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Help, there's an emergency!

Sometimes during a pet service emergencies will arise, no matter how careful the pet sitter is. Here are some scenarios which may occur and steps explaining what to do in those situations (we have attached a printable quick reference card that you can carry with you at all times):

1. In case a pet becomes ill or gets injured, the pet sitter should always: 

  1. Contact the pet owner and/or their emergency contact and keep them informed at all times;
  2. Obtain permission from the pet owner and/or their emergency contact with regard to actions to be taken;
  3. Take the pet to the local vet, or the vet clinic that the pet owner prefers. If the owner doesn't have a preferred vet, we recommend you contact Pawssum on 1300 343 580. Pawssum operate in nearly every capital city in Australia, and will send a vet directly to you.
  4. Inform Mad Paws by email ( with "EMERGENCY" in the subject line, explaining what happened, which steps were undertaken and whether or not the pet is fine or still in critical condition.

2. In case a pet runs away, the pet sitter should: 

  1. Inform the pet owner and/or their emergency contact about what has happened and have good communication with them throughout the process of retrieving the pet;
  2. Call all relevant authorities to help find the pet (e.g. the local pound, the local vet, council rangers and the RSPCA etc.);
  3. Search nearby areas where the pet may have run away to (e.g. nearby parks, it may have tried to go home etc.);
  4. Inform Mad Paws by email ( if the pet is still missing. Please put "EMERGENCY" in the subject of the email and provide us all details about how the pet ran away. 


Overall it is paramount that the pet sitter and the pet owner discuss all information and details related to the pet's medical history and behaviour before the start of the pet service, such as:

  • Any existing medical conditions (e.g. allergies or illnesses);
  • Has the pet ever suffered a serious injury or trauma before;
  • Is the pet currently in heat;
  • Is the pet toilet trained;
  • Does the pet jump fences, dig under fences, or is he/she an escape artist and/or shouldn’t be let off the lead;
  • Etc.

This information can be shared over the phone and/or email or during a personal meet-and-greet with the pet sitter, pet owner and their pet(s). Attached is a suggested Information Checklist that we highly recommend to use when obtaining information about the guest pet(s).
Ellie is the author of this solution article.

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