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What happens if a pet runs away when in the Pet Sitter's care?

In the unlikely event that a pet runs away whilst in the Sitters care, we recommend the Pet Sitter always follow the below steps:

  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. 

It is paramount that you and the Pet Owner discuss all information and details related to the dog's behaviour before the start of the pet service, incl. if the pet jumps fences, digs under fences, or is an escape artist and/or shouldn’t be let off the lead. You should use this information at all times to prevent instances where the pet may run away. You can discuss this information over the phone and/or email or during your meet-and-greet with the Sitter, Owner and their pet(s).

If the pet ran away due to one (or more) of the following:

  • The pet was running off the lead even though the Owner had informed (in writing) not to;
  • The Sitter's outside area was not sufficiently fenced to keep the pet enclosed in the yard; 
  • A door or gate was left open which allowed for the pet to escape; or
  • Any other direct action by the Sitter which led to the pet escaping;

Then the Pet Sitter will be liable for any fines from the pound or council workers when the pet is found. You will also be liable for any other costs which were incurred due to the pet having run away. 

Ellie is the author of this solution article.

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