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Pet sitter's emails revealed clients' travel plans

Posted July 26, 2012

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.

Raleighwood Pet Sitting Claim: Pet sitter's emails sacrifice security

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."

 

16 Comments

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  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Aug 3, 2012

    That is horrible!

    And Mrs. Fisher may have an ill family member. But she should still meet with WRAL. I'd love to hear her side.

    Beth

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2012

    "relax i'm sure it's just a mistake. leave it to the news to blow it out of proportion" - VariousGood

    "She received hundreds of emails" - that's more than a single 'oops'.

    But, let's say this wasn't in the news. Those people's personal details (the kind ripe for burglary) were still released. Even if it was an honest mistake, that's a HUGE deal. If any damage came of this she could be liable.

  • superman Jul 31, 2012

    Just be careful what you send in your email. Dont give out personal or private information. Never ever give out you credit card. Use Pay Pal.

  • housemanagercary Jul 31, 2012

    Comparing this to social media and public information searches is ridiculous. Most* people don't keep public FB profiles, and most* people don't post their every move on FB. Also doing a real estate/tax record/google search doesn't show when you're out of town. If the article is true, then who know who all was emailed all this info. Scary

  • faeriewings99 Jul 30, 2012

    I can't say enough about Stacey and her team at Raleighwood. Based on what I just read - it appears that there was simply one instance of miscommunication - what I would consider one persons poor attempt to question the character of a wonderful business owner (Stacey) but also to jeopardize the jobs of many sitters who do a fantasitic job of caring for pets in Raleigh and surrounding areas. Companies like Raleighwood should be celebrated not criticized.
    I intend to continue using Raleighwood Petsitting for as long as I have pets and continue to refer them to anyone I know who is as much of a pet lover as my husband and I are.

    My husband and I feel stress-free & much safer now when we go on vacation or a business trip. Not only are our pets much calmer because they get to stay in the comfort of our home and keep their daily routine, but we've found that having a petsitter is like having an additional security system while we're away from home. Our neighbors often don't even real

  • Colonel_Anges Jul 30, 2012

    WOW! I have heard a few things about them, but now to see it to believe it!

    This is why I use a local pet sitter. No drama.

  • smegma Jul 30, 2012

    relax i'm sure it's just a mistake. leave it to the news to blow it out of proportion

  • bbensmom Jul 27, 2012

    It is my understanding from this "newscast" that the girl that applied for the petsitting job could have easily resended herself from the list after seeing that she was accidentally added, but instead got angry with the company and called the local news station. The emails that are send out are only meant for the eyes of the petsitters and they have been background checked from what I understand. Everyone knows that we are in the information age, and anyone can google your name and find your address, directions to your house, the names and ages of people that live with you, an aerial view of your home from satellite, and likely your twitter, FB, and linked in profile. Come on people, checking in on FB lets ALL of the people that see your profile know exactly where you are. Making a "news" story out of this is ridiculous! Let's use our common sense people!

  • didisaythat Jul 27, 2012

    So, from this whole melodramatic article, no house was broken into and the company had an issue with the email account that could have been fixed very quickly by the tattletail just calling the company and saying there is a problem. But since she was mad that she didn't get the job she doesn't want anyone to work there.

  • moomoo Jul 27, 2012

    uncwilm--Thats a big mistake. I dont see WRAL putting down anyone except the business, as they should. Kinda like the bank telling the public about your finances. If u want to do so-fine--but its not the business' place to do so.

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