Pet sitters offer a variety of services to different clients, depending on their personal circumstances and that of their pets. While many clients are easy to work with and will trust a new pet sitter right off the bat, some go to extreme measures to make sure Fluffy is being properly cared for and will even install spy cameras.
What Are the Client’s Motives?
Clients install spy cameras for a number of reasons. Some have been burned in the past, so want to build up trust for the pet sitter. A camera will let them see for themselves that the new pet sitter is diligent, turns up on time each day, the cat is fed and watered and the family silver is still there when they return home from their holidays.
While children are often quick to speak up if the babysitter was rude to them or ignored them during their time together, a cat or a dog can be more vulnerable and will never have the chance to let his owners know that the pet sitter was spiteful and abusive.
Did you give your consent?
It does not matter why a client feels the need to install a spy camera. The point is that a pet sitter should always be given the opportunity to give their consent to being filmed before they accept a job offer. During the initial phone conversation or the interview process, the client should mention that there are cameras installed around the home. It is wrong of a client to deceitfully withhold this information and to film their pet sitter without obtaining their consent.
However, if the client was honest and upfront with you right from the beginning, then it is up to you to decide whether you will accept the job. Some pet sitters have no qualms about being filmed during their visit, especially when they have nothing to hide, whereas others feel uncomfortable.
How to React
If you have discovered that a client has a spy camera installed, you should tactfully approach the client and mention how you feel. A letter is less confrontational and will give you time to formulate what you will say. It is unacceptable for a client (whatever their motivation) to secretly film their pet sitter’s every move without their consent.
Even if the client has been open about the cameras, a pet sitter should not feel under any obligation to take on the job or to accept any further business from a client who feels the need to film their every move.
Spy cameras can make pet sitters feel nervous and unsure of how to conduct themselves. It can be unsettling to know that every move will be recorded, which is why many pet sitters refuse to work with clients who choose to install spy cameras in their home.
More from this contributor:
A Pet Sitter’s Guide to Gaining a Client’s Trust from Day One
How to Avoid Misunderstandings with Clients as a Pet Sitter
Pet Sitters: How to Stay on Good Terms with Clients