1.1 Bookings are subject to these Terms and Conditions. Variation to the Terms and Conditions may be made from time to time and will be posted on our website.
1.2 We will treat your personal information confidentially and will not pass on your details to any third parties other than the Pet Sitters.
1.3 Information given in the initial registration form will be used for all subsequent bookings unless we are notified that there has been a change in your contact details/address/Pet’s condition or requirements.
2.1 Our charges are set out on our website and will be set out to you in full at the time of booking. You will be deemed to have accepted our charges and those of the Pet Sitter upon confirmation of your booking.
2.2 The total charges you pay comprise:-
i. Our agency charges plus V.A.T.
ii. The Pet Sitter’s fees.
2.3 Our charges are payable as an agency fee in consideration of the booking service that we operate. Your booking will not be confirmed until our charges have been paid.
2.4 If our charges are not paid within 10 days of the invoice we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £10 per month until the unpaid charges have been settled.
2.5 Payment due to the Pet Sitter assigned to your booking will be set out by us at the time of booking. However, you will be entering into a separate contract with the individual Pet Sitter assigned to your booking. The Pet Sitter is self employed and therefore responsible for collection of his or her own charges directly from you. Subject to any agreed variation by the Pet Sitter involved, you will normally be expected to pay the Pet Sitter at the completion of each assignment. Each Pet Sitter will be responsible for giving you a receipt. Please note that Pet Sitters do not accept debit or credit cards and will expect payment either in cash or by cheque, supported by a cheque guarantee card or by bank transfer.
2.6 Once you have submitted your registration together with the £10.00 registration fee, we will call you to confirm your requirements and start to look for a suitable Pet Sitter. The £10.00 registration fee will be used towards your first agency payment, should you choose to go ahead with the booking. If after a Pet Sitter is found, and you decide not to proceed, this fee is non refundable but can be used towards future bookings. If we are unable to find a Pet Sitter for you, your £10.00 registration fee can be refunded.
2.7 You will be charged daily rates rather than nightly rates for all live-in and boarding services and the minimum booking for these services is 2 days. For example for a live in service, if your Pet Sitter is staying for 1 night you will be charged for 2 days regardless of the arrival and departure times of your Pet Sitter. If you require a live-in Pet Sitter to be physically present at all times, this must be agreed in advance and an additional fee may be charged.
2.8 If you are booking less than 48 hours before your departure, we may charge an additional administration fee of £5.00.
2.9 Bank holidays are charged at a time and a half, with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years day when it is charged at twice the normal rate.
2.10 Pet Sitters have a key collection charge of £5.00 for all cat, small mammal feeding and dog walking assignments. This should be paid directly to your Pet Sitter when he/she comes to collect your house keys. If you use the live-in or day care services you will be liable to pay for the Pet Sitters travelling expenses calculated at 45p per mile and all parking, train fares and congestion charges. This applies to the initial meeting with you and again to the first and last day of the assignment. Please note that we will always try to find the closest Pet Sitter to you. This amount should be paid directly to your Pet Sitter.
2.11 For live-in or day care services you are required to pay a nominal fee of £3.00 per day should your Pet Sitter be required to use his or her car during the assignment. This fee is to be paid direct to your Pet Sitter.
3.1 If your booking is cancelled after we have issued your confirmation invoice, and you have not yet paid the agency fee, you will be liable for a £10.00 cancellation fee.
3.2 In the event of cancellation 30 days prior to the start of the booking, the agency fee paid can be used towards a subsequent booking. Cancellations made later than this will result in your agency fee being forfeited. After the commencement of the services, if changes are made to the booking then the client shall pay the agreed Pet Sitter’s fee in total plus any expenses.
3.3 The cancellation policy for Pet Sitters will be as follows:-
a. If cancellation is given to Very Important Pets in writing 14 days prior to the booking there will be no Pet Sitter’s charge.
b. If cancellation is given in writing between 13 and 8 days prior to the booking a Pet Sitter’s fee will be charged at 25% of the Pet Sitter’s total fee.
c. If cancellation is given in writing between 7 days and 48 hours prior to the booking the Pet Sitter’s fee will be charged at 50% of the total fee up to a maximum of £200.00.
d. If cancellation is given in writing less than 48 hours prior to the booking you will be charged the Pet Sitter’s full fee, up to a maximum of £200.00.
3.4 In the unlikely event that we cannot honour your booking we will substitute an alternative Pet Sitter or your monies will be refunded.
3.5 If you have a regular dog walking service you must give at least 48 hours notice to cancel or you will be charged in full. Occasional bookings of any description, including dog walking will be subject to the normal cancellation charges.
4.1 We take all reasonable care in the selection of Pet Sitters. Save as required by statute, no liability is accepted by Very Important Pets for acts of omissions of any Pet Sitter or any loss or damage caused or contributed by the Pet Sitter.
4.2 Pet Sitters are independent contractors and are not employed by Very Important Pets.
4.3 If a Pet Sitter becomes ill during an assignment, we will use our best endeavours to make alternative arrangements.
4.4 If you agree that a Pet Sitter may have the companionship of their partner/spouse during an assignment it will be at your risk. We will not accept any liability in relation thereto.
4.5 You should inform us of any change or extension in booking dates and all instructions from you to the Pet Sitter must come from or with our approval.
4.6 It is a condition of registration that you agree not to negotiate directly with any Pet Sitter introduced to you by us. Infringement of this condition will jeopardize any future bookings of this Pet Sitter by us. You agree to compensate us for any losses caused by any breach of this condition.
4.7 We instruct Pet Sitters not to leave any dog unattended for more than 4 hours whilst on a dog boarding or dog live-in assignment except in an emergency. Any variation to this requirement must be agreed by us at the time of the booking.
5.1 It is of the upmost importance that you give full information to us in relation to the needs and requirements of your Pet. We will rely upon the information that you give at your initial booking in connection with subsequent bookings unless you advise Very Important Pets that your Pet’s condition or requirements have changed.
5.2 We cannot accept bookings for badly behaved or aggressive animals. Either we or a Pet Sitter may terminate an engagement immediately if it is reasonably thought that a Pet is badly behaved or aggressive either towards humans, animals or property. You will be liable if your Pet injures a third party or the Pet Sitter.
5.3 Your dog will not be walked without the lead without your prior authority and it is always at your risk.
5.4 Proof of vaccinations is required by your Pet Sitter. Kennel cough vaccination is not compulsory but is advisable.
5.5 You must ensure that your Pet is in good health and free from fleas and is adequately wormed. If your Pet Sitter believes your Pet is not in good health we reserve the right to seek veterinary advice on your behalf and you will be liable for the veterinary fees.
5.6 If it becomes necessary, your animal will be taken to a veterinary surgeon. You are responsible for any fees that are reasonably incurred during your absence or during the course of an assignment.
6.1 We instruct Pet Sitters to leave your property as they found it. You are respectfully asked to note that they will not undertake any additional cleaning duties.
6.2 If the Pet Sitter does not consider that your property is of a reasonable standard of cleanliness or that the facilities available to them are inadequate, he or she may decline the booking.
6.3 In the event of a problem or emergency arising the Pet Sitter will contact you immediately or your emergency contact given at registration. If necessary, your Pet Sitter will inform us of the situation.
Insurance and Liability
7.1 It is your responsibility to insure your property and your Pet. We accept no liability for damage caused by your Pet or a Pet Sitter during an assignment. You will be liable in the event that the Pet Sitter or a third party is injured by your Pet.
7.2 We require Pet Sitters to have suitable insurance in place in relation to bookings made through us but it is not a substitute for your own insurance cover.
7.3 Pet Sitters insurance only operates when a Pet Sitter is working on an assignment booked through us for the duration of that booking.
7.4 Adequate insurance must be in place if you wish a Pet Sitter to drive your vehicle. It is your responsibility to check the validity of the Pet Sitter’s driving licence.
7.5 In the event that due to conditions beyond their control a Pet Sitter is unavailable and our charges have been refunded to you under clause 3.4, we accept no liability for any losses that may occur.
7.6 It is recommended that you take out holiday cancellation insurance as we may not be able to accommodate pets who become ill or are injured after the booking is confirmed.
7.7 You must before handing over the assignment to your Pet Sitter make sure they have been given full written details and instructions on care of your Pet and the house (if house sitting). Neither we nor the Pet Sitters will be responsible if full written instructions on the assignment are not given in advance.
7.8 You will indemnify us against any claims for loss or injury caused to either a Pet Sitter, their property or the Pet Sitter’s pets which are caused by your Pet or as a result of breach of these terms and conditions, negligence or otherwise.