Communication and Cancellations

I’ve been both a petsitter and a homeowner on this site since 2017. For the past two years I’ve mainly used it to petsit but now I’m going on a trip and looking for a petsitter. I will also be petsitting for part of my journey.

Things have changed. It’s more difficult to find sitters. Most recently I posted (3 months out) I received 5 responses which I appreciated and selected a sitter that seemed perfect. Last week (less than a month to the sit) she canceled and assured me I’d have no trouble finding another sitter—HAH. I have now re-posted the sit to give it a “Boost”, reached out to over 24 sitters I’ve saved, sitters who have saved my listing AND local sitters. It’s become a frustrating, time-consuming job.

I believe my listing is generally well-received as many people instantly saved it for the future. Other sitters either haven’t responded or start responding then stop when you ask for an FT or zoom. Some have had unreasonable requests showing they didn’t read my post thoroughly. There were also 2 people who had recently signed up and hadn’t even bothered to include external references. One never mentioned that he had ever watched a pet before—just watched houses.

I take my position as a TH sitter and a HO very seriously. I respond to everyone when they submit an application and let them know my process. I get back to them when I say I will and if I agree to a sit, it would take something very serious to make me cancel. I offer the same consideration if I’ve agreed to a sitter in my home.

I’m concerned that some of today’s TH sitters are more concerned with their needs than the commitments they are making. There seems to be a lack of understanding how much the homeowner counts on them.

My point is, sitters please know that when you cancel, you really inconvenience the person who was counting on you and if they are both a petsitter and a homeowner it can have further repercussions causing them to have to cancel a sit. Please respond to the HO in a timely fashion whether or not you can do the sit—don’t leave them hanging just because the sit doesn’t work for you. If you commit to a sit do everything in your power to honor it.

And to Administrators, I’d say vet new applicants profiles. If they don’t bother to mention their petsitting experience or to at least add external references, their listing shouldn’t go live until if or when they do. And market to people who have retired as well as digital nomads. Thanks for reading.

(edited by Forum team to meet our Community Guidelines - please note that we ask that members don’t negatively generalise about characteristics such as age)


@ShulasMom If you link your listing, Forum participants will see your listing and someone might be interested or offer advise to make your listing sparkle.

Sadly a good friend of mine who lives in my town and who I recommended to TH just had the same issue, the same week. Now we are both scrambling to find a quality sitter in the same town roughly at the same time so yes, I’m sure some emotion came in to play.

I’ve had both retired couples and digital nomads sit for me and certainly there are high quality sitters in both categories. I also know from my personal experience on this site (and that’s all I can go by), that more mature people are much more likely to get back to me in a timely manner about whether or not they are interested and available. That said, I always remind myself that it “just takes one”. So here’s hoping one appears for me and one appears for my friend.


Maybe share your location? And there is a way to get a LAST MINUTE LISTING from THS…sorry I cannot tell you how but there is one out there! Hope you find someone!

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I tried to link it but since I wasn’t able to do it. I only have an IPAD, not a computer and apparently the site isn’t set up to be able to accomplish that easily. If anyone has been successful at that, let me know and I’ll try again.

Removed Listing Link as per Forum Guidelines
Added to forum profile.

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I found your listing and see you have 4 applicants! Hopefully one is a fit.

Love that Shula is in most of your photos!

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Thanks. Two just came in in the past 2 hours. The other two dropped communication but are still showing. I think that after committing about 25 solid hours reaching out to people and re-doing my post, one will work out. I’ve been diligent in putting labels on everyone and putting favorite on ones who expressed interest but the timing was off. Hopefully this will help for my next journey. Thank you for your positive words.

It was Shula’s choice, not mine, to be in all of the photos but I agree, it helps. When I look at places I’d like to sit, I’m always scrolling quickly through the house photos to see the pets. Then I go back. Shula doesn’t leave any question about it that she’s front and center in the process.:joy:


Hi there,
I took a look at your listing for you. You have lovely photos and overall it looks like a nice sit and great area to explore. I think the only thing that puts me off as a sitter is your intro; writing in all caps at the start and explaining why your sitter cancelled kind of feels like you’re stressed and shouting and doesn’t feel very inviting. As a sitter, I don’t need to know why your previous sitter cancelled and that you’re re-listing etc. Just begin with a friendly “hi, I’m (name), welcome to my sit” etc. You also have quite a few requests that you put straight away in your intro, which kind of feels like sitters are straight away being scolded for something. It’s fine to have certain requirements of sitters, but the way you request it is in a very serious and strict tone and doesn’t seem particularly warm and welcoming - at least not to me. Try a friendlier and more relaxed tone in your intro, and you may see better results. For example:

“I am seeking non-smoking sitters who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and have some external references. My sit best suits a single sitter or couple. If this sounds like you, let me know!”

Besides that, the rest of your listing is quite well written and seems nice! I understand it’s been frustrating and stressful for you, but letting this show in your listing won’t serve you. There’s always a solution, and I’m sure you will find one!

Hope that helps :blush:


@ShulasMom I looked at your listing too- Your pics & location details are appealing and Shula looks adorable. However I agree with @Nagy26 your intro lets you down a bit. The capital letters highlighting your cancelled sitter, including her reasons, is unnecessary. Future sitters don’t need to know that- its enough to say you are re-listing because of a cancellation but then keep put focus on selling your sit to the next sitter!
The only thing that truly turns me, personally, off from your listing is your requirement for applicants to be Covid Vaxxed & boosted. I would stop reading at that point if it was a listing I’d been otherwise interested in. But that’s just me- we all have different priorities.
I hope you find another great sitter soon- Good luck!

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Thanks for your feedback. At least 7 people saved my listing which leads me to believe that it’s more about timing than what I wrote, but I take your point about sounding desperate—that I have been since the cancellation. I’ll edit that. The rest has been part of my profile for a long time and generally I haven’t had difficulties finding a sitter.

Actually, I’ll know today whether or not I have one.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my profile with fresh eyes.


Thanks for your feedback. I will change the all caps introduction. My goal was for it to stand out and I didn’t want people to think that the sitter canceled because of their concern for the sit as that wasn’t the case. But I get the point.

Given that Covid is still out there that’s important to me; my brother and sister-in-law had it just 2 months ago. I see it on many profiles; especially European, so won’t change that .

I’m glad the star of the listing, Shula, features prominently. It was her choice to be in each photo.

I doubt that I would monitor her profile but I certainly wouldn’t invite her to sit again. It always does depend on the people. If I had to cancel on someone I would do everything possible to make sure they knew how badly I felt and how much I understood that it inconvenienced them.

I’m having a conversation today with a lady who has had spotty reception on her vacation in Alaska. :crossed_fingers: I had reached out to her because she lived nearby and had a lovely profile.

Thanks for your feedback.

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Friend of mine has had four covid vaccinations and still has had covid four times. Being vaccinated does not stop you from getting it, it just helps make the symptoms less debilitating.


True. It also tells me a bit about someone.

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Could you tell me what it would tell you about someone? I’m just curious.

Somehow I knew you would follow up after that. It’s just a gestalt thing. I read profiles not only for what people say, but by what they don’t say. I put it all together then make my choices. So far I’ve been pretty right on and have enjoyed all of my sitters.

I have been using THS as a pet owner for 3 years. I have had 8 different and good sitters.
My last 2 listings had some very poor communication from prospective sitters. Twice now I have been ghosted. The comm seemed to be fine until it was time for a call or zoom. Then no answers on the chat. I could tell they had read my simple question “Are you still interested in the sit?” I waited over a full day and asked again. No response.

My Q here is how long is it reasonable to wait for an answer on a read post?

I agree. For the past year or so I’ve mainly been sitting in places where I could take my dog along so hadn’t used a petsitter since Covid. I was very surprised at how many people who had at one point placed a “favorite” on my listing, but when I reached out, either never read my post or started to answer and as soon as I asked for a zoom or FT call, they just stopped communicating.

It was a very irritating experience this time. I was trying to find a sitter after the one I selected, canceled after a month.

On the positive side, I ended up with a wonderful young woman who went above and beyond trying, to communicate with me as she was vacationing in Alaska and taking the train to Denali (very poor cell reception and wi-fi). It made me feel better knowing that there are still some out there who believe in prompt and ongoing communication.

Oops. In answer to your question, if someone doesn’t respond in 2 days I don’t consider them a viable option.


48 hours max would pretty much be our cut off. If someone has read but not responded to comms (on either side) within 24 hours then they’re not really engaged in the process IMHO. It’s easy to say “thanks, super busy today, back to you tomorrow” or similar. #clearcommswinstheday