Mission & Vision
Jill’s Next Door aligns its goals with the highest of industry standards; providing knowledgeable, ethical, and attentive pet care. Jill and her team offer service excellence and peace of mind to pet owners and their loved ones. We offer this comfort and trust to clients through our core values following our “Peace of Mind Blueprint:”
- Professionalism: JND is a well-established, experienced, qualified, insured and bonded business.
- Reasonable and Competitive Rates: We offer an assortment of services at many different price points to accommodate all pet care budgets.
- Customized Services: We provide a wide variety of services to precisely fit client needs including: pet sitting, dog walking, pet taxi, hotel/rental/AirBnb visits, travelling pet sitting, canine aqua fitness, care for special needs pets, house checks, wedding pet attendant and care, and concierge services. We also partnered with Online Dog and Cat Trainers and a Professional Pet Portrait Photographer to offer our clients additional services.
- Safety: We require all walks be leashed and all yards be securely fenced in. We inquire about all physical ailments and allergies at our meet and greet. We do not allow the pets in our care to interact with other pets or humans on their walk for safety purposes.
- Experience and Educational Development: JND strongly believes in continual education and constant renewal of knowledge for our pet sitters. As such, we are always updating our expertise in animal behavior, pet care, ethical business operations, and best practices through multiple sources.
- Technology and Convenience: JND uses a high-tech system called Time to Pet so that no pet is ever left behind. This portal provides convenience for our clients to book pet care, view their personal service calendar, and to pay their invoice. TTP also allows our clients to keep in real-time contact with their pet sitter. Our owner, Jill Merjeski, oversees all interactions between the sitter and the client to assure the visit is running smoothly.
- Unsurpassed Personal Service with Outstanding Communication: As pet care professionals, we provide our clients with a phenomenal pet care experience. This is done not only with top-notch pet care but also with spectacular customer service. We understand the value of open communication. Our sitters send real-time detailed reports after each visit providing texts, pictures, and emails immediately following each visit.
- Follow-Up: To best serve our clients, it is vital we obtain feedback. For that reason, we always follow up to receive an assessment of the client experience.
- Genuine Love of Animals: JND was founded on a passion for animals, which is still the root of our success. All of us at Jill’s Next Door make it our priority to provide our fur clients with as much love and attention as the client would.
JND’s company culture is critical to our company’s success and performance. Our strong collective value allows us to retain a happy, well-managed team of passionate, driven, pet care professionals. We operate on a “Positive Management Culture” which includes 6 factors: Passion, Purpose, Enjoyment, Safety, Strategy, and Results. These factors nurture a positive synergy that contribute to our shared professional goals, and foster JND’s capacity to thrive.
Passion is the cornerstone and driving force of JND. It is imperative for each team member perform their pet care duties from a place of passion and love for animal welfare.
Passion is the motivation for Purpose, with each team member setting high intentions for their daily pet care assignments. With this formula, Enjoyment in their career is a natural progression; and we want our sitters to love what they do.
Client and sitter Safety is a common thread while working with animals, and necessary for everyone’s health and well-being.
Strategy is set in place by JND’s structured systems, policies and procedures. Our systems, based on our core values, include: goal-setting, learning, networking, strategizing, feedback analysis, promotion, pet advocacy, and community outreach initiatives.
The Results are reviewed daily, quarterly, and annually. Results reflect on where we need to continue to improve, realign, celebrate, and reward.
Our vision is to continue to grow our client base throughout South Florida, and to provide even more clients with exceptional pet care. We strive for optimal community outreach and support by sponsoring local events, partnering with other small businesses, and being ambassadors for pet advocacy. We aim to create more professional pet care jobs for heart-centered, animal-loving individuals. We also recognize and appreciate the professional platform JND upholds in the community, and utilize it to give voices to pets in need.
NAPPS’ PLEDGE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
The Pledge of Professional Conduct is designed to guide members in the conduct of business, which shall represent the highest standards of ethical behavior and humane attitudes towards animals and people.
- To respect my fellow professional pet sitters and to treat employees, customers, and competitors with honesty and integrity;
- To refrain from saying, writing, doing anything which would defame my competitors or bring embarrassment or dishonor to the pet sitting industry or the assocation;
- To operate my pet sitting business in a professional manner and to enhance the pet sitting industry within the community.
- To deliver skillful, safe, compassionate care to all pets entrusted to my supervision;
- To keep all client information confidential;
- To safeguard the client’s residence by taking all reasonable precautions.
- To learn as much as possible about my career as a professional pet sitter so that I can provide superior service to each client;
- To support and encourage responsible pet ownership with my customers as well as my community;
- To continually improve my knowledge of the pet sitting profession by participating in educational opportunities.
- To comply with all local ordinances relating to the care and keeping of animals; and to obey all regulations, Federal, State, and local;
- Not to promote a product or service in connection with NAPPS without the written consent of the Board of Directors of the Association.
PSI’S QUALITY STANDARDS AND ETHICS
Jill’s Next Door follows Pet Sitter International’s Recommended Quality Standards and Ethics in structuring the company’s business ethics, pet care, procedures and professionalism:
JND is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and operates as an active business entity in good standing with the State of Florida and its Division of Corporations.
JND is insured and bonded through the Business Insurers of the Carolinas. Proof of insurance is available upon request. JND has a Certificate of Insurance readily available in our documents.
Jill and her team have passed criminal background checks through ACUTRAQ, and can provide proof of a clear criminal history.
JND lists the company’s policies and service agreement directly on their website, is included on the Welcome Packet to New Clients, and must be signed in our Time to Pet portal before the start of services. Policies and agreement have been reviewed by legal counsel.
JND is in active standing with Pet Sitters International (PSI), National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), and the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA). Jill was also on the New Member Welcome Committee with NAPPS in 2021-2022. Locally, Jill is a member of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Greater Delray Chamber of Commerce, and its subgroups Focus on Women Committee, Delray Beach Leads and Delray Beach Executives (DBE). Jill is also a Board Member Candidate with the National Leadership Institute.
JND requires that each new client review and sign the Service Agreement, enter their pet care plan(s), and home details in our app Time to Pet before the start of services. Sitters review the information before the meet and greet so that we are well informed of the clients’ needs.
All services, service descriptions, pricing and fees can be found directly on our website and on our app Time to Pet. Clients are issued their invoice before the start of services and can view the invoice at any time through their TTP account.
JND is very thorough in preserving the clients home security. With every pet sitting visit, we bring in mail/newspapers, packages, adjust lights & blinds, take trash cans in and out, and make certain to be discreet if a neighbor asks the whereabouts of our client.
JND maintains the security of the clients’ keys by labeling the key only with the pet’s name. Client provides one key for their primary sitter, and the other for the JND office. We strongly encourage clients to take advantage of the key lockboxes we have for sale, so that the clients are in control of their keys.
JND takes appropriate precautions to limit the spread of communicable diseases and/or cross- contamination between households. Clients can find our COVID-19 Protocol here.
Clients can rest assured that if they are delayed returning from travel that we would not leave their pet unattended. We have an emergency protocol in place for such situations. If the primary sitter is unavailable for the extended visits, Jill or another team member will step in to care for the home and pets. We continue to be very communicative with the clients to offer peace of mind in this potentially stressful event.
JND has a contingency plan for pet care in case of inclement weather, disaster, civil unrest, personal illness, and any other potential setback. Clients can visit JND’s policy here.
JND has an emergency plan in place, including veterinary contact information, should a pet become ill or injured in their care. Clients are asked to list their primary and emergency vet through their TTP account. If either vet is unavailable, JND has the right to take the pet to the closest vet for immediate care. Clients also name an emergency contact through their account, and we will also exhaust every measure to reach the client. All emergencies are documented in TTP, and clients agree to reimburse JND for time and possible funds spent. Clients are also advised to sign a Vet Release Waiver at the initiation of services.
JND solicits service feedback from clients through TTP’s Happiness Report immediately following each visit. Jill also reaches out to clients about their experience via email, phone, or in person to collect information. If improvements need to be made, Jill meets with the sitter to address the concern, or update policies as needed. If the client is elated with their sitter and experience the sitter in acknowledged in our private Facebook Sitters Group.
JND responds to client inquiries through the company’s business phone (561.544.PAWS), social media messaging, Google messenger, TTP, emails, website contact forms, texts, etc.
JND properly classifies staff as Independent Contractors, and the IC in turn signs the IC Agreement and Code of Ethics. They are also issued a W-9/1099. We comply with Florida’s Independent Contracting laws. All agreements has been reviewed and approved by legal counsel.
JND requires prospective sitters to complete our questionnaire online, provide a cover letter and resume, (3) professional references, and proof of a clear criminal history, through ACUTRAQ. Prospects must also have a face to face interview with Jill for contract consideration. Prospects are encouraged to review our pet care industry standards and should plan to meet to review expectations and directives of the clients. They attend visits with seasoned sitters until all parties feel comfortable with the sitter going to solo assignments.
For continued education, IC’s are given a password to our Sitter Resource page for pet education and industry standards.
JND practices fair recruitment, hiring and management practices, ensuring we do not discriminate against a person due to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, disability, veteran/ military status, age, genetic information or any protected classification established by law.
JND works to foster an inclusive work environment with clear anti-discrimination and anti- harassment policies and ensures adherence of these policies to ensure the safety of all staff.
The JND team learns as much as possible about the routines, behaviors and needs of animals in their care and documents specific care instructions provided by the pet owners.
JND team has adequate experience in caring for pets and is knowledgeable in pet behavior and pet first aid to best protect the safety and well-being of pets in their care.
JND understands and upholds local ordinances and laws applicable to animals in their service areas, including policies regarding animal abuse and neglect.
JND exhibits courtesy and professionalism in all dealings with customers, staff and industry colleagues to positively represent our business and the pet-sitting industry.
JND conducts business with honesty, integrity, and observes all federal, state and local laws pertaining to business operations.
JND refrains from slander of competitors, peers, industry organizations and affiliates, and follows the appropriate venues to provide constructive feedback and/ or address concerns in a respectful manner. JND is part of the local Facebook group dedicated to pet care professionals offering support and feedback in cohesion of one goal: to best serve the local pet community.
JND demonstrates ethical standards in all business transactions.
JND is well-educated in the disciplines of pet sitting and takes advantage of educational training and continuing education to increase pet-care and business knowledge.
Jill is consistently expanding her pet care education through multiple resources, while also receiving CEU credits to maintain her Certified Pet Sitter Status® with Pet Sitters International (CPPS).
Jill Merjeski Owner Resume:
Saint Joseph’s University, B.S. Psychology
West Chester University, M.S. Educational Psychology
dog*biz Dog Walking Academy in Colorado, Pet Sitter Certification
PetTech and Red Cross, Pet First Aid and CPR 2018, 2019, 2023
K9 Lifeline’s 3D Workshop in Utah, Aggressive Dog Handling
Pet Sitters International, Certified Pet Professional Status® (CPPS), Dog Care Specialist, Cat Care Specialist, Bird Care and First Aid, Rabbit and Pocket Pet First Aid, Disaster Preparedness, Fear Free Certified, FOCUS Summit, CEU Seminars, PETSIT PRO Courses
FetchFind, Dog Breeds 101, Bite Prevention, Safe Handling, Fire Safety Basics, First Aid Basics
International Boarding and Pet Service Association, Diversifying Your Business 1 & 2, Pet Hydration, Signs of Heat Stroke, Dog Flu, Pet Obesity, Pet Care Services Management Standards
NAPPS University, Canine Body Language, Canine Behavior
Nicole Agius, Pet Nutritionist, Author, Pet Nutrition Diploma
ASPCA Pro Training, How to Interact with Dogs to Minimize Stress, How to Communicate Shelter Animal Behavior Clearly, How to Encourage Good Behavior in Shelter Dogs
Duke University, Dog Emotion and Cognition
International Association of Professions Career College, Dog Daycare Owner Certification
Animal Rescue Professionals Association, Trap, Neuter Release (TNR) Certification, and Animal Foster Home Certification
NAPPS Webinars: Pet Loss: Navigating Through the Holidays-Coping Strategies for You and Your Clients, Sandra Grossman, Pet Loss Partners; Social Dog Walks, Lennox Armstrong, Canine Care, LLC; How Animal Communication Helps Alleviate Separation Anxiety Experienced by Pets and Their Sitters, Joan Ranquet; Website for Small Business; What Enrichment Means and How Pet Sitters Can Apply it to Their Business, Tabitha Kucera, Chirrups and Chatter; The Art of Communication, The Witty Entrepreneur, Jennifer Bassman; Becoming Radiantly Resilient; F.O.C.U.S., Cherish McMillan; How to Increase Engagement On Your Facebook Page; Unlocking Additional Income: Tap Into the Power of Your Relationship for Business Growth, Pawtree CEO
PSI CEU Courses: Enriched Pet Sitting, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout for Pet Sitters, Managing Your Minutes: Time Management Skills for Pet Sitters, Handling Fearful and Anxious Pets, How to Build Relationships With Your Local Doggy Daycare, Techniques for Work/Life Balance for Pet Sitters, All About Cats Webinar, Fun, New Activities for Client’s Dogs and Cats, How to Hire the Right Person, Employee Retention, Protect Your Business with Policies & Procedures, Staying Safe While Working with Dogs, Lifetime Care for Pets, Fear Free Pet Sitting, Creating Captivating Content, Pro Tips to Take Better Photos of Your Clients’ Pets, Media Relations for Pet Pros, Dogs When Walking Clients: Part 1, Basic Pet First Aid for Pet Sitters, SEO For Pet Sitters: 5 Simple Steps To Rise Above The Competition, 5 Ways to Ensure Your Business Stands Out from Hobby Sitters, How to Wow and Delight Your Clients, Ask Dr. Donita: Your Veterinary Questions Answered, How to Set Up a Social Media Marketing Program that Fits Your Target Market and Your Schedule, How and Why to Write a Business Plan, How Money Works, Enterprise: Smart Financial and Retirement Strategies for Small Business Owners/Smart Financial Moves for the Small Business Owner, What You Need to Know About Home Safety as a Pro Pet Sitter
PETSIT PRO: Canine Body Language and Play, Customer Service Basics, Why Cats Stop Using the Litter Box, Dog Training Basics Every Pet Sitter Should Know, Pet Transportation Tips, Reptile Care for Pet Sitters, A Pet Sitter’s Guide to Dealing with Pet Loss, Basic Pet Grooming for Professional Pet Sitters, Recognizing Symptoms of Pain in Cats, Separation Anxiety 101, Pet Sitter Strategies for Preventing Insurance Claims, Administering Medications to Pets Using Fear Free Strategies, Preventing Pet Poison from Household Products, Pet Bird Care for Pet Sitters, Lost Dog Behavior
IBPSA Conference, 2020 and 2022
PSI World Conference, 2017, 2020, 2022 (Hurricane Ian unable to attend)
Kristin Morrison, Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy
Colleen Sedgwick, Launch and Grow Program, Multiply Mastermind Program, and Scholars Program for Pet Business Owners
Cathy Heller, Abundance Ever After
Independent Contractor Education:
Most of our IC’s either have a college degree, or are in pursuit of their undergraduate degree. Each IC has a thorough understanding of our vision, mission, and core values and pass a written exam before onboarding. The preparation includes videos, readings, procedural slides, and a Q and A with the owner. They are also taught how to use our software system, Time to Pet, and are added to our private pet sitters Facebook group to share ideas, updates, industry trends, and pet care information. It is recommended that they view a Pet First Aid and CPR video and undergo shadowing until they and the owner feel they are ready to go on solo assignments. For continued education, we offer a sitter only password-protected library of pet care education resources found here.
Resources include: Pet Sitting as a Career, Pet Industry Projection, Dog and Cat Behavior, Dog Handling, Cat Care, to name a few.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND SPONSORSHIPS
In addition to her dog walking business, Jill is very active in the community; sponsoring several local events and national campaigns. Some of the highlighted causes have been to aid children and pets in need, disaster relief, environmental conservation, teen initiatives, cancer research, women’s programs, addiction, domestic violence, children’s pet safety and the importance of animal rescue, empowering girls in leadership, and ministry programs.
NATIONAL PET SITTERS WEEK®
Jill’s Next Door Dog Walking & Pet Services, LLC celebrated PSI’S National Pet Sitters Week® by honoring professional pet care companies and team members. We educated the public about the advantages of professional in-home pet care and encouraging pet-loving entrepreneurs to explore professional pet sitting as a career.
We shared PSI graphics on our site detailing the vast difference between hobby sitters and professionals. We created a commercial acknowledging why the community should hire a professional, posted tips on hiring a professional, and highlighted our achievements and awards. We designed graphics for our testimonials, education, services, among others. To promote PSI’S National Pet Sitters Week®, we contacted both the Greater Delray Chambers of Commerce, and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, and they featured us in their newsletter and social media accounts–reaching thousands of community members.
To celebrate our clients, we created a picture collage, posting on social media and emailing our client base thanking them for their loyalty to our company. For new clients, we offered a coupon for 50% Off their first visit upon sign on.
To thank our Strategic Alliances (vets, groomers, etc.) we dropped off small plants and our business cards to each local establishment.
To recognize our pet advocacy efforts, we created a webpage dedicated to the animal rescues we are partnered with, complete with their contact and social media info, along with their Paypal link so that visitors can donate directly from our website. We also created a resource page for the community to refer to when they encounter community cats and kittens.
THANK YOUR PET SITTER DAY®
To thank our sitters, we celebrated PSI’S National Thank Your Sitter Day® by securing a private Escape Room challenge and rewarded our exceptional sitters with a gift certificate to a local spa. We also created an animated video collection of all of our current pet sitters highlighting their excellence.
In addition to the daily tasks of client pet care, JND operates on a broader animal welfare scale. JND sponsors local animal rescues through community events and fundraisers. Jill has fostered, reunited, and placed over 300 kittens and cats, and launched Jill’s Next Door Feline Alliance Program (FAP) in 2019. FAP is a self-funded rescue, foster and adoption program created as an alliance with local pet rescue organizations around south Florida. FAP works with Florida’s Forgotten Felines, iHeart Animals, Kitty Karma, Animal Rescue Force, All About the Cats Animal Rescue, Truly All Cats Rescue and Trapping, Tri-County Animal Rescue, among others, aligning its goals with their rescue endeavors. Jill onboarded a team of volunteers to aid FAP’s efforts; a (TNR) trapper, rescue liaison, and socialization volunteers, increasing adoption probability. Jill raised over $2500 and built a catio for unsocialized and senior cats located in Loxahatchee, Florida. Jill has launched several fundraisers for feline rescues since 2018, raising thousands of dollars to help animals in need.
Jill built the website for Florida’s Forgotten Felines, optimizing their fundraising efforts, and was awarded $500 to FFF from Pet Sitters International.
A percentage of proceeds earned from Jill’s earned income is dedicated to caring for fosters and animal rescue groups.
HUNGRY BOWL PET FOOD DRIVE®
JND hosted PSI’S Hungry Bowl Pet Food Drive® in December 2022-ongoing, joined forces with four students working with local businesses to place donation bins in their establishments, and created an online Amazon Wishlist to collect food for animals in need.
PSI’S EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAM®
Jill presented to 111 students and 10 faculty members for PSI’S Early Education Program®, teaching the Pet Safety and the Importance of Animal Rescue. Through demonstration and student volunteers, she showed the students how to approach an unfamiliar dog and avoid bites. She also highlighted her career in pet care, and how the students can get involved in animal rescue. Each student “adopted” a stuffed dog or cat, complete with its on kennel and certificate for being a rescue hero. Jill also applied PSI’S Early Education Program® to over 80 girls and their parents of the Girl Scouts of SE Florida, teaching pet safety, animal rescue, and empowering young girls to pursue their dreams. Jill offers to present PSI’S Early Education Program® to churches, camps, libraries, and other children’s programs. Read More
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS
Jill created a Volunteer Program for Students to provide opportunities for community service while fulfilling their required school community service hours through Jill’s Next Door Feline Alliance Program. Students are taught the importance of animal rescue, while socializing a group of kittens preparing them for adoption. They also make pet toys in bulk, hold a pet food drive, and raise butterflies in a growth kit to learn about nurturing and caring for another.
TAKE YOUR PET TO WORK WEEK®
JND promoted PSI’s Take Your Pet To Work Week® June 19-23, 2023, by inviting employees and employers to share their photos with their pets while working remotely or in their workplace! Every participant that shares a photo with JND through social media, emails, messengers, and any other online method, JND donated to Truly All Cats Rescue and Trapping in honor of each and every participant. This rescue aims to reduce the number of homeless suffering cats through TNVR, rescue to adoption, helping to control the cat population in South Florida. We promoted PSI’S Take Your Dog to Work Day®, and Take Your Cat to Work Day® celebrating those day specifically during this week. We raised $500 through this cause and donated directly to Truly All Cats. Read More
SHOP FOR A CAUSE
JND partnered with Jaimie Angyal of Pacific North Wicks in their “Candles for Good” campaign to help animal in need. With a purchase of every Rescue or Protect Candle, PNW donates 10% to nonprofits who provide care, combat animal cruelty, and ultimately help find loving homes for these precious animals. Read more
JND has also partnered with Ropes for Rescues Program founded by Ryan Dempsey of Dog Patch SF. His program refurbishes old rock climbing rope into dog leashes, donating to over 350 rescues while supporting the community and the environment. Read more
JND also created an alliance with Saint Rocco’s Treats, who donate $1 for every pound of their handmade treats sold to local animal rescues. Read More
Jill has also partnered with Pat Trippedo, the Lead Consultant of Scentsy, who gives a portion of her sales to our local TNR rescue, Truly All Cats Rescue and Trapping. Read More
Jill joined an amazing small business called AdoptAgust, to support their mission to create great designs and gifts for pets and pet lovers that inspire kindness, real-life adoptions, and support for animals of all species and backgrounds. A portion of the proceeds are donated to animal shelters to help animals in need. Read More
JND is the proud recipient of 13 awards, 3 internationally and 10 locally, celebrating pet care achievement and animal rescue efforts.
Palm Beach Post’s Best Pet Sitters of Palm Beach County, Nominee, 2024 (Winner Pending)
Palm Beach Post’s Best Pet Sitters of Palm Beach County, Finalist, 2023
International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA), Independent Pet Care Provider of the Year, 2022
Boca Raton Award Program, Boca Raton’s Best Pet Sitters, 2022
Palm Beach Post’s Best Pet Sitters of Palm Beach County, 2022
Nextdoor, Neighborhood Favorite, 2021
International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA), Petatarian of the Year, 2020
Pet Sitters International (PSI), Pet Advocate of the Year, 2020
Bestofpalmbeachcounty.com, Best Dog Walkers of Palm Beach County, 2019 and 2020, Finalists, 2021, 2022 and 2023
Our company in photos, featuring education, sitters, community events, rescue program, promotion, media and more.