ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - Mary Alexander has two dogs named Willie and Lacy. She has been thinking about getting a pet sitter for her pair of Labrador mixes.
So when the ABC Action Team I-Team contacted her to assist with our investigation of pet sitters, she was happy to participate.
Alexander called Give Me Your Paw pet services to watch her dogs at her St. Pete Beach home. She says she scheduled two 30-minute visits.
Using hidden cameras, both inside and outside the house, the I-Team watched to see if the sitter would stay for the approximately 30 minutes advertised on Give Me Your Paw's website. (Watch the security camera video in the video player above.)
On the first day, the sitter arrived on time and took the dogs out for a walk. But the hidden cameras show she brought the dogs back inside after just four minutes. She filled out a comment card, then left the home.
From the time she entered the house until the time she departed: just 10 minutes.
Her stay was even shorter the next day. The sitter was in and out in just eight minutes.
"If someone told me they were going to give me a half-hour massage and they stopped at 15 minutes, I'd be a little angry," Alexander said.
The I-Team tested other local pet sitters, using hidden cameras. You can see what sitters do when they think no one is watching, Thursday night at 11 on ABC Action News.
Give Me Your Paw refused to answer our questions on-camera. In an e-mailed statement, the owner said she left early because she felt "threatened" by the two dogs.
She claims she was "greeted by charging dogs with aggressive behavior."
Our cameras show she took the dogs out for a walk and gave them treats without incident. In three comment cards written by the sitter, she never noted any aggressive behavior.
She wrote on one card: "They were very good!"
On another, she wrote: "Start(ed) barking but then when they got settled they were good."
Alexander said Give Me Your Paw let her down.
"She did the basic minimum and left," Alexander said. "It's real easy to take advantage of the situation. It's disappointing, given how thoroughly she presented herself as being a professional."
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