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Hearts at Home's Cancellation Policy

Happy New Year, friends! We hope 2024 is treating you and your pets well. At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we are excited about entering the new year focusing on strength, quality, and connection. We'd like to start a new year of blog posts by breaking down a few of our policies, starting with Hearts at Home's cancellation policy. Enforcing our policies with full transparency and your cooperation ensures our business' success.

Hearts at Home's Cancellation Policy: Purpose

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Hearts at Home Pet Sitting understands circumstances may arise that cause plans to change. Because we adhere to a strict no-overbooking policy with reservations reserved directly with your Pet Care Specialist, our Cancellation Policy applies no matter the reason or circumstance.

Honoring Employees' Time & Commitment

As employers, we prioritize our employees' experience and earning potential. We provide ample training, support, and guidance to ensure that they enjoy the work they do and are prepared to do it safely no matter the circumstances.

Because our employees only earn pay when they provide services, we also honor their time and commitment by paying them for visits that are cancelled with little notice or within designated holiday periods. Often, our employees alter their personal commitments to accommodate requests. If a client's plans change within 24-hours or over a high-demand holiday period, we feel that paying the employee for their time and commitment is the right thing to do. We wouldn't be able to retain staff if we didn't operate in this manner.

Protecting our Business & Service Levels

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We recognize that Hearts at Home's cancellation policy is different from others' in the Yorktown area. We also recognize that it may be considered more strict than many pet parents are used to. We assure you, however, that we have you and your pet's needs in mind when we design our policies.

As a smaller company that offers services in our clients' homes rather than at one central location, we manage requests and cancellations differently than boarding facilities and vet boarding operations might.

We cannot provide the premier level of service our clients have come to enjoy without policies that protect our team, our business, and other clients who count on us while at work or traveling. If you require greater flexibility than we can offer, we encourage you to consider alternative care providers that can provide greater flexibility. If, however, your pet is happiest at home as most are, we assure you that our cancellation policy is similar to in-home pet care businesses throughout the country. In most cases, our policies, outlined below, are standards in the pet sitting industry.

Ensuring our Business' Longevity & Reputation

By holding true to our published policies and maintaining consistent communication with our clients via our client agreement, booking emails, etc. we ensure our business' longevity. As a small operation that is dependent on our employees' availability and schedule, we often turn down requests from new clients, especially over peek travel and holiday periods.

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Imagine if we confirmed 50 visits for Christmas and 50% canceled last minute. These things do happen and, without a strict cancellation policy, there would be no way to 1) make up the lost revenue or 2) cover the payroll costs that we believe our employees would still deserve.

In addition, because we enforce policies equally and across the board - no matter the reason - our clients can be sure that they are always treated fairly. They do not have to worry that we're enforcing a policy with them only to waive it with another family. Whether the circumstances are extenuating or not, our policies apply. By enforcing policies to the letter, nothing is left to interpretation or subjectivity. Instead, policies apply based on the timing of the cancellation and nothing else.

Hearts at Home's Cancellation Policy: Detailed Breakdown

Cancelling Services

When canceling services, clients should submit a cancellation request via the TTP portal under ‘Schedule’ and follow the prompts to cancel.

Late Departure & Early Return

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Late departures and early returns are common. Often, departure times shift and force clients to leave later than expected or return before their last scheduled visit. In keeping with our cancellation policy, we do not issue refunds or cancellation credits for late departures or early returns home. Because our employees commit to requests in advance, they must be paid for visits that are cancelled with little to no notice.

If you prefer we not come by due to a late departure or early return, you're welcome to let us know. Otherwise, we will visit with your pet as scheduled even if you are home.

Dog Walking / Frequent Walker / Puppy Care

Dog walking services are our bread and butter. They keep us afloat between peak holiday and travel periods and allow us to maintain a well-staffed and trained team 365 days a year.

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For these reasons and more, a full visit charge will apply for visits that are canceled after noon EST the day prior. For Monday visits, cancellation must be submitted by the Friday before noon EST to avoid the cancellation penalty.

Frequent Walker Service

Clients that are registered for our Frequent Walker Service are allowed up to three canceled visits a month. These clients have committed to a minimum number of monthly visits and are expected to honor said commitment.

Clients will be responsible for a full visit charge after the third cancellation. Continuous cancellations will result in removal from the recurring Frequent Walker schedule. Once removed, the client will submit requests for future pet care on an a la carte basis.

For temporary suspension or termination of service, please provide a full 30-day notice. If proper notice is not given, the Client is responsible for 100% of the total payment due for one month of service, regardless of whether walks occur during this time or not.

Pet Sitting / Cat Sitting Reservations

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For pet sitting services, including service for cats, dogs, and small mammals, a 25% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking. We cannot confirm services without this deposit. The remaining balance is due 14 days before the start of the service period. Cancellation during the initial deposit period results in full forfeiture of the 25% deposit. Once closer in, the following fees apply:

Services canceled 8-14 days before the start of the service period, will forfeit 75% of their deposit and receive a 25% credit to use toward future services. Cancellations with less than 8 days' notice forfeit all monies.

Holiday Reservations

HAHPS has limited availability during holiday periods. Unlike other pet care establishments, we cannot risk overbooking and therefore turn away requests once we reach a manageable load of daily visits. Holiday periods include the week preceding and following the holiday.

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For designated holiday periods, a 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking. Total payment is due 21 days before the start of the service period.

Over holiday periods, services canceled 15-21 days before the start of the service period, will forfeit 75% of their deposit and receive a 25% credit to use toward future services. Cancellations with less than 14 days' notice forfeit all monies.

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At Hearts at Home, we value our clients and your pets. We are grateful for the loyalty and support we have from our highly dedicated clientele base. We thank you for understanding that our policies will be enforced without exception and encourage you to reach out should you ever need further clarification on our cancellation policy and more.

If you are new to Hearts at Home, please complete a new client questionnaire here. For more information, visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868.

Our pet sitters and dog walkers provide in-home pet care services for Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News and Hampton, Virginia.

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