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Couple sitting and petting their cat

A user on a popular online forum shares their story of asking a friend to petsit and housesit and coming home to less than satisfactory results.

A Simple Task

The original poster (OP) asked their friend to take care of their pets and plants while they were on a trip. OP said along with paying them for their services, they also kept their meal subscription going so that they could have meals taken care of.

OP said their friend was struggling financially, and OP wanted to help out. OP asked their friend to water the plants, feed their cat, clean the litter box, and ensure both cats’ waters were full.

OP also told their friend how to change the fish tank water and warned them to double-check the snake cage locks.

OP’s friend offered to feed the snakes because they said they knew how to take care of snakes, so OP gave them instructions.

The Issues Begin

OP said that while their space is cluttered, they aren’t fond of grime. They said that when they got back from their trip, there were paper towels behind the couch cushion, the floor was covered in dirt, there was food waste and dirty dishes on the counter, dirty knives were put away, there was dirt under the sheets, plastic scraps on the bedroom floor, and a pile of trash and recycling in the kitchen.

One of OP’s snake’s cage lids was open, and thankfully the snake was still inside. The other snake’s heat emitter was in the wrong spot, and the snake food that was supposed to be frozen was in the fridge and had to be thrown out.

The cat’s secondary water bowl was overturned and dry, and the pet sitter poured a glass of water into the betta tank without water conditioner, and some of the plants that were in the tank died.

OP says they feel guilty for not giving better instructions but that the damage done was worth at least $50-$75. OP also feels guilty for putting their animals at risk. OP wants to ask the sitter to pay the damages out of what they already paid them.

Should the sitter have to pay for the damages? Should OP have given more specific instructions for their pet care? How would you have reacted in this situation?

This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose.

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Claire started Femme on FIRE after struggling with the debt cycle and realizing that she had to create better habits to get out of it. She became inspired along this journey and now strives to help others achieve financial freedom as well. When she isn’t working on her blog, you can find her on the couch with a good book, cooking up recipes in the kitchen, or playing outside with her ducks.

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