General terms and conditions

All the grown up stuff!

General Terms and Conditions

1. General Information
Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats represent its members who provide a range of pet care services. All members act as part of a team enabling them to provide cover for each other to ensure an uninterrupted service for clients as much as possible.

All members of Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats undergo a rigorous checking, training and assessment process to ensure the members suitability to carry out the services for which they have been engaged. All members are fully insured either via their own insurance or through Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats, DBS checked, trained, assessed and monitored.

All members adhere to a clear code of conduct and enjoy the support of other members and the Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats office to provide ongoing training, support and guidance on best practice.

2. Definitions
All references to HH&CC or ‘we’ refers to Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats Ltd and all members of the team.
All references to ‘HH&CC Ltd’ refer to Happy Hounds & Cooler Cats Ltd.
All references to ‘sitters’ or ‘pet carers’ refer to members of HH&CC team.
All references to ‘clients’ or ‘pet owners’ or ‘you’ refer to service users.

3. Permissions
HH&CC will observe the permissions given by the client unless a change is considered imperative for the immediate welfare of the pet, for example, in an emergency we will use any nearest vet.
It is the client’s responsibility to inform HH&CC of any changes in the permissions they provided on their registration form.

4. Bookings
All enquiries and bookings must be confirmed through the office, not with individual sitters.
Before a service user’s first booking can be accepted, they must complete a registration form about their pet. Information given in this registration form will be used for all subsequent bookings, unless HH&CC are notified that there has been a change in the pet’s condition or requirements.

HH&CC will try to accommodate all booking requests wherever possible, but this cannot be guaranteed, especially where the request is made at short notice.

The client agrees to make full and complete disclosure in their booking registration form of any matter, fact, quality or characteristic which might render their pet unsuitable for any service they request.

HH&CC aims to accommodate all service requests but reserves the right to refuse a booking where a service may not be deemed appropriate for the animal in question e.g. group walks for very young puppies.

All bookings are accepted at the discretion of the company and in the interests of animal welfare.
Booking constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.

5. Ownership

You declare you are the legal owner of any animals for which you are using HH&CC services.

6. Prices
Please visit the PRICES section on our website to view charges for each individual service.

Booking constitutes agreement of the price and cancellation terms.

The client agrees to provide all items necessary for pets to be adequately cared for (e.g. food, medication, leads, tags, collars, cat litter etc). Should pets require any additional supplies during the period of care, these will be purchased and added to the bill. This includes any veterinary care or medication including routine treatment such as flea and worming.

Pricing for holiday care – eg dog boarding, house sitting – is on a per day basis. Eg. A Saturday to Saturday service constitutes 8 days.

Prices for Grooming assume a reasonable condition and temperament. Additional charges will apply for the extra time and products involved in grooming neglected coats, in-particular those which require clipping off due to severe matting and for dogs whose temperament or health also requires more time to complete.

A sitter may wish to have the companionship of their partner / spouse during an assignment. This incurs the client no additional expense.

Where exceptional work or non-standard skills are requested e.g. the care of horses, farm animals, aviaries, large gardens, green houses, indoor plant collections, and swimming pools etc, charges will be made according to the level of skill required. Approximate guides will be provided by telephone and detailed quotations given.

All extra work must be approved by and agreed with the pet sitter prior to the service commencing.

7. Cover and fulfilment
Service users will have a primary sitter or walker allocated, but if this person is unavailable, then another similarly qualified sitter or walker will provide backup cover to ensure pet care is covered.

While HH&CC will always try to provide a back-up person you/your pet is already acquainted with, this cannot be guaranteed.

Services are offered within a time range unless otherwise specified.

Any specific booking time is an estimate only as there may be occasions when road conditions and/or unforeseen circumstances mean sitters are delayed. We will keep you updated in the event this happens.

HH&CC will make every effort to continue normal service and all pre-booked pet care in adverse weather conditions. We will notify you in cases where we are unable to reach your pet.

HH&CC reserves the right to reduce the duration of a walk in extreme weather (heat or cold etc) where the animal’s welfare may be at risk. This will be at the sitter’s discretion.

HH&CC are not responsible for any delays outside our control. If the provision of our service is delayed by events outside our control, we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know and will take steps to minimise the effect of the delay.

8. Insurance
All HH&CC members have comprehensive insurance covering the performance of their duties and every precaution is taken to fully care for and protect the pets in our care.

HH&CC cannot be held responsible and will accept no liability for any illness, injury, theft, loss or the unlikely event of death whilst your pet is in our care. You will be responsible for any costs incurred arising out of these scenarios. We therefore advise all clients to have their pets insured against sickness, accident, injury, loss and third-party liability.

HH&CC reserves the right to refuse a booking for any animal who is not insured.

If it becomes necessary, your pet will be taken to a veterinary surgeon. You agree to be responsible for payment of veterinary fees incurred. This means you will either reimburse the sitter or HH&CC any fees paid or pay the Veterinary Surgery directly.
HH&CC accepts no liability for damage caused by your pet whilst in their care. You will be liable for any costs in the event that any humans, animals or property are injured and/or damaged by your pet.

It is agreed that it is the client’s responsibility to adequately insure their property and its contents and any pets with an insurance company of good repute, and that such insurance shall continue for the duration of the time a sitter is present.

Clients must ensure that their household insurer has extended their policy to cover losses incurred whilst there is a sitter present.

HH&CC will not be held responsible for any issue that may arise at any property they may be attending.

The client must ensure they provide full details and instructions on care of their pet and their home. HH&CC will not be responsible if full instructions are not provided for the sitter.

Where sitters are required to drive a client’s car (eg. House sitting services) responsibility for the provision of appropriate insurance cover rests with the client.

9. Keys and alarms
The service user gives sitters permission to enter their property to carry out the booked service at the arranged date and time.

The client agrees to provide the means of access to their property as follows:
For regular ongoing services – 2 sets of keys must be provided and codes/fobs to any house alarm and any gated-entry system. These will be kept securely and will only be marked with the name of the pet and an office code.

Holiday cover services (cat/small animal sitting/house sits) – 2 sets should be available for duration of the cover / stay.

Where a second set of keys has to be cut by the sitter charge of £10 plus the cost of cutting will be made.

Most clients find it useful for us to retain keys in case they are locked out or for us to be able to provide services at short notice.

Keys will be collected and returned free of charge on the first use of the service, but each additional collection and return will incur a fee. (Please see website PRICES for up to date charges)

10. Parking Permits
Clients agree to provide permits where their home is in a restricted parking zone.

If no permits are provided and a sitter incurs a penalty charge, the owner agrees to cover the cost of the charge.

11. Payment
Clients are required to make full payment for services within 7 days of receipt of invoice or, by the date specified on the invoice.

For regular monthly service users payment must be made by direct debit.

HH&CC reserves the right to impose an administration fee, late payment fee and interest charges for late payment, non-payment and any payments that bounce.

Peak times: To ensure confirmation of holiday bookings (house sit, small animal and cat sit & dog boarding) falling within peak season (Easter holidays, July and August, between 15 December and 5 January) payment must be settled 30 days in advance or within 7 days of invoice, whichever is first.

12. Cancellations and refunds
Booking constitutes agreement of HH&CC’s cancellation/refund terms.

13. Client cancellation:
HH&CC will charge a cancellation fee if a client cancels their booking.

Clients should ensure they are familiar with HH&CC’s cancellation fees for the service they require before requesting a booking.

Cancellation notice periods & charges vary according to each service and are as follows:

Daily services Cancellation period Charge
 Dog walking &  Puppy Care (& other misc day services) > 24 hours £0
< 24 – 12 hours 75% of charge
< 12 hours 100%

 

Daily services Cancellation period Charge
Dog & puppy daycare  > 1 week £0
< 1 week 100%

 

Grooming Cancellation period Charge
  < 24 hours 50%
  No notice 100%

 

Holiday services Cancellation period Charge
Dog boarding & House sitting (& other misc holiday services) > one month 25% 25%
> two weeks 50% 50%
> one week 75% 75%
< one week 100% 100%

 

Holiday services Cancellation period Charge
Cat sitting < 1 week 50%
< 24 hours 75%
No notice 100%

14. Cancellation by HH&CC:
In the unlikely event that a sitter is unable to complete a confirmed booking for any reason, we will take all reasonable steps to arrange an introduction to an alternative carer . Where HH&CC are unable to provide an alternative carer in the event of a sitter being unable to complete a confirmed booking, you will receive a full refund of any monies paid.

If for any reason we consider a dog to be unsuitable for home boarding (or for boarding with any carer available at that particular time), we reserve the right to cancel such booking and refund any payment made.

15. Early/late return:
Due to limited capacity there will be no refund for cat/small animal sitting, dog boarding or house sitting if you return home before the confirmed end date and time of your booking.

Once a client has booked, they are agreeing to meet any additional charges that are incurred by their late / early arrival home.

16. Failure to collect:
HH&CC reserve the right to re-home any pet not collected within 14 days of the date arranged if no communication is received from you and all reasonable efforts to contact you have failed. In the event we deem it necessary to re-home your pet due to abandonment, all fees shall be payable by you up to the point of re-homing. A £150 rehoming fee shall also be payable by you for re-homing your pet and a report shall be filed with the appropriate authority.

17. Communication
Urgent communications to you will be made by phone, text, email or WhatsApp. Regular communications are usually via email.

Office hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday with a skeleton service over the weekend. Contact outside of these hours will be responded to at the earliest opportunity.

Regular services: unless it is an emergency, clients should always contact the office in the first instance as sitters may not always be able to respond. Sitters should never be contacted on their personal numbers outside of Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm.

Holiday services: any contact out of hours will be at the sitter’s discretion.

18. Emergency contact
The service user must provide HH&CC with a name and contact telephone number of someone, based in the UK, capable of making a decision relating to their pet(s) in an emergency.

All reasonable efforts will be made to contact you or your nominated person in the event of an emergency, but HH&CC reserves the right to make decisions regarding your pets and will act in what we consider to be the best interests of your pets and on the advice of a veterinary surgeon, where appropriate.

19. Photos and social media
Photos taken of your dogs/cats will remain the property of HH&CC and may be shared on our website and social media sites.

Should you not want photos of your dog shared please let us know. Please note – no details of names and locations will be given out for reasons of security.

20. General safety, security and health – DOGS
a. Disclosure
Clients agree to provide full and detailed information on the HH&CC’s registration form about their dog(s). They must disclose any behavioural or medical condition that may make their dog unsuitable for any service – this would include, but is not limited to:
antisocial behaviour, aggression, separation anxiety, possessive behaviour, incontinence/lack of housetraining, excessive pulling on the lead, tendency to run away or escape on walks or in the home, chronic vomiting or travel/ mobility problems, destructive behaviour inside or outside the home, or excessive loud barking/whining.

Failure on the part of the owner to disclose any matter which might make their dog unsuitable for a service will be considered a fundamental breach of our agreement and may result in services being withdrawn at short notice.

The owner agrees to reimburse members for any damage to their property caused by their dog.

b. Health
All dogs must be fully vaccinated (including for kennel cough) and be on regular flea and worm control treatments. Owners must provide HH&CC with a vaccination record showing dogs are up to date with vaccinations.

HH&CC reserves the right to cancel a booking if they have not received up to date vaccination and/or parasite treatment records.

Clients must inform HH&CC if their dog contracts any infectious condition and HH&CC reserves the right not provide a service to any dog with an infectious condition until they are satisfied it has cleared. This may require confirmation from a vet.

Boarding and house sitting: Clients undertake to deliver their dog to the sitter in a clean, groomed condition and up to date with vaccinations, worming and flea treatments.

c. Administering medication
Members will administer medication as required according to client’s instructions but cannot be held liable for any consequences arising from the administration.

d. ID
As required by law, all dogs must wear a collar and an ID tag with their owner’s up to date contact details on.

All dogs must be provided with a well-fitting collar / harness. No member is held liable for any injury or any damage caused or incurred by the service user’s dog escaping due to an ill-fitting or faulty collar / harness.

All dogs over 8 weeks must be microchipped, and the microchip number must be supplied to HH&CC.

e. Safety
HH&CC will take all reasonable care of your pet, but pets in our care are nonetheless cared for by us entirely at your own risk.

All dogs will be walked on a lead unless express permission has been given by you on the client registration form. It is the client’s responsibility to make HH&CC aware of any change in their requirements regarding walking on/off lead.

You recognise the risks associated HH&CC or its members transporting your dog to and from the property, to a vet or on any other walks or days out and you expressively relinquish any and all claims against HH&CC, it’s members and representatives.

While all safety precautions are taken at all times, you agree that your dog may socialise with other dogs, walk in public places and accept the risks involved and you agree that HH&CC and its members are not liable for any loss, illnesses, injuries, theft or death resulting from the care provided, either inside or outside.

HH&CC reserves the right to cancel the booking at any time & with immediate effect if the dog does not respond well to any service. Alternatives may be considered in consultation with the owner.

f. Neutering
HH&CC reserves the right not to accept unneutered males and unspayed females for any of its services where their presence is considered to have a negative impact on themselves or other dogs in its care.
Client are required to inform us when their female dog is in season. We reserve the right at any time to withdraw from a booking for an unspayed female.

HH&CC cannot be held responsible for any pregnancy that may occur.

HH&CC accepts intact male dogs but may have to terminate their attendance at group activities if they begin to display unsuitable behaviour.

For further information please see our Neutering Policy.

g. Injuries and illness
Clients accept there is a risk of injury as part of their dog participating in activities through HH&CC.

Clients accept that in the case of an emergency – sickness or injury – their dog may require veterinary care and must give permission for HH&CC and its members to seek veterinary care as appropriate. Clients accept full liability for the cost of all veterinary care and will settle any fees directly with the veterinarian involved.

HH&CC strongly recommends that all service users have adequate pet insurance to cover the costs of veterinary care.

Animals will be taken to their own vet or in an emergency to the nearest vet.

21. General safety, security and health – CATS

a. Disclosure
Clients agree to provide full and detailed information on the HH&CC’s registration form about their cat(s). They must disclose any behavioural or medical condition that may make their cat(s) unsuitable for any service.

b. Administering medication
Members will administer medication as required according to client’s instructions but cannot be held liable for any consequences arising from the administration.

c. Safety
HH&CC will take all reasonable care of your pet, but pets in our care are nonetheless cared for by us entirely at your own risk.

HH&CC cannot be held responsible for the safety of any cat that is allowed to come in and out through a cat flap.

The sitter will endeavour to but cannot guarantee to see your cat(s) at every visit.

d. Injuries and illness
Clients accept that in the case of an emergency – sickness or injury – their cat may require veterinary care and must give permission for HH&CC and its members to seek veterinary care as appropriate. Clients accept full liability for the cost of all veterinary care and will settle any fees directly with the veterinarian involved.

HH&CC strongly recommends that all service users have adequate pet insurance to cover the costs of veterinary care.

Animals will be taken to their own vet or in an emergency to the nearest vet.

22. Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
You agree that these terms and conditions are fair and reasonable in enabling us (a) to perform our obligations to the best of our ability and (b) to protect our legitimate business interests.

These terms and conditions, together with the booking registration form, will constitute the entire agreement between you and HH&CC to the exclusion of any other terms whatsoever, including any terms or conditions you purport apply under any other written or oral communication with us.

All bookings, whether confirmed or pending an introductory meeting with a sitter, are subject to HH&CC’s Terms and Conditions. Submission of a booking constitutes acceptance of these terms and client’s continued use of our service(s) will indicate their acceptance of the Terms and Conditions in force.

At our discretion, we may agree to a waiver or variation of these terms provided that it is agreed in advance and is in writing signed by the director of the company.

Variation to the Terms and Conditions may be made from time to time and will be posted on our website, or available upon request from our Office.

Daily services Cancellation period Charge
Daily services Dog walking & Daycare & Puppy Care (& other misc day services) > 24 hours £0
< 24 – 12 hours 75% of charge
< 12 hours 100%

 

Grooming Cancellation period Charge
  < 24 hours 50%
  No notice 100%

 

Holiday services Cancellation period Charge
Dog boarding & House sitting (& other misc holiday services) > one month 25% 25%
> two weeks 50% 50%
> one week 75% 75%
< one week 100% 100%

 

Holiday services Cancellation period Charge
Cat sitting < 1 week 50%
< 24 hours 75%
No notice 100%

 

 

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