It is a pet parent’s worst nightmare to go away out of town & have something happen to their pets while they are gone. For a pet sitter this scenario has double the anxiety due to the fact that we are not the owner & liable for the pets in our care. Professional Pet Sitters often have Information & Liability forms. This information is critical so they can properly care for your pets and reach you or an emergency contact in the event they have questions, concerns or there is an emergency.
Emily had booked Shannon’s Pet Sitting Services way in advance of her trip – 3 months prior to her departure knowing Shannon books up quick! They did the consultation & Emily had completed the “Veterinary Release” & “Cat Information” forms. She was instructed by Shanon to hold on to the forms and just leave them out for Shannon when she cared for the kitties. When Emily completed the online “Client Service Agreement”, Shannon added her to her schedule & emailed her a service invoice to confirm her reservation. Everything seemed to be in place. A month prior Emily emailed Shannon to make sure they were on the schedule & Shannon confirmed they were. A week before Emily emailed again to confirm & Shannon replied it was all set. 3 days before she left for her trip Emily emailed Shannon & said –
I don’t think I have the paperwork that I thought I did. The sign signature thing or what not. Let me know what I still need to fill out and we will leave a check on the table. How much do I owe you again?
Shannon assumed by her email Emily meant the online electronic signature “Client Service Agreement” for service that had been completed. So Shannon resent her a copy of the invoice. When Shannon arrived at the home for the first visit on Friday she realized she did not have the cat information sheets or the veterinary release forms. One of the cats needed daily eye drops. Shannon only had a note to give the cat “Ron” drops once a day, where the food was and their favorite laser toy. 2 out of the 3 eye medications were empty after 1 use and were not going to last 10 days.
Shannon immediately text the Emily pictures of the cats, with a message that she had arrived & the cats were fine, but there weren’t enough eye drops. The following day Saturday Shannon still had not heard back from the owner Emily & tried calling her cell phone. It rang as usual and Shannon got her voicemail. Shannon left a message that again the cats were fine but she was out of medication & needed to get the cat more. But she didn’t have the vet contact information. Sunday rolled around and still nothing from the owner so Shannon sent an email to her.
By Monday morning Shannon was getting worried about the cat not having his medication. She pulled up the Client Service Agreement because she thought Emily may have left the country if she remembered correctly. But according to the Contract the location she could be reached at was her parent’s house in Peoria, IL! She called the parent house and asked to speak with Emily explaining she was the cat sitter. Emily’s parents stated she wasn’t there she was out of the country. Was there something they could help with? Shannon explained she had run out of medication for the cat and needed to know who the vet was to get more. The parents had no clue who the vet was. Shannon also called the local emergency contact person listed on the contract and left them a message trying to find out what information they may have.
Shannon remembered her affiliate Sally had previously cared for the cats & asked her if she had the veterinary information for the cats. Sally only had the name of a regular veterinarian and an eye specialist. However, the owner had not left any phone numbers for either just the names of the clinics.
Shannon called the regular veterinary clinic listed, and explained the situation. The clinic was not able to find any pet owner information under Emily’s name, Emily’s boyfriend’s name or the cats name! Shannon proceeded to call the veterinary eye specialist. They located Emily’s information but the cats name was completely different & they worked based off the cats description to determine they had the correct cat. They verified the medication names and dosages. They asked if the medication were prescribed by them or the regular veterinarian. Shannon had no clue as there were no labels on the bottles with instructions or that indicated what veterinary clinic they were from. Again, Shannon had no veterinary release for authorizing her to do anything with the cats. The veterinary receptionist was not sure if they would be able to charge the medications and bill the clients account without the owners permission. So Shannon may have to pay for the medication out of her own pocket and have Emily reimburse her. The receptionist was very understanding to the position Shannon was in and said they would check with the doctor an call her back. In the end the veterinary clinic agreed to fill small bottles of the medication and bill the owners account in hopes that they get paid when the owner returned. Shannon then had to drive 30 minutes south of her normal service area and back to get the eye medications for the cat.
Shannon did everything in her power to try to get the cat the medication he needed in his owner’s absence. But with no veterinarian information, inaccurate location information on the contract and emergency contacts not having any information on the cats Shannon’s hand were tied.
This is a perfect example of why a pet sitters paper work needs to be filled out completely and accurately! Also, when you go out of town make sure you leave an ample supply of food with the name of the food & where it can be purchased in case more in needed, extra medication if possible, and all veterinary information in case there is a medical emergency. Although it may seem a bit tedious the more information your pet sitter has the better off your pet will be. All of Shannon’s Pet Sitting Information & Veterinary forms are available to be downloaded all the time on our website! http://shannonspetsitting.net/pricing-policies/forms
Shannon’s Pet Sitting leaves the information & Veterinary release forms with the pet owner in a special purple “Shannon’s Pet Sitting” folder that is to be left out each time Shannon cares for your pet. This way should the need arise while Shannon is caring for you pet all of the information is right there.