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Pet Sitters International Launches Independent Background Checks

Posted: Feb. 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m. EST


In a world rife with animal abuse and identity theft, the answer to the question "Who’s minding Fido?” has never been more critical.

Allaying pet owners’ fears, Pet Sitters International, a nationwide network of pet sitting professionals, today announced that it has upped the ante in the vetting process with the creation of the Locator Designation Program. As part of the program, a "Background Check Passed” icon will appear on the profiles of pet sitters listed in the Pet Sitter Locator who have passed a third-party criminal background check.

"We felt it was PSI’s responsibility to educate the public that all background checks are not created equal and pet sitter directories touting ‘national’ or ‘nationwide’ background checks can be misleading,” President Patti J. Moran said.

 PSI Background Check
A "Background Check Passed” icon on a pet sitter’s profile is designed to ensure that the background verification is authentic, thorough and up to date.
Pet Sitters International spent two years creating the third-party verification program in collaboration with the background screening company Sterling Infosystems Inc. and with guidance from the employment law firm Jackson Lewis LLP.

The King, N.C., group stated that it is the first pet sitter association to use third-party verification background checks.

"PSI’s background check package includes an address trace and subsequent county-level court search, which is the most effective way of detecting criminal offenses,” Moran added.

The criminal checks are done in every county of residence and go back at least seven years.

Under the Locator Designation Program, member pet sitters are required to keep their background credential current by passing an annual screening.

"This standard greatly reduces the chances of an unreported conviction,” Moran added.

Verifications conducted under the Locator Designation Program are available only to U.S. members because of variations in other countries’ judicial systems, the group reported.

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