This weekend I was honored to attend the Pet Sitters International (PSI) annual convention “Quest for Excellent“. There I gave a speech called “Worms, Bites, and Scratchs Oh My! Occupational Safety for Pet Sitters.” Learn more about how I got involved with this group in this post: “The Complicated Contracts of Dog Walkers Continued”
These pet sitters’ kindness and passion for animals absolutely blew me away and I had to tell you more about this organization.
What is Pet Sitters International? It is the largest professional group of pet sitters, run and founded by Patti Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit.
We have a similar organization in veterinary medicine. Veterinarians who want to excel and hold themselves to a high standard seek American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) membership and accreditation.
Pet sitters who want to be the best join PSI and become PSI certified Professional Pet Sitters (CPPS).
PSI provides education to member pet sitters through free monthly webinars, their Pet Sitters World magazine and Quest, the conference I just attended. Ranging from business education to Pet First Aid certifications, PSI resources help pet sitters run their businesses better and keep the pets safer.
PSI makes background checks, insurance, and bonding available to their pet sitters so pet sitters know they are dealing with someone they can trust.
But PSI members aren’t just skilled they are also compassionate.
PSI wants to leave a positive “pawprint” on each city that hosts their convention. Every year, the Quest conference puts on a charity auction and chooses a local non-profit shelter or humane society to receive all the proceeds.
Not only was the charity auction a BLAST – Rob the Auctioneer and Owner of Decadent Dog in Needham, MA had us barking on command and singing rounds of “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” – but the amount of money they were able to raise was mind-blowing.
Since they started doing their charity auctions they have raised more than $105,000 for animal charities.
Pet sitters are not known for rolling dough but in 3 hours I saw a group of about 150 pet sitters raise $15,115 for charity. They were bidding $300 on a $99 set of animal pillows or over $500 for a $120 set of cat toys for the fun of it and for the benefit of pets in need.
The auction even made the local news – see the coverage here.
After working with this group, I would highly recommend choosing a PSI pet sitter for your pet. My next blog entry will be about how to choose a pet sitter. In the meantime check out PSI’s directory at http://www.petsit.com/locate