Online pet sitting connection service provides alternate to neighbor's kid

Online pet sitting connection service provides alternate to neighbor's kid »Play Video
SEATTLE -- A father-daughter idea may change how you find a pet sitter in the new online service Rover.com.

For many, finding a sitter for their dog is more difficult than it is for their kids. Enter Aaron Easterly, an extreme dog lover who happens to be the CEO of Rover.com -- an upstart online pet sitting connection service and an alternative to the neighbor's son.

"As an executive for years at a certain point I felt pretty guilty about going back to the same neighbor every time I had a business trip pop up," Easterly said.

Rover.com started when Seattle investor Greg Gottesman had an unpleasant kennel experience with his own dog.

"Just to pet the dog would cost extra at these kennels, so the whole experience was negative," he said.

When his 9-year-old daughter said she would have paid to take care of someone's else's dog, Gottesman saw a business.

"I pitched this concept that there's someone right down the street that would love to take you dog, would do it for less money, it would be a better experience for the dog, better for you," Easterly said.

Rover.com taps into the notion that dogs are family members too and need to stay with people who think the same way.

You can locate a host and pay the nightly rate online. Hosts set the price -- usually $15-$50 a night, and it includes insurance, 24/7 vet consultations and a possible music video of your dog's stay.

So who can be a pet sitter? Well, Rover.com says they only accept 10 percent of those that apply and they rating system has an interesting twist: only allowing paying customers to rate the sitters. That weeds out non-users.

"And we are constantly looking at behavior to make an assessment on whether or not that person deserves to stay in Rover," Easterly said.

Rover.com now boasts over 10,000 hosts nationwide with nearly 1,000 in the Puget Sound area.