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Sit & Stay!Sit & Stay!

Pet and House Sitting Services


Dear Pet Parents

Sit and Stay! was created in 2002 to give pet owners in the Clark County, WA area an alternative to placing their pets in kennels or at Veterinary Hospitals for boarding and daily care.

For the last 18+ years it has been a pleasure and a joy building and running Sit & Stay, meeting clients and taking care of their pets. They have enriched my life and the lives of the sitters and our business, and I am forever thankful for each and every one.

As you may already know, all Sit & Stay pet sitters are independent contractors who are contracted by Sit & Stay to cover the needs of clients in their area. As independent contractors, each sitter has their own business license, a signed contract with Sit & Stay and follows the guidelines as outlined by the state.

Due to the current pandemic, the sitters suffered a dramatic drop-off in business starting in March and applied for temporary unemployment benefits under the State/Federal “gig-worker” assistance program (CARES ACT) in April. I was thrilled to learn that these hardworking individuals would be able to receive much needed assistance to help them survive these rough waters. However, for unknown reasons, the State of Washington then declared that Sit & Stay’s independent contractors are employees, and insisted that Sit & Stay pay L&I and ESD taxes starting back at Q1 of 2019 plus interest and penalties. The entire thing is perplexing and quite frustrating. This is a financial burden that Sit & Stay was not prepared to pay and did not have the income coming in that could cover the added costs. We were barely surviving, as it was. As the owner of Sit & Stay I will continue fighting this battle. In fact, I have enlisted the help of our elected government officials who also feel this is an unfair and incorrect classification and have offered to help me. I have been working on this since mid May - making calls, writing appeals and waiting long term for responses. On December 21, I finally got a call back from the Small Business Liaison for ESD (I hadn’t heard back from him since July). He let me know that ESD had received my second appeal from December 1 (they completely lost my first one from May, even though they had been working on it with me through July), and will work on it right away (due, mainly, to his pleading with them out of compassion for my situation) and will either send me a letter with the revised determination that they are, in fact, Independent Contractors. Or, a letter or a call from a lawyer explaining to me why they are employees. The good news is that I have another step I can take from here and push it to a third party to review. They will look at everything, get witness statements and interview me. Then, I will bring in the kind clients, elected officials, and sitters who have offered to help me fight this. As of Jan 4, I still have not heard from anyone.

Although I will be working on reversing these erroneous charges, I made the decision to close down Sit & Stay as of Dec 31,2020. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to this chapter of my life and all the wonderful people and pets I have met over these nearly 19 years.

As of Jan 1, Sit & Stay’s independent contractors will continue to be available to take on the needs of their assigned clients – they will simply no longer have the Sit & Stay umbrella attached to their services. They will each be working under their own businesses. Their contact info can be found on the referrals page on this site.

I have heard from clients who have made my heart full by telling me stories and letting me know how much I have meant to them and how I have changed their lives for the better. I never started this business thinking I was going to make tons of money off of it. In fact, my mission statement centers around the well being of animals and the ability to offer a reliable choice for pet owners to care for their pets when needed. I feel like I have done that and have given clients peace of mind so they could work or vacation knowing their pets were in good hands.

If you know anything about me, it’s that I don’t like to be idle. I need to do something productive. I am looking into starting a small business consulting company with just me working with one or two clients at a time. I have been running businesses from small to multi-milliion dollar companies since 1994. I look forward to using that knowledge to help people find work and grow in this new world we find ourselves navigating. I have a few other business ideas, so we will see where it all takes me.

I can still be reached at colleen@sitstaypets.com

Sit & Stay!

Colleen Waters

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