Announcing the Sitter of the Year Award Winners 2018

By Sally Keegan | News

The moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived. It's time to introduce you to the winners of our annual Sitter of the Year Awards 2018.

Thank you all for submitting hundreds of heartwarming nominations. After much deliberation from our judges, the five lucky sitters have been selected and awarded the ultimate prize for all pet lovers — a lifetime TrustedHousesitters membership. That’s unlimited sits forever, meaning they can spend precious moments with even more pets around the world.

So, keep scrolling to meet your Sitter of the Year Awards winners. And be sure to keep an eye on our blog, as more of the lovely stories from nominated sitters will be shared soon.

  1. Above and Beyond Winners
    Annie and Ian

  2. Nominated by Millard and Brenda

"Annie and Ian have house sit for us twice in Florida. This picture was taken the first time during the Hurricane that hit Florida. They were at our home during the hurricane whilst we were in the UK. Not only did they have the challenge of keeping these three dogs and two cats safe but they were without power for 4 days — which for our area since we are rural means, no electricity, no power, no water, no petrol, and all businesses closed — the amazing part for us is after enduring all the problems of the area during a blackout because of damage, they cleaned our 3 acre yard of the debris, and since there was no running water, they bathed in a local pond and stayed up at night putting wet towels on the dogs to keep them cool from the Florida heat!

The even more amazing part was this year when they came back to stay and once again they flew into Florida with a hurricane in the gulf. They came because they were committed to the care and excellence for our animals. Annie and Ian are great people who go the extra mile. Both times they insisted that we go on our trips and not cancel, I believe they took care of things better than we could have. The picture above is Annie sitting on the floor caring for the dogs during hurricane winds. It is the amazing people like Ian and Annie that makes TrustedHousesitters successful. It is with our heartfelt respect that we offer the highest recommendation for Sitter of the Year to Ian and Annie. The award could not go to a more deserving couple."


  1. Last-Minute Hero Winner
    Marie Flora

  2. Nominated by Katie

"Marie Flora stepped in to save the day after my mother died unexpectedly and we had to completely re-arrange and extend our time away. Undeterred and unprompted, she bought a new aeroplane ticket from France and looked and loved our Charlie like her own, during a very difficult period for us all. She sent daily photos and videos and was such a reassuring presence for me during all the turmoil. When we returned, she had left the house immaculate and had bought me a beautiful gift from Liberty, plus copious food gifts from France. I was absolutely overcome with her kindness and compassion and cannot speak of her highly enough."

Specialist Care Winner
Nominated by Joyce

"Our youngest cat Mallory was involved in an accident not long before we were due to go on our long haul holiday. He was quite badly hurt including having a broken jaw. He had to have it wired for six weeks which meant he had to have it removed when we were away. Maryanne really stepped up to the plate and insisted in taking him to the vet for his operation and bringing him back even though she didn’t have a car — she did it all by taxi. She really looked after him and by the time we got back he had got his confidence back and was not frightened anymore to go outside. She had to cope with our other cat too who could use the cat flap and go out at night which Mallory initially was not allowed to do. All very complicated but she was totally unfazed and kept us informed whilst we were away sending us photos and updates. She was a real stalwart. Even dealing with his offerings of live voles when he was better and wanted to thank her."

Maryanne was chuffed with her prize...

"What an honour!  I'm truly delighted and moved to have been nominated, let alone to have received the award.  Joyce's cats Mallory and Shadow were lovely little rascals, and Joyce and George were tremendously kind and generous homeowner hosts.  I feel very lucky to have met them and to have had such wonderful  experiences with them and with other animals' families through the TrustedHousesitters website."

My Pet’s New Best Friend Winners
Vanessa and Jeff
Nominated by Kelley

"Vanessa and Jeff are the best — it’s clear that they adore animals. They took our doggy everywhere with them and let her sleep on the bed. They even took her when they rode around to the cafes in the bike basket. We felt so comfortable having them stay. They are a warm friendly couple who communicated with us before, during and after the assignment. They sent photos every day of what our pooch was up to which was so reassuring. When they left our house it was immaculate. I’m not sure our doggy was happy to have us home, but she sure had the best holiday with Vanessa and Jeff."

 Vanessa and Jeff were over the moon about their prize...

"This award and lifetime membership mean the world (quite literally the world!) to me and Jeff as it's not always easy to travel with a Philippine passport due to us being visa-free in only 65+ countries... It was with a leap of faith that we signed up last January 2018 for TrustedHousesitters and it was one of the best decisions we've made! The experiences, the places, and most of all, the new friends we've made (furry and humans alike) are our favourite parts of 2018!"

  1. Long-Distance Connection Winners
    Zac and Jill

  2. Nominated by Susan

"Zac and Jill did a three-month house sit for us December 2017 through February 2018. After interviewing several people through TrustedHousesitters, we selected Zac and Jill to care for our two beloved cats, Zoe and Callie, while we spent the winter in Arizona.

Throughout the three months, Zac and Jill stayed in daily contact with us. We were quite anxious about leaving the cats for such a long period of time and were delighted with the photos, videos, and stories that Zac and Jill shared with us through texts, emails, and FaceTime. This young couple did a superb job of caring for the cats and our home. They took Zoe to the veterinary when she was ill, managed our mail, coordinated home repairs, and kept our house immaculate including organizing the linens (which I loved!).

One of the many things that impressed us about Zac and Jill was their interest in volunteering while they were living in Portland for three months. They asked for ideas about where to volunteer and when we suggested that they take over our Meals on Wheels route, they quickly said yes. The Meals on Wheels Center was so pleased to have them join the team.

The best result of this three-month house sit was developing a lasting friendship with Zac and Jill. We now refer to them as our "kids" and have stayed in touch with them regularly as they travel the world."

Zac and Jill were overjoyed with their prize...

"I never thought we would win. There are SO many great sitters out there. I somewhat feel like this is the Oscars of house sitting! We'd like to thank Susan and Gordy and their lovely cats Callie and Zoe because without them, this wouldn't have been possible. Well, without TrustedHousesitters this wouldn't have been possible!"

 Want to remind yourself of our judges? You can explore each of the deciding panelist’s profiles below. From TrustedHousesitters team members to owners and sitters from your community, each one is a passionate pet lover with firsthand experience of the wonderful world of house and pet sitting.



Peter & Debs


Passionately leading the pack to find the most deserving winners of this year’s awards is sitter, owner, and TrustedHousesitters CEO, Tim Lyons.

Having enjoyed 63 sits and counting, what our multi-award winning Social Media Manager doesn't know about house and pet sitting isn’t worth knowing.

They say it takes one to know one, making seasoned TrustedHousesitters members Peter and Debs the perfect pair to identify exceptional sitters.

With over six years’ experience choosing the perfect members to care for her beloved pets, George and Charlie, Kathy is an expert at spotting truly special sitters.


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