Last week I was finishing up a dog walk at a large rental building in Ditmas Park. A young lady was stooped down next to the gate on a basement window. While having an intense conversation on her phone, her cell and a dog leash in one hand, the other hand was opening a lock box. The dog was just walking around as far as the leash would let him. I watched the super go talk to her then she walked off with the dog as she was still talking on her phone.
I asked the super if the dog walker had permission to put the lock box on the window gate that was on private property. He said no. He told her she would need to remove the lock boxes but she just shrugged her shoulders and said “the company handles it”.
I completely understand the logic of using a lockbox. We handle our keys differently.
When we bring on a new pet sitting or dog walking client I send them a pet worksheet to fill out and once they send that back to me I set them up in our scheduling software, made specifically for the professional pet sitting industry, Time to Pet. They also receive a service agreement to fill out and give to us at the meet and greet and we explain that we need two sets of keys. When a pet visit is active the assigned employee has that key with them. The second set is locked up on file in our office. Should something happen that our employee cannot make the visit we have another team member ready to jump in.
A couple of thoughts:
1/ A professional pet sitting company should get written permission to hang a lock box on the outside of any building.
2/ If using a lock box the client’s apartment number and pet’s name should not be labeled for anyone to see.
3/ Anyone can break that box and if they get access to the keys it puts not just the one apartment at risk but the whole building because that person will have access to the main door.
3/ Aesthetically they look ugly hanging outside in front of a building on a railing or window. I know for a fact that our co-op in Flatbush, Brooklyn would never let that happen. They would be removed immediately.
We love and embrace technology as a tool to help us run our pet sitting business. I, one of the owners, am involved on a daily basis with our employees should something come up or they have a question about a pets behavior, health status or emergency that arises in the homes.
Bottom line, having a lock box with a pet’s name and apartment number is just one big breach of a client’s security!
We, Ann & Boni are the owners of Small World Pet Sitters. Christine, Deirdre and Kate are our amazing employees, . We ride our bikes or walk to pet sits and dog walks. We love living in the community we give service in, Flatbush, Brooklyn!