Members: stand firm and trust your principles and values

In sharing my story here, I’m not asking whether members agree or disagree with my action. No doubt there will be a wide range of opinions. Keep in mind the post title and that I am saying to stay true to your personal principles and values. Red flags should not be ignored.

I applied for a local sit and suggested that I would be willing to visit them, given they told me I was the most suitable applicant. I was then asked to provide my driver’s licence in advance. I questioned that, given I would not be using their vehicle. I offered to provide a photo of me before I left home, so they would know who to expect.

The reply was that ID was a standard employment requirement when contracts were being negotiated. I provided a link to details of the THS vetting process, reminding them of my nine years of successful sits and reviews. At this point, my radar was up that the owners and I did not look at the process in a similar way.

They agreed to meet with me if I provided contact information for previous owners. I told them at that point I was concerned that we were not on the same wavelength about establishing trust and that I would need to give this more consideration. They immediately declined me, which was no surprise to me. I was fairly sure I would not have done the sit. I had already decided that I did not trust them in that they may have undisclosed indoor cameras, for example. I’ve since also noted that the two mid-sized dogs never left the fenced property. I now wonder whether they were guard dogs, rather than pets. Maybe not important to some, but it would be to me.

I am sharing this in the hopes it will serve as a reminder, especially to new sitters and owners, to know your personal standards and to heed red flags. I felt it was unlikely that we would be able to establish a relationship based on trust. I have no regrets in not being chosen for this sit.


I would be too scared if that were the case.


This is the biggest red flag of all in your story. An employment relationship it is not! No crystal ball required to see how you would have been treated @Snowbird you dodged a bullet here. Hopefully others (sitters and owners) will learn from your thoughtful story.


Thanks for the reminder not to ignore red flags!
As a reformed “people-pleaser,” I’ve been known, in the past, to go along with things that I’m uncomfortable with.
It’s always good to remind oneself of one’s values and principles!


You did the right thing. Now I bring up the internal cameras and anything else I might no longer put up with. Luckily I have felt comfortable with the sits but if something bothered me upfront, I would have declined too


At any point in the screening process, it’s perfectly fine to just say something like: This sit doesn’t sound right for me. Best wishes with your search for a sitter.

You don’t need to explain. And your reason(s) don’t have to be based on values, ethics, etc. You can say no just because you don’t feel like it. That’s the beauty of THS — it’s mutual screening and sitters aren’t employees.

With HOs or sitters who ask or do anything that crosses lines, you also can report them.

And personally, I wouldn’t proceed with the screening process under the circumstances described. To me, such HOs should hire professional sitters, because they’re looking for an employment-type situation. It’s ridiculous to expect that for free.


I believe this is a very important message to share so thank you for that. It’s valuable to be reminded of this even as a seasoned sitter but especially for people who are fairly new to doing this.

What I have found to be true is that sits that haven’t been quite as pleasant an experience shall we say, I’ve almost always detected a red flag somewhere in the pre sit conversation. I made the mistake of telling myself it was only minor and that everything else was great. However, let me tell you it always did eventually come back to bite me in some way! :flushed::exploding_head:

Thankfully, I’m far more discerning now with having more experience under my belt but it’s certainly been a learning experience along the way, that’s for sure!

You did very well there to trust your instincts. I’m very much of the opinion to never ever gloss over or disregard any red flags - even the seemingly minor ones.


Hi @Snowbird
Wow this sounds really iffy. Think you dodged a bullet. The HO could use your driving license for all sorts of things.
Thanks for posting.


@Snowbird , you did a service for newer sitters by posting this. Have you notified Membership Services? I don’t know that they would do anything but maybe they would make a note of it?


@mars I don’t think they did anything out of line. It was just a difference in their approach to the selection process. We have different value systems.

Ironically, as I was texting with them I received a direct invite to sit from owners whose listing I had favourited. It was a stunning listing in so many ways. The warm wording the owners used to respect my profile content and invite me to a video chat was a sharp contrast to the other one.

We all meet very different people in this world every day. Sadly I’m not able to do this other sit as it conflicts with another sit I have tentatively booked for a repeat sit. I’ve asked them to ask me again sometime though. :slightly_smiling_face:


@Snowbird - thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. A very useful reminder for both new and experienced sitters.


As always, very wise words from @Snowbird :hearts:


Thanks for sharing. I agree with what you say and would have declined for sure!


Thank you. This is one of the best posts on here I have read in weeks!
If the trust element is missing, then there is no point in doing this.


TRUST. Yes, please. Excellent post, thank you, Snowbird ~ I do not understand why some Hosts do not follow the policies that allow for mutual respect + trust to grow, sometimes. It is not fun, and actually an absolute waste of my energy, but here we are.

As I am sitting here with a sunken heart from a sense of trust broken, I am extremely grateful for this post.

I do stand firm, and I do trust my principles and values.
I note items that need attention to my Host, after I am on the Sit, and twice I have received pushback when my only intentions are to share my inherent generosity and to be given the mutual respect that I am assured is the Trusted Housesitters’ Policy.


I’ve dropped my name as a sitter and I’m now only a house and pet owner with TS.
I actually do think that these people have gone overboard and this should be reported to member services.
They’ve asked you for 2 inappropriate things; the first being your driver’s license number which, as you said, is inappropriate if you would not be using their vehicle. The second is wanting contact information from your previous sits.
They should understand that you should not be giving out personal information of others without their permission.
If I was approached by one of my previous sitters asking if a potential pet owner could approach me for further information, I likely would be okay with that but I would want to know the circumstance and why they felt they needed more information than the reviews, profile and their communication with the potential sitter.
Thanks for posting.


I completely agree with Gailanne. Why haven’t one of the moderators jumped in at this point to ask Snowbird for the specific listing so that they can be reported to member services and then be called to give an explanation in person of how this website is supposed to work.


@Paljimmy I am happy to jump in as you asked the question. I think it is great that @Snowbird shared their experience and trusting your gut and keeping true to what works for you is key.
@Snowbird can reach out to the Membership Services Team at if they would like support with this member.

Thank you for looking out for your fellow member :smiling_face:


Hi Carla - I’m not sure exactly what the responsibilities of a moderator are, but I know I’ve seen instances where a member has written about the behavior of a sitter or owner and the moderator has asked for the offending member’s name to refer it to Member Services for review and possible action. In this case, if an owner thinks that a sit is a contractual arrangement and can demand a driver’s license when no car is being offered with the sit, it seems to me Member Services needs to call this owner and explain personally how Trustedhousitters is supposed to work. And so it seems to me that the process should be for the moderator to get the offending member’s name from the aggrieved member and report the incident to Member Services. From what Snowbird wrote, she’s not looking for “support” with this member since she has no desire to sit for them. Like Gailanne, I think this owner should be reported so that other applying sitters are treated better.


I have sent a scan of my passport to an HO when they asked for it. I do not really see the problem with that.

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