We are Animal Aunts – trusted pet and house sitters since 1987.
We can look after any animal, any property, anywhere! When you book us to look after your pet or house you can be confident that we will offer you the very best service. But how can you be sure of that? Here we answer some of our most frequently asked questions:
Who are the Animal Aunts?
Teachers, ex-services, veterinary nurses, builders, civil servants, tree surgeons, smallholders, farmers, professional grooms, ex-police and river police, writers, actors, artists, photographers, painters, drawers, embroiderers, knitters, vets, gamekeepers, fish farmers, gardeners, doctors, police dog-handlers, ex Royal Stud Groom, nannies, housekeepers, butlers, chauffeurs, Pub landlords/ladies, retired riding school owners, retired senior managers, zoo keepers, cooks and even a sailor!
What do people with such varied skills and backgrounds have in common? They all have integrity, honesty, a love of animals, and the knowledge / experience to care for them.
How are our Aunts ‘vetted’?
Many Aunts work virtually full time with animals both for us and for their own clients – they are in fact professional house and animal sitters. Because 75% of the fee goes directly to the Animal Aunt they are able to make a living (albeit modest) and do the job they love.
Animal Aunts are self-employed and as such we are not under any obligation to offer them work, and they are not under any obligation to accept a job offered – this means that we have complete confidence in any Aunt who comes to you.
Every week, approximately 30 people enquire about becoming an Animal Aunt for us although we have not advertised for team members in 32 years! We only take on the cream of the crop once they have passed our rigorous vetting process. After an initial conversation to determine if they are likely to be suitable, we send them a registration form to request full details of their background, experience with animals, and the names of four referees. We write to each of these referees not only asking them to confirm the honesty / integrity / skills of the applicant, but also for anything that may make the person unsuitable. We do not use any person until we have received all four references. Approximately four people at a time are selected to come to our office for an interview lasting approximately three hours. During the interview we carefully explain exactly what house and animal sitting involves, and what we and the clients expect of them. A lot of the briefing is devoted to passing on our experience so that they not only avoid mistakes, but positively thrill and delight their clients. We also find out from each candidate in detail their knowledge and experience of each type of animal, and any preferences / dislikes they may have (i.e. like large dogs, allergic to cats, top class rider with experience in dressage etc). All this information is logged on our database so that if the candidate is accepted as an Animal Aunt we are able to match the client’s requirements exactly with the skills of the Aunt. All new applicants must provide a CRB basic disclosure (DBS CHECK).
What do I do if I feel the Animal Aunt is unsuitable?
Despite the care we take to match your requirements to a suitable Animal Aunt, if for any reason you are unhappy, even at very short notice please phone us and we will find someone else. We want you to go away 100% confident in the person caring for your home and animals.
Are there any Insurance issues?
Clients should have normal house and contents insurance in force. Any valuables should also be insured against accidental damage.
Each Aunt has an insurance policy that covers them for up to £5,000,000 against their negligence, and we do not offer them work unless they have it. The Animal Aunt is not liable for breakdown / damage due to normal wear and tear.
What if the Animal Aunt has to leave?
Occasionally due to sickness, family emergency, injury etc. an Animal Aunt may have to leave a job. The Aunt can contact Animal Aunts at any time 24 hrs per day – we will immediately get another Animal Aunt to take over. Your home and animals will not be left unattended, and we will inform you or your emergency contact ASAP.
What if I am delayed on my return?
Please try to inform the Animal Aunt as soon as possible so that if they need to leave for another assignment immediately after yours, we can arrange temporary cover for you. We will not leave your home and animals unattended.
What if I have other questions?
Visit our FAQs page where we have answered even more questions, if you still have a question please ring us on 01730 776663 and we’ll be very happy to answer them.