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KING, N.C. (November 10, 2014) – As millions of pet owners look for pet-care providers for their upcoming holiday travel, Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, offers this advice: Beware “pseudo pet sitters.”

PSI has launched a new campaign, “Get A Real Pet Sitter®,” to educate pet owners on the importance of using professional pet sitters for their pet-care needs.

“Often times, pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term ‘pet sitter’ carelessly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a ‘pet sitter,’” explained PSI President Patti J. Moran. “It is important pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”

Even for pet owners committed to using professional pet sitters instead of friends or family, the search can be confusing.

Moran notes that with the influx of pet-care directory sites popping up in the last couple of years and news stories touting pet sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for pet care.

“Just because you’ve seen a pet sitter in an online directory—or even on a nationally-publicized site—doesn’t ensure they are a legitimate, qualified pet-sitting business,” explains Moran. “Anyone can post a profile advertising pet-sitting services, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring a ‘real pet sitter’ to care for their pets.”

PSI advises pet owners to ask seven important questions when interviewing a potential pet sitter:

1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state?
2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?
5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

PSI also recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a Pet Sitter Interview checklist on its website to guide pet owners in the interview process.

Pet owners in need of pet-sitting services can visit http://GetARealPetSitter.com to find PSI member pet sitters in their areas and download the Pet Sitter Interview checklist. To learn more about PSI or becoming a professional pet sitter, visit http://www.petsit.com.

About Pet Sitters International
Founded by Patti J. Moran in 1994, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing nearly 7,000 independent professional pet-sitting businesses in the United States, Canada and abroad. PSI provides its member pet sitters with access to group-rate pet-sitter liability insurance and bonding as well as the best educational and business resources industry, including a comprehensive Certification Program, a background verification program, Pet Sitter’s WORLD magazine, The Scoop e-news and PSI’s annual Pet Sitter World Educational Conference & Expo. For more information, visit http://www.petsit.com, home of the Official Pet Sitter Locator™.  Pet owners can also visit http://www.getarealpetsitter.com to search for their local PSI member pet sitters.

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Media Contact:
Beth Stultz
(336) 983-9222
bethstultz@petsit.com

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