I left her there for a couple of day visits first before booking her for an overnight stay. I just came back from a week's holiday abroad and Babykins had a great time with her, lots of pictures were sent etc. And I know every time my dog sees them, she jumps up to greet the dog sitter and her dogs with joy. Babykins has full run of the house, sleeps on the bed with them at night and snuggles with the elderly dogs sometimes for a nap. So I'm happy with whom I leave my dog.................but I'm not happy now that she is a member of Rover. The one negative thing is this woman lives quite far from me and I would love someone closer I can drop my dog off for a half day more easily - so I was looking on Rover for another dog sitter. I will look elsewhere now.

And I walk regularly at a large park and meet lots of dogs - and asked their owners who watched their dogs when they were on vacation. I got tons of names and none of them are available. We have Nextdoor, but none of the neighbors participated so they expanded the "neighborhood" to the point where it's basically the whole city which makes it meaningless as a neighborhood exchange.
 

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That's so awful! I would never in a million years have guessed that they didn't do any background checks. It seems like they'd be scared of lawsuits. I guess all that fine print that I always seem to agree to without actually reading might be important after all. Somebody should spread the word on social media. Maybe they'll look at things a little differently if they get a lot of bad publicity.
 

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I am sorry to see that you are feeling like you have to move again. I know you put a lot of thought and work into finding and fixing up your adorable house. So sad for you....
 

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... so I was looking on Rover for another dog sitter. I will look elsewhere now.
I'm glad you will look elsewhere for another sitter. I'm very glad my experience can at least help others to be safe with their dogs and homes.

That's so awful! I would never in a million years have guessed that they didn't do any background checks. It seems like they'd be scared of lawsuits. I guess all that fine print that I always seem to agree to without actually reading might be important after all. Somebody should spread the word on social media. Maybe they'll look at things a little differently if they get a lot of bad publicity.
One lady from Rover lied to me and said they do background checks...obviously if they did do them, they'd weed out criminal felons. I've actually been kind of scared to share my story because the crazy lady lives in my neighborhood and God knows what kind of revenge she could seek.

Such a scary experience! Makes me extra glad I have plenty of family around who can look after Rory for me.
Yes, you are very lucky! :)

I am sorry to see that you are feeling like you have to move again. I know you put a lot of thought and work into finding and fixing up your adorable house. So sad for you....
Thank you, lily. It is a real shame. I love the people here and will be very sad to leave them and have to start over again. If I could find a way to live in the Bay Area again, I will do it.
 
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