I work for a very popular groomer who owns two shops and has been in business for 14 years in the Downers Grove and Westmont area. I, myself have well over a year's experience with dogs of all breeds and behaviors. I am well versed in dog "nips" which don't break the skin and do not mean the dog is aggressive. It's a warning. That's all. A "bite" is broken skin which should be seen by a doctor right away and proves the dog to be in a aggressive state.
I found Always There for Pets & Home care on the web by using WWW.PETSIT.COM . It was my mistake to assume that because Becky Bates, the owner, belonged to Pet sitters International, she would be skilled and compassionate in caring for dogs and relating to people.
After two interviews she and her coworker agreed to take the job of feeding and watering, letting out to relieve themselves, and changing the diaper of our toy maltipoo who had a bladder stone causing her pain and the inability to relieve herself like a healthy dog. Becky was warned that the maltipoo was not in good health, but current on all shots as are the other two healthy dogs. The maltipoo did not respond well to both women on the first visit- no signs of aggression, only fear. On the second visit, without me in the room, both women were able to hold and pet the dog. I waited in the next room while they stayed with her. Ms. Bates took the job and our key.
On the day we left for a wedding in Calif. (We are in IL.) We got a call from Becky as we were departing the plane in San Fransisco. She informed us that she had been bitten by the maltipoo. We were shocked, but understanding- but BLOWN AWAY when she informed us she would NOT be returning to our home to care for our dogs. We asked if she need medical attention and she said no. Stunned, we told her how sorry we were and that we would call her back as soon as we could get off the plane and into the airport. She said he had a aunt in Naperville that might finish the job, but she DID NOT think she would come. HORRIFIED, we again asked if she needed to see a doctor. She said no. Not knowing what else to do, we told her to leave the key under the mat and I would call my son to take over. I had no idea if he was even in town, but luck had it he was, and he finished the job.
When he arrived he found that my bathroom drawers had been searched through and a open box of band aids were out on the sink. A note timed, dated, and hand written stated that everything had gone well, my maltipoo had been picked up, and diaper changed !
When we returned home we again called Becky and she told us the BITE never broke the skin, and her FEELINGS had been hurt more than her hand!!!!!
She said we owed her $17,something and we agreed to pay her. She told us that the Maltipoo was aggressive. We expected she would send us a photo of the bite, and some documentation regarding the "bite", but all we received was a phone message from Becky asking for her money.
We paid her almost double for "her" trouble and thought at least we would get a email thanking us for being so understanding and generous. We have received NOTHING.
Clearly this is a person and business I will not recommend and will tell each person who comes into our shops not to use her. So far I have told at least ten people, because in my line of work, I am asked about pet sitters often. I checked the www.petsit.com website for a complaint area, but found none. I called them, and asked for a complaint form. I thought about sending it in, but I am holding on to it. What I did do was to call the grooming shop that Becky said recommended them and learned that they had not heard from them in at least 2 years. The owner happens to be a close friend of my boss and asked me to reconsider sending in the complaint form and that she would speak to them and ask that they not use her as a reference. I am satisfied with this response and will no longer pursue the issue.