We used Kiwi House Sitters to find a cat/house sitter for a 6 week holiday, and arranged for Robert Martin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sit, having followed up on 2 references. He advised in his communications with me that he was an ex RSPCA officer in the U.K We had various emails in the months before, and I also met with Robert the month before.
While Robert was not someone I would necessarily befriend personally, he said all of the right things, such as he liked a spotless house, just as ours was, that he would be at home much of the time undertaking bible studies, that he was an animal lover etc etc. Our pedigree cat is very clingy by nature of the breed, and he was aware that he would need company, though clearly not 24/7.
Robert requested a $500 contingency for vets bills only. We made him aware of our extensive CCTV system that can be viewed by us anywhere in the world, that would provide him with good security.
In the early hours of day 3 of the house sit, my husband looked at the CCTV, and could see that the cat flap was open. It should have been closed, as it would have been around 4am in NZ. He then found that Robert had left at exactly midday on Saturday, and had not returned. Around this time, I received an email from Robert to advise that our cat was eating well etc. We contacted our neighbour, and they could get no response at the house, and eventually entered the property to find our cat with no food or water, and an overflowing litter tray. At this time, Robert had been gone around 21 hours. He had also taken the $500.
I emailed Robert to ask what was going on, he lied, saying he was there. There was no suggestion that he was about to return, thus he would be leaving our cat for an even longer period. He then started to mention his solicitor. He never explained to us why he had neglected our cat, nor lied to us about his whereabouts. He refused to return to our home and collect his belongings, nor return our money. He did not explain why he had taken this. Eventually, with considerable prompting by text and email, he confirmed that our keys had been left in a post box in a neighbouring road (no reason given as to why).
We had to deal with this all from Beijing, including getting our locks changed for safety, and finding someone else to house sit.
Further attempts to get our money back have been ignored, and I have now made a Police report, Kiwi House sitters are aware of the situation, and I have contacted the referees.
I am letting you all know this, as I can’t bear to think about what would have happened if we were unaware that George had been left indefinitely, and I am aware that he is currently house sitting in Vale Road, St Heliers, house number unknown. This could be happening to someone else’s pet right now