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Tucson pet sitters headed online

Posted at 10:46 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 09:15:46-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some Tucson pet sitters have taken to the internet to find clients, and they say they are getting busier and busier.

Lucca and Nigel are two small dogs living the good life. Today, they took a walk around the neighborhood, played around inside, and got plenty of attention, but their owners are out of town.

They are staying with Barbara Heintze, a pet sitter who uses the website and app called Rover.com. It is essentially a social network that connects pet owners with pet sitters.

"I've been using it going on three years, I started in July, 2013," said Heintze.

Barbara and her husband Jerry lost their dog, Mojo, five years ago and they say pet sitting lets them have fun with the dogs without the commitment. It has also turned into a source of part-time income for Barbara that she can easily make at home.

"The owners book online, they pay online, they bring all their stuff over, their toys, their food, their treats. They don't have to worry about writing the check or paying me, and then they come and pick them up and go and it's all done," she said.

Barbara says recently, they have been busier and busier.

"I try to have one or two dogs but a lot of dogs we have are repeat dogs we have and I don't want to say no to them when they call or come over," she said.

One dog they are currently sitting, Lucca, has been at the Heintze house 14 times. Overall, Barbara says she has sat for more than 50 dogs in her time using Rover.com.

The Heintze's say good online reviews are what is keeping them busy. On Barbara's page, they have 65 reviews with a five-star average - a perfect score.

Barbara says there are more than 40 pet sitters across Tucson who use the website. Most sitters charge between $25 and $50 in Tucson, but they are allowed to set their own rates. Compared to some kennels this is more expensive, but Barbara says it is worth it let a dog stay in an actual home.