BE warned - horrendous sit

I want to warn other sitters of a disastrous small holding sit, especially as there are more dates being posted.

It sounded great - 4 dogs, 2 pigs, 3 sheep, chickens and reptiles. But when my family and I turned up last week our hearts sank. It was dirty, filthy, squalid and there was nowhere for us to sleep. We were only told when we arrived that there was no internet, no television and loo roll couldnt be put down the loo.
Also the 4 dogs were shut in the house for the previous 24 hours with no food or water. The state of the whole smallholding was disgusting. There was rubbish everywhere.
I reported them to the RSPCA while we were there and also to the Enviroment Agency, Animal Welfare and the Police.
The person taking over from us on Thursday arrived, had a look round and said she wouldn’t be staying as it was so filthy and there was nowhere to sleep.
My deep concern is for the dogs who are left without food or water for I don’t know how long.
This was a very traumatic experience and I was bitterly disappointed that Trusted House Sitters werent there for us with support and advice whenever we tried to ring.

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Thanks for the heads up on that and so sorry you had that sort experience! I think I came close to applying for that sit! Yes its the dogs you worry most for. Happy next sit!

@tracey123 I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this I am DM you now …


.Thank you. One of the most heartbreaking things was that one of the dogs was a puppy, shut in a room, messing on the floor and not having the human/dog interaction it so needed.

Hi Tracey
Sorry that you had this experience and it’s very worrying that you say THS weren’t supportive . Did they not answer the phone at all ? Or was the advice useless?

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Hi Jean,
THS didn’t answer the phone as they were so busy but they have now replied to my forum post and are very sorry.

Wow @tracey123 I’m sorry you experienced that, it sounds like a sitters worst nightmare. I’m curious what happens after the fact in these cases. Does Trusted Housesitters ever remove the offending homeowners from the site?


I hope they do a bit more than remove them from the site. As horrific as it was for the sitter, imagine what it must be like for the poor animals… I want to know what the RSPCA have done.

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Hello @Lindsay I have had a long conversation with Tracey123 and we are supporting her and will be investigating this fully.

Once investigated, and if proven, we will remove any member who breaks the Code Of Conduct and behaves outside of our T&C’s of service.

Each situation is dealt with on an individual basis by a dedicated member of the Membership Services Team.

Thank you for your concern.


Some people need caging without food and water…see how THEY like it!


I went to this housesit too. I was due to sit 6th-8th, but I was asked to visit on Thursday 5th, which I did, I drove an hour out of my way to check on the animals around 8pm. Again, I had nowhere to sleep and the smell was overwhelming, so couldn’t stay for the full sit.
We mucked out the chickens and pigs, collected up all the mess in the house and tried to get water to the sheep as they had an old refrigerator compartment with standing water that had things swimming around in it. My daughter stepped on a broken glass bottle as we were cleaning up the pig’s pen, this almost went through her foot. We then found a smashed mirror with shards sticking out of the ground in with the pigs. We removed what we could without causing harm to ourselves.

The electric also went, we were told to flick a switch with a wooden spoon. There was no hot water. There was a kettle in the bathroom to fill up the bath.

I have tried to report this to THS but received an email back saying the email address may not exist or I am not part of the group.
I have tried another email address, the response I received is that they are experiencing high volumes of calls.
I am glad you have reported it to RSPCA and other animal welfare groups as we were unable to do so after hours. Please contact me for evidence as we took lots of photos.

Hi @Charlotte I have spoken with Tracey andI will DM you now.

Also I was crying when I left them, the two large dogs were crying and howling as they did not want to be locked in that small kitchen. But they can both jump the fences and the local farmer has warned owners that if the dogs get out on their land and attack their livestock again the farmers will shoot them. They have every right to do so to protect their animals, but of course do not want to take this action.

Hi Charlotte
Were you there Thursday just gone?

Yes I went Thursday evening after Beatrice. Then went back Friday morning for a quick feed and change of water. I then spent Friday 2pm - 9pm with the animals. I couldn’t go into the house and we were filthy after cleaning up what we could and were in need of a shower, so decided to go home (3 hour drive home, cutting our holiday short). The HO said they would come back saturday morning so we secured the animals that night and left. It was heartbreaking.

How awful, I’m sorry you went through this. I have no doubt that THS will look into it and I also hope the RSPCA is able to help as well.

It does point to the importance of thorough communication before a sit though, and the importance of asking for photos of the sleeping and living conditions before accepting. You should also know ahead of time if there is internet, TV etc if that’s important to you. It’s not rude to ask these things, nor to ask for photos if they are not provided in the posting.

Please know I’m not trying to place the blame on you, especially if you’re new to housesitting and aren’t sure of the kinds of things you can/should ask… I just want others who read this to know how important it is to clarify everything before accepting a sit. Regardless, none of that matters in regards to how their animals were being treated. You can’t always learn that from an 'interview" although I’ve heard of some people asking for a “walk around” during a video chat.

I do hope your next sit is a much better situation, and you can put this awful (and very rare) sit behind you.

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We were there from Monday to Thursday, until Beatrice arrived. We slept on the sofa for 3 nights. Did you see the puppy?
The reason we left things as they were is because we wanted RSPCA to see it as it was. We made sure the animals were ok.
Would you be able to report to RSPCA too as maybe the more of us contact them the quicker they will go round.

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Thank you for your reply. There were photos posted but they are definitely not taken recently and certainly not how it is now.

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We are dealing with this situation and supporting those involved and will give any updates which we feel would be beneficial or helpful to sitters or owners regarding any adverse sitting situations. Meanwhile we are closing this topic and taking communications offline.

Thank you.

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