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Sam

Fully insured and dbs checked pet sitter and dog walker in reading

Reading
6 times favorited
3 recurring guests
Last booked 9 days ago
Last contacted 8 days ago
Lives with 2 cats
Usually responds within one hour
1d ago
Last activity
<1h
Response time
100%
Response rate
One home visit a day
Min. 30-minute visits in your home
14 GBP
/day
All services and rates

About Sam

My name is Sam, I have been running Starks and Barks since 2013. I started out in the video games industry as a QA and French Localisation tester at TT Games Publishing(2008-2011). Sadly my company moved the QA department out of the area and I was unable to move so I accepted the redundancy package offered. I then moved to Microsoft Reading (2012-2012) to do testing for them, as they only work on short term contracts once my project was over I was out of a job so I volunteered with Cats Protection, I answered their phones on a weekend and provided advice to the callers as well as taking details of lost/found cats, new adoption requests and rehoming requests to be passed on to the correct team. I also volunteered with a local dog rescue and took their dogs out for walks as often as I could.

Through CP I got employed with a company providing pet taxi for clients as well as animal transport from the local vet to the overnight hospital. I realised very quickly that although the work was a bit unpredictable, I loved it and wanted to do it full time. I set up Starks and Barks and got a couple clients. At first I only had a few dogs but that quickly expanded to more dogs and cats. I worked 7 days a week from 8am - 10pm as I still worked with the taxi company and eventually gained some wonderful regular clients.

In 2009 my husband and I adopted Alfie from Cats Protection, he was only 3 months old and had been dumped in someone's garden and left to starve. I met Honey in 2015 at the vet while waiting for my overnight cat transport to be ready. She had been signed over to Cats Protection as she was not using the litter properly and her owners couldn't afford to investigate what was wrong. CP struggled to find someone to foster her so my husband and I agreed to foster her long term. Sadly after 6 years with us she passed away in June 2021 from cancer. She was well loved and had a wonderful retirement with us.

In 2016 we welcomed my son who has joined me (until 2020/2021 due to school) on every dog walk and pet sitting job. All my cats and dogs love spending time with him and he is learning how to look after animals.

Sadly with Covid-19 and the lockdowns in 2020 I had to put my business on hold, I was in regular contact with all my clients and I'm happy to say that I have all my dogs back including some new ones as well as some of my cat clients as we start to slowly recover from the pandemic.

I understand how difficult it is to leave pets and go on holidays, I used to leave Alfie and Honey at a cattery when we left but after two stays, they made it clear they hated it so I would book my fellow pet sitters to come and look after them for me.

I am fully insured and dbs checked (all proof is given at our first meeting) and comfortable giving medication (fluids, tablets, eye drops) to your cat should they need it.

Services:
I offer pet sitting in the comfort of your own home. I will feed your pet, clean any litter or hutch and change the water. I will spend 15-30 minutes with your pet and ensure they get cuddles and play time.

Costs start at £11 for one visit a day or £18 for two visits a day depending on location. Initial meet and greet is free and we will go over all the pet care you require and go over the terms and conditions, fill in your pets information and show proof of my insurance and dbs checks.

I send daily updates which include photos and videos via WhatsApp. In the case of small animals such as rabbits or guinea pigs, I will prepare the fruit and veg on the day and ensure all fruit and veg is fresh. If the care is longer than a week, I will go shopping to replenish the fresh food. I will do the same for wet or dry food for cats if it's running low. I will always attach the receipt to the invoice and send photographic proof if the invoice is sent via email.

I am flexible so if your return is delayed, let me know as soon as possible so I can make sure your pet is cared for until your return. If there are any issues with your pet during your absence, I will let you know as soon as possible and contact your local vet to book an appointment.

Areas covered:

  • Tilehurst
  • Purley on Thames
  • Pangbourne
  • Caversham (extra charge)
  • Earley (extra charge)
  • Whitey (extra charge)
  • Spencer's Wood (extra charge)
  • I charge a bit extra for some areas as it takes me a lot longer to reach them from my home in Tilehurst.


    Areas outside of Reading will cost extra depending on distance.

    25th, 26th December and 1st January will be charged double.

    Sam's services

    At your home

    One home visit a day
    Book a pet sitter to stop by your home to feed and play with your pet
    14 GBP
    /day
    Two home visits a day
    Two drop-in visits for your pet
    23 GBP
    /day

    Cancellation policy: Flexible

    Full refund if canceled before noon one day before the booking, 50% refund afterward. No refund is payable if the booking is canceled on or after the start date.

    Reviews

    starstarstarstarstar
    Communication
    starstarstarstarstar
    Conscientious
    starstarstarstarstar
    Profile accuracy
    starstarstarstarstar
    Treatment of animals
    starstarstarstarstar
    Value
    starstarstarstarstar
    Home Visits
    Suzanne, 2022-06-08

    I am extremely happy with the service provided by Sam, she provided daily updates on how the cats were. I would highly recommend her.

    starstarstarstarstar
    Home Visits
    Julia, 2022-05-12

    I recently booked Sam to look after my cat, Pepper, while I was on holiday. I was a little nervous as this was the longest period of time that I had ever left him for, and since the pandemic, I have been at home a lot more, making him a bit more clingy - but all of my worries disappeared when I met Sam on our meet and greet!

    The booking process was very smooth, her communications were timely and clear, and her love for animals is obvious - my picky cat took to her straight away! I received daily updates from Sam, with photos and videos, and it was very reassuring to see that Pepper was so happy with the snuggles she provided!

    The peace of mind I got from knowing he was in such caring hands was priceless, and I would have no hesitation in recommending Sam.

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    Availability

    Sam's Pets

    Alfie
    Cat
    Honey
    Cat

    Skills

    Specific Skills

    I speak English & French
    +10 years of experience

    Can Administer

    Oral medications
    First aid and CPR for pets
    Injected medications

    Stats

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    Email
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    Sam

    Sam

    Fully insured and dbs checked pet sitter and dog walker in reading

    Reading
    One home visit a day
    Min. 30-minute visits in your home
    14 GBP
    /day
    All services and rates
    Contact Sam

    Cancellation policy: Flexible

    Full refund if canceled before noon one day before the booking, 50% refund afterward. No refund is payable if the booking is canceled on or after the start date.

    Book via Pawshake to enjoy The Pawshake Guarantee, in-house customer support, booking guarantee, safe cashless payments, no booking fees, no change fees, daily updates and more!

    Contact Sam