Karma Paws Pet Care & Behaviour

by Sally Chamberlain

Pet Sitting Terms of Service

1. Definitions

1.1 The ‘Service Provider’ is Sally Chamberlain and is the person carrying out the pet sitting services.

1.2 The ‘Client’ is the person(s) to whom the service is being provided.


2. Bookings

2.1 Bookings will only be accepted after all the necessary forms have been completed at the initial meeting and the Service Provider has met the Client and their pets. A deposit of at least 50% of the booking total is required seven days prior to the date of the first visit of each booking, along with the clients’ key(s) for access to their property for the duration of the booking.

2.2 The Service Provider must be given the expected departure and return dates and times of the Client for each set of bookings to ensure that the pets are not left alone for more than 24 hours prior to the Service Provider’s first visit or any longer than 24 hours after their final visit.

2.3 The Service Provider takes bookings to care for cats, chickens and small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs but not exotic animals with complex needs such as reptiles, parrots or tropical fish.

2.4 For all new clients, a free in-home initial meeting at the clients’ home is required.

2.5 Bookings may be accepted up to 24 hours before service begins, depending on the availability of the Service Provider, and a deposit payment of at least 50% of the total booking value will be required with the balance payable immediately upon return.

2.6 Please see Clause 16 for full payment terms.


3. Cancellations

3.1 For bookings cancelled between 14 days and 48 hours before the start date of the booking, the Service Provider will require 50% payment for services from the Client.

3.2 All bookings cancelled within 48 hours will be payable in full.

3.3 If the Service Provider cannot provide the service agreed, they will do their best to arrange an alternative, unless in extreme circumstances, they will endeavour to give 24 hours’ notice. In any event, the Client is required to have a local emergency contact with a key to their property such as a trusted neighbour, friend or family member who lives close-by in case of emergency.


4. Duty of Care

4.1 The Service Provider highly respects the Client’s trust with the care of their pet and having access to the Client’s property.

4.2 The Service Provider will utilise their skill and knowledge to ensure the standards of care provided to the animals and any property is appropriate. All reasonable care is taken to ensure the integrity and suitability of the care provided.

4.3 A change in a pet’s routine and circumstances can cause varying degrees of distress and unpredictable or abnormal behaviour, particularly if their owner is on holiday. Pets have no concept or ability to understand if their owner’s absence is temporary or if they will be coming back. The Service Provider understands this and will offer comfort and reassurance whilst trying, as far as is practically possible, and to maintain their normal daily routines.

4.4 In the event of extreme weather such as heavy snowfall, severe flooding etc., the Service Provider shall, at their sole discretion, take whatever action they consider necessary, including not carrying out scheduled services until it is, in their opinion, safe to do so. In anticipation of such circumstances, the Client is required to have an local emergency contact with a key to their property such as a trusted neighbour, friend or family member who lives close-by.

4.5 The Client is responsible for making arrangements for snow removal. Visits may not be made in snow covered driveways and/or walkways because of safety concerns.

4.6 The Service Provider cannot be responsible for any complications pets may suffer or actions of pets while they are unattended but will do their utmost to ensure their safety.

4.7 The Service Provider shall not be held responsible for the loss, injury, death, or actions of any pet that the Client has let outside or has instructed the Service Provider to allow outside while Service Provider is not there. This includes pets with cat doors and outdoor pets.

4.8 The Service Provider shall not be liable to the Client or be deemed to be in breach of the contract by reason of any delay in performing, or any failure to perform, any of its obligations in relation to the services, if the delay or failure was due to any cause beyond the Service Provider’s reasonable control.

4.9 If any other person enters the property with the Client’s consent at any time during the duration of the booking, the Service Provider cannot be held responsible if this adversely affects the Client’s pets or property. For example, such as letting indoor cats outside or leaving the property insecure.


5. Animal care and temperament

5.1 The Service Provider will not accept aggressive, unruly or untrained animals that may cause harm to them or be a danger to the public, other animals or the Client’s or Service Provider’s property.

5.2 The Client agrees to be responsible for all costs for any damage or injury caused by their pet(s) towards any property, person or other animal, this will include, but not limited to veterinary, medical and legal fees etc.

5.3 The Client understands that all pets (where appropriate) must be registered with a veterinary surgery and must be up to date with their vaccinations and parasite treatments. The Client agrees to reimburse the Service Provider for all costs (including, but not limited to, medical care and lost wages) associated with contracting any ailments while exposed to pet(s) that routine treatments could have prevented.

5.4 The Service Provider will only look after cats that are microchipped, even if they are indoor-only as this is essential in identifying them in the rare event that they go missing.

5.5 The Service Provider does not accept bookings for animals that wear electronic spray or shock collars or any other kind of aversive device that causes them pain, fear or discomfort.

5.6 The Service Provider will NOT carry out any kind of discipline, positive punishment or aversive action against the animal even if it does something that the Client has instructed them to do as they only treat animals with kindness and train them using only force-free methods, if required.

5.7 The Client must inform the Service Provider of any changes regarding their contact numbers, pet(s)’s care needs, emergency contact details and other pertinent information.


6. Necessities

6.1 The Service Provider will properly dispose of the Client’s pet’s waste, however the Client shall ensure there is an appropriate supply of bags for that purpose, and indicate their preferred method/location of disposal.

6.2 The Client shall provide sufficient food, cat litter, waste bags, cleaning supplies, cat carriers (in clean, secure, good working order), vet record cards, pet insurance details and any other essentials required for the duration of the service.


7. House Cleanliness

7.1 The Client should ensure that their house is reasonably clean and tidy for the health and safety of the pets and the Service Provider so that they can carry out their duties in a safe and efficient manner and make available cleaning materials in the event of any mess the pet has made within their property.

7.2 The Service Provider will clean up after the Client’s pets to the best of their ability.

7.3 The Client is required to show the Service Provider the location of appropriate cleaning materials, including but not limited to plastic bags, paper towels, disinfectant and bin bags.

7.4 The Service Provider may charge for cleaning where the time or number of occurrences exceeds what would be considered to be acceptable.


8. Medicines and Animal Health

8.1 It shall be the sole responsibility of the Client to ensure the Service Provider is fully aware of any health issues the pet is experiencing, or has suffered in the past. The Service Provider cannot be held liable for any actions or omissions which result in problems or complications for anything not disclosed.

8.2 No booking can be accepted without a completed Veterinary Release Form. If the animal requires medication, the Client will also be required to fill in and sign a Medication Form.

8.3 The Service Provider is not insured to administer injections to animals but non-invasive medications can be administered providing that clear and comprehensive instructions are given by the Client.

8.4 The Service Provider will follow instructions given within the Client Contract, Cat/Pet Information Sheet and Medication Form (except injections or other invasive medication) but cannot be held liable for any complications which may arise.

8.5 If the animal is aggressive or extremely difficult for the Service Provider to medicate, whether or not this behaviour is anticipated by the Client, the Service Provider will try to contact the Client and may have to take the animal to a vet to be medicated and must be reimbursed for this by the Client.

8.6 In the event of a pet having a contagious illness or disease which has not been disclosed, the Client may be liable for the costs of treatment given to other animals or people who become infected.

8.7 The Service Provider will not accept bookings for acutely ill animals or those with uncontrolled medical conditions. In such an instance, the pet should be boarded with at a veterinary surgery.

8.8 The Service Provider does not diagnose, prognose, or make therapy decisions, nor does it offer veterinary services. Any veterinary/medical concerns will be referred to a veterinary surgery/clinic.

8.9 If the Service Provider or Service Provider is bitten, scratched or exposed to any disease or ailment received from the Clients pet(s) which has not been properly or currently vaccinated, the Client will be responsible for all costs and damages that may be incurred as a result.


9. Additional Purchases

9.1 In the event that items need to be purchased to enable the Service Provider to properly perform their duties that are necessary as insufficient quantities were left by the Client, or it is considered necessary in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the pet, the Client shall reimburse the Service Provider upon production of a receipt for the products.


10. Keys and Security Alarm

10.1 Where it is necessary for the Service Provider to hold keys to a property, the Client shall provide at least one of each key needed. Keys will be coded and kept within a locked key safe for security.

10.2 A spare key should also be left with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member (local) in case of emergency.

10.3 If a key(s) is not available for the Client to give to the Service Provider at the initial meeting, a rate of £8 per visit will be charged for key collection from the Client’s home address.

10.4 If key return to the Client’s home address is required on an occasion separate from the final visit of the booking, a rate of £8 will be charged.

10.5 Clients can drop off and pick up their keys from the Service Provider’s home address at no charge by prior arrangement at a mutually agreed time and date, preferably during working hours.

10.6 Keys will be returned upon completion of this agreement providing all fees due have been paid.

10.7 If the Client asks the Service Provider to post their key(s) through their letterbox on the final visit of the booking and the Client is then delayed and requires further visits, they will be responsible for the cost of a locksmith if they have not left a spare key with their local emergency contact or other local person. If the Service Provider has to travel to collect a key from anyone, the Client will be required to pay an invoice for their time and mileage charges relating to this.

10.8 The Client authorises the Service Provider to obtain the services of a locksmith should a key/garage opener/door lock malfunction. The Client is responsible for all charges.

10.9 Alarm system – if the Client requires a security alarm system to be used by the Service Provider during the time of the booking, the Service Provider will endeavour to use this correctly in accordance with the instructions given by the Client. In the event of the alarm being activated whilst the Service Provider is not present at the property or due to a malfunction when being armed/disarmed, the Client will be responsible for providing further instructions to switch off and reset the alarm and any costs relating to this.


11. Privacy

11.1 It shall be the Client’s sole responsibility to ensure the information provided to the Service Provider is correct and up to date, the Client agrees to accept any decision made by the Service Provider or the emergency contact in the event of not being able to contact the Client as a result of wrong information held. If the Service Provider is subjected to any expenditure as a result of the decision that expenditure shall be recoverable from the Client.

11.2 The Service Provider shall not use or pass to a third party (other than information needed by a Service Provider to perform their duties), all information relating to the Client, their property and pet(s) will be treated as strictly confidential.

11.3 A full Privacy Policy is provided at the end of this document.


12. Insurance

12.1 The Service Provider holds valid public liability, professional indemnity and key loss insurance that covers the Service Provider for the duration of the selected service, and only for services arranged with the Client.

12.2 The Service Provider is also insured to transport animals in their vehicle but not human clients.

12.3 It shall be sole responsibility of the Client to ensure their property, its contents and pets are adequately insured throughout the duration of the scheduled services.


13. Third Parties

13.1 In the rare event that the Service Provider cannot attend one or more visits during the booking, they will send an insured and trusted family member to carry out the requested services on their behalf.

13.2 The Client shall advise the Service Provider of anyone who will have access to their property during any periods of the Client’s absence, including but not limited to cleaning services, maintenance personnel, friends, family and neighbours. The Service Provider is not liable for any actions carried out by a third party on the property who is there at the request of the Client.

13.3 The Service Provider shall not be liable for and is not insured for other persons or their actions or omissions who will be in or have access to the Client’s property before, during or after services have been rendered.


14. Service Providers Companion

14.1 The Service Provider may have a spouse, family member or friend accompany them whilst providing the scheduled services. No costs will be applied to the Clients account for any assistance the companion provides. The Service Provider’s insurance covers this.

14.2 The Client will be advised in advance where a Service Provider wishes to take a companion, all companions will be subjected to whatever checks the Service Provider considers necessary or appropriate.


15. Changes to departure and return dates

15.1 In the event that the Client is delayed upon return and further visits are required beyond the scope of the final visit of each booking, they must inform the Service Provider immediately, and the Service Provider will use their best endeavours to make alternative arrangements for continued cover but if this is not available, they may hand over the continued care of the Client’s pets and property to the emergency contact or other trusted person the Client has instructed them to do so. The Service Provider is then no longer responsible for the Client’s pets or property after this time.

15.2 The Service Provider should be informed as soon as possible if the departure or return date changes. Payment is still due for these dates if the Service Provider is not informed within seven days of the changes. If a client returns early part-way through a booking, full payment is still due. If a client leaves later than planned within seven days of their original departure date, payment is still due. If further visits are required after the original booking has finished, further payment will be required upon return for those visits.


16. Payment

16.1 Holiday pet sitting - A minimum of 50% of the booking total as a deposit is required seven days prior to the first visit, payable to the Service Provider by cash or online banking with the remaining 50% due when the Client returns. A written quotation will be issued prior to services being rendered. In the event of additional unforeseen visits or other costs (such as food, supplies, or vet fees), payment is expected within 5 days of the completion of services or a late charge of £10 will be applied. Please note that cheques are not accepted.

16.2 Short trips/regular pet sitting – full payment is requested at least seven days prior to the start of the booking or is payable immediately if the booking is made less than seven days prior to the start of the booking.

16.3 Key collection/return – if a key(s) is not given to the Service Provider at the initial meeting, a charge of £8 per visit to the Client’s home address will apply for collection and return of keys.

16.4 Vet visits – if a veterinary visit is required for sick or injured animals in the care of the Service Provider during the booking, the Client will be responsible for payment of vet bills or must provide the Service Provider with pet insurance documents, if applicable. A charge of £16 per hour for the Service Provider’s time plus mileage as stated below will be invoiced to them for vet visits.

16.5 Mileage - A mileage charge of 45p per mile will be added if key collection/return from third parties if required or vet visits at a greater distance than the standard four miles from Swadlincote, South Derbyshire for each return journey.


17. Pet Sitting Visits

17.1 Visits are available within four miles of Swadlincote without an extra mileage charge. A standard visit is up to 30 minutes in duration, depending on the needs of each animal. Morning visits are usually between 7.00-10.00am and evening visits are between 4.00-6.30pm, depending on how many bookings there are each day. Pet(s) are fed on a rotation list so that they are visited at similar times each day and are not left alone for longer than 12 hours when being visited twice a day or no longer than 24 hours for daily visits.

17.2 Please note that the Service Provider does not work on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s day and may also take additional time off during this period.