Summer means one thing: vacation! Time to get away!
Since your animals can't always come along, a lot of people rely on professional pet sitters.
One local pet-sitting company is being called into question for how it did not protect the very private information, including the specific vacation plans, of dozens and dozens of its clients!
Dog lover Carrie Decker wanted to earn a few extra bucks, so she applied for a pet sitting job with Raleighwood Pet Sitting. "I sent my resume in and I never heard anything," Decker told us.
Without even an email reply or call back, she was shocked at what happened next. "A week later I started getting emails from them."
She received hundreds of emails. The emails included names, addresses, phone numbers and dates the pet owners would not be home. In one, a Raleigh woman wrote she'd be out of town more than a week in June. Another dog owner emailed about being gone a few days in July. And a Cary customer was looking for overnight pet sitting for her dogs and cats.
"It just went on and on, all these people's information," Decker said.
5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte asked, "Did anyone from Raleighwood ever call you?" Decker answered, "Nope, they never emailed me for an interview. They never called me. I thought I didn't get the job, and then I just started receiving their emails."
One of those emails came from Tony Kirkegaard. "She could have been anybody. That's scary," he said.
He went to Raleighwood looking for a last-minute sitter for his dogs, Beau and Barron. Kirkegaard was stunned when we showed what happened with the information he sent in, listing exactly when he'd be gone.
"So if I'm going to break into your house, I'll be there at 12:30 'cause you're not going to be home and I know that no one is going to be there," he said. "It's an open invitation to be robbed.
"If they were wanting to break into my house, they would have known I was gone," Kirkegaard said, sighing.
5 On Your Side contacted the owner of Raleighwood Pet Sitting, Stacey Marrs Fisher. She also owns Queen City Petsitting which operates out of Charlotte. Marrs-Fisher lists a Raleigh home as her business address. She had agreed to meet with us about all of this, then cancelled saying a family member was ill. Since then, she has not returned multiple phone calls or emails.
Her website touts professional “certification” and service filled with “love and security.” Kirkegaard doesn't feel his personal information, nor his home, were secure at all! "It's just irresponsible on every single level," he said.
Carrie Decker, who brought this to our attention, added, "What if that was me, and what if that was my information that was being sent out, and what could happen to these people? Someone has your address and someone knows when you're out of town."