“OK, but how do I know I can REALLY trust another PetFam member to take care of my baby the way I would??“
Believe me, we worry about that stuff constantly, too.
Similarly to Uber, AirBnB and nearly all dating sites, PetFam is a very simple, free, sharing economy tool designed to assist people in finding each other in order to fill a need. In this case, it is to find nearby, trusted pet owners with which to exchange care, thereby eliminating unnecessary financial burden while providing ultimate peace of mind that our pets are being looked after by only the very best animal-loving humans.
It is only once a new PetFam member receives the 5 Step Guide and thoroughly understands how to safely vet other pet owners that are they are allowed access to the private Facebook Group. This Group is comprised of other members who have received the same guide, and are prepared to ask for and diligently check references, collect contact information and snap photos of ID – exactly the way one should do when hiring a new employee, babysitter or elder care worker. All PetFam members know the drill, and rest easy knowing it won’t be weird to ask for these things from each other. The onus is on the individual to follow these steps to protect themselves, as is the case with the websites mentioned above, and our job at PetFam is to work hard to bring pet owners together and make it easy for them to safely connect.
Additionally, there is a high level of built-in accountability. It’s very unlikely a pet owner will mistreat another’s pet, knowing their own beloved fur baby’s well being is on the line when engaging in care swaps. People tend to be on their best behaviour when something so precious may be at risk, which is precisely why other sharing businesses like award-winning HomeExchange.com have functioned so popularly for years.
Consider for a moment the massive global popularity of online dating sites, filled with people safely and successfully meeting with perfect strangers on what are essentially blind dates. An even better example might be in finding a great housecleaner through Craigslist, or finding trustworthy child care through a loving, older neighbour or another parent met through a community group or fitness class – a modern adaptation of it taking a village to raise a child.
Many of us have become very comfortable reaching out to strangers for the things we need simply because a) we understand the risks, b) take great precautions to minimize them and c) believe that most people around us are also good, caring, well intentioned human beings. This is why the world has embraced online dating and the sharing economy businesses mentioned above. They are, of course, not without their flaws and occasional sad stories, but thankfully, these are truly very few compared to the millions of happy stories of people using these services every day.
Bottom line: Diligently screening, using the steps provided, is the very best way to protecting yourself and your pets against virtually all worst case scenarios – including situations that may arise in daycares, kennels and professional walking services.
But enough about us! What do you think about all this sharing stuff, especially with regards to your precious pets?
All feedback is welcomed and only helps us improve. We’d love to hear your thoughts.