Another Brainstorm Idea

@Provence wrote a post asking if any sitter had experienced an emergency of their own whilst undertaking a sit, which got me thinking…
Could there be a small pool of THS “International Rescue”? Staff or community sitters or a mix, who volunteer to parachute in if a sitter absolutely has to leave because of a crisis. After all, some owners might be half way across the world or not want to cut short their trip of a lifetime. Worse still, not contactable.
In my job, there was just such a team (unattractively called “floaters”) who spent all their time doing just this function. Of course, my organisation was huge and there was always a need but this could work just as well on a small scale, do you not think @Angela ?

Very good idea, Im’ a candidate if any of you would be in the south of France or even in France and if i was there too.

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Thanks for the support but the way I imagine my plan it needs to be a worldwide, reliable pool. Not a conditional offer.

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i wrote i was a candidate for the rescue team organized by THS of course, I was not suggesting anything else, precising only it can be in France only (but THS knows and if a rescue teamis organized I imagine we shall be able to see where are the people ready to help

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Further to my imaginary plan:
Volunteers are selected from a worldwide pool, those prepared to travel anywhere at any time; and also from regional zones (by continent). The nature of sitters means that people won’t be in their “home zone” very much anyway.
They must be contactable in real time, by “THS International Rescue HQ” (what was that called in Thunderbirds? The HQ on the island :thinking:) Everyone would receive the same message & could make their case as to whether they can get to the emergency quickly and be available to finish the sit or fill a gap temporarily. The volunteer would pay I suppose, as it would essentially be a sit just like those they apply for generally.
I guess only experienced sitters, with 100% reviews/stars would make the team & would be selected by interview etc, like a real job. It might be almost entirely superfluous - how many such emergencies have there been? Could the team be used for last minute sitter cancellations?
I wonder if the availability of such a team would add to the trusted element of THS? Attract more owners’ business at least?

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@Saltrams each and every idea that could help solve a problem is worth discussing.

I have proposed a similar strategy for last minute sits, cancellations etc., a dedicated portal where experienced and reliable sitters would make their availability known although any solution to urgent cover would almost need to be localised.

Another potential: there are many fit, healthy and time rich retirees who love animals and who are perhaps unable to have their own, who might not want to fly across the world to sit but would feel full of purpose taking a two hour car drive to help someone in need, connect with a pet and possibly make a new friend …

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You’re very patient, @Angela :slightly_smiling_face:. Sometimes I do too much thinking out loud, so feel free to squish my zeal. I also have previous for reinventing the wheel!
We are those time and resource rich retirees and I haven’t had a good canine cuddle in longer than I can remember (:pleading_face: wretched virus :microbe: ). Local help would be the most useful of course but don’t discount my willingness to get on a flight to America tomorrow morning! :wink:
Happy Sunday.

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We think this is a very interesting idea indeed! We’d challenge it to go even further and to see what similar ideas could help sitters in situations where the owner cancels last minute due to an emergency. We’re grateful this hasn’t happened to us yet, but we can imagine that it did to many sitters over the last 8/9 months, where you have ticket in hand, are on the other side of the world from friends and family, and the owner has no choice but to cancel.

Both owners and sitters enter into an agreement, that if not carried out (for any reason, even understandable emergencies) runs the chance of being devastating… for the owner OR the sitter.

We think a community on THS that could step in and help, either a stranded sitter or an owner who can’t get home in time, would be amazing! Almost sounds like the ambassador program could be a team who are familiar with their local area and could reach out to people who could help in emergency situations???

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To travel “anywhere” is not that easy, financially speaking. If a sitter needs to go back home for any reason, it would be much more easy to find some other sitter near by. OK to help without spending too much money
I doubt any volunteer would come overseas for 3, 5 or 10 days left before the owner comes back ! Many sits don’t last months.

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It wouldn’t be compulsory, @Provence.

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Ooo, quadruple :heart: for those ideas!

I understood that, Saltrams. And I voted… :blush:

Another way to do this would be to hire paid petsitters in the area when an emergency arises. Build up an insurance fund at THS to fund it, or have the sitter who had the emergency pay all or part. It should not be a commonplace event.

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Thank you for the feedback and your idea @HeelsDown, welcome to the forum and enjoy making connections with many other THS members, we’re looking forward to getting to know everyone better and sharing in many pet and housesitting travels.

Angela & The Team

Do we get an uniform and badge? Badges seem to be the thing just.
A red cape and a mask……. International Doggie Sitter to the Rescue……

Seriously, great idea. We always sit as a couple so on the odd occasion one of us has a hospital appointment or some other pressing engagement we can cope but it might be a lifesaver for people who sit as singles.

Following on from this, should pet owners have a nominated person who would step in when an emergency occurs concerning the sitter? That would be far easier to organise.

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Hi @ElsieDownie regarding owners nominating an Emergency Contact this is a point of reference in the Welcome Manual and we advise and encourage both parties to always have a conversation around what happens in the unlikely event of an emergency, especially where pets are concerned.

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Yes, emergency contacts are always nominated but would they, could they stay and look after the pets if the sitter had to leave?

That is the conversation we advise owners to have Elsie.

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I always ask Home Owners before a sit: “To whom should we entrust the care of your pets and home in the event you are not able to return on time, and we have to leave as originally planned, due to prior commitments?”

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