Jill's Next Door Dog Walking & Pet Services, LLC was established in 2017 by Jill Merjeski. 

MISSION 

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 peace of mind to clients through our core values following our “Peace of Mind Blueprint:”

  1. Professionalism: JND is a well-established, experienced, qualified, insured and bonded business.
  2. Reasonable and Competitive Rates: We offer an assortment of services at many different price points to accommodate all pet care budgets.
  3. Customized Services: We offer a wide variety of services to precisely fit client needs, including: pet sitting, dog walking services, pet taxi services, hotel visits, house checks, and concierge services. 
  4. Safety: We require all walks be leashed and all yards be securely fenced in. We ask 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 reasons. 
  5. 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 and care.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.  

COMPANY CULTURE

JND’s culture is critical to our company’s success and performance. Our strong culture 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 energy 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 driving force of 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, restrategizing, feedback reviewing, 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. 

VISION

Our vision is to continue to grow 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. 

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. 
  • Jill and its team have had criminal background checks through ACUTRAQ, and can provide proof of a clear criminal history.
  • JND is able to provide up to (3) client references upon request, and encourages prospective clients to review their 5-star standing on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and additional platforms. 
  • JND lists the company’s policies and service agreement directly on their website, is included on the Welcome Email 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). She 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 subgroup 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 and 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 sure 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 names. 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 client is 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 their peace of mind in this potentially stressful event.
  • JND has a contingency plan for pet care in case of inclement weather, disaster, or personal illness. 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 on the client's experience. If improvements need to be made, Jill meets with the sitter to address the concern, or update policies as needed. 
  • JND responds to client inquiries through the company's business phone (561.544.PAWS), social media messaging, emails, texts, etc. 
  • JND properly classifies staff as Independent Contractors, and  the IC in turn signs the IC Agreement and Code of Ethics. This agreement 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 in industry standards. 
  • JND practices fair recruitment, hiring and management practices, ensuring they 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 their business and the pet-sitting industry.
  • JND conducts business with honesty and 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 PSI

EDUCATION

Jill Merjeski Owner Resume:

Saint Joseph’s University, B.S. Psychology

West Chester University, M.S. Educational Psychology

dog*biz Dog Walking Academy, Pet Sitter Certified 

PetTech and Red Cross, Pet First Aid and CPR 

K9 Lifeline’s 3D Workshop in Utah, Aggressive Dog Handling

Pet Sitters International, Certified Pet Professional Status (CPPS), Dog Care Specialist, Cat Care Specialist, Disaster Preparedness, Fear Free Certified 

Duke University, Dog Emotion and Cognition 

International Association of Professions Career College, Dog Daycare Owner Certified 

Animal Rescue Professionals Association, Trap, Neuter Release Certified , and Animal Foster Home Certified

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

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

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 must 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, updated yearly 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, and ministry programs.

AWARDS

JND is the proud recipient of 11 awards or recognitions, 3 international and 8 local awards, celebrating pet care achievement and animal rescue efforts.

Palm Beach Post's Best Pet Sitters of Palm Beach County, Top 5, 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

Bestofpalmbeachcounty.com, Best Dog Walkers of Palm Beach County, 2019 and 2020, nominated once again in 2021 and 2022

International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA), Petatarian of the Year 

Pet Sitters International (PSI), Pet Advocate of the Year

ANIMAL RESCUE EFFORTS

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 almost 250 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, Tricounty 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 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.

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. 

Most recently, 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. You can order a beautifully scented candle for a cause here.

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

Portfolio

Jill’s Next Door aligns its goals with the highest of industry standards; providing knowledgeable, ethical, and attentive pet care. Take a look at our business portfolio in pictures.