Veterinary owners consent document

We recently sat a rascal of a puppy who managed to get up on the counter and eat cooked pork rib bones. The owners were on a tiny island in the Caribbean and regularly out of contact for days. Following the advice of all the veterinarians we contacted we wanted to take the dog in to get checked up… but none of them would admit her without an owners consent. They were out of reach. We tried to find some language in the trusted house sitters website to help us but were not successful. When we contacted the emergency vet line they said we should take the dog in but that we would need the owners consent, again not helpful… it was all quite stressful… the moral of the story is if the owners may be unreachable for even a day… get a veterinary consent document signed by the owners, they can stipulate costs or circumstance… protect yourself…

The dog was fine…

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Thank you for bringing this up! I will instantly update my folder with the written consent, just in case!

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Hi @Chloby welcome to our community forum and I’m so sorry you this experience with the puppy and that everything turned out well.

I have been in a similar position too, a puppy who chewed a boot and I suspected had swallowed a small metal buckle, a trip to a hospital ER revealed she hadn’t. I remember having to connect with the owner to give permission for treatment, as this was out of hours of her normal veterinarian.

Thank you for sharing this experience I will pass this on to the team to look at updating advice to owners to communicate with their vets.

I have just spoken with an ER & Critical Care vet in the UK who said if it was a life threatening situation they would apply basic life saving treatment but need owner’s consent for sustained treatment.

I will have a conversation with owners regarding their wishes in the unlikely event of an emergency or life threatening situation and ask them to advise their vet that they will be away and that I will be caring for their pet and to leave written instructions and if possible to have an account to cover any payments that might be required.

It may seem like a difficult conversation to have but owners realise it’s done with the best interest of their beloved pets at heart.

Doing all of this helps to take the decision making responsibility away from the sitter. As we know most sits go off without any incident however the point is “In the unlikely event of an emergency” and they can happen, as we both found out.

I’m so glad it turned out well for you and that puppy is fine, again thank you for sharing, I hope we can share in some of your good pet sitting experiences with you as well.

Angela and the Team

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@Chloby, So relieved the dog is fine. We always ask pet owners for a “Pet Power of Attorney”. You can “Google” it and find downloadable forms.

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We also always ask the owners to leave vet authority and also ask them to speak to their vet in advance of their stay. On 2 past sits we have taken animals to the vet and this has ensured speedy treatment for the animal.

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@mebarn and @Maryse, do you ask for a notarized pet care POA, such as this one?
(This would require a separate form for each pet.) https://abclegaldocs.com/blog-Colorado-Notary/wp-content/uploads/Pet-Care-Power-of-Attorney-Notary.pdf

Or do you use a non-notarized form, such as this one: PDFfiller

In addition to that, do you also request that the owner fill out an Absent Owner Pet Treatment Consent provided by their vet (this has a space for credit card info) that remains with their vet? As for me, I’d like to see as much documentation as possible, but I’m wondering if this is overkill and if an owner would find it burdensome?

We are UK based and a simple letter to the Vet
signed by the owner, authorising us to agree treatment for the animal was sufficient each time.

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We’ve never yet had to take a pet to a vet thankfully but this is certainly something to be aware of. Often, our homeowners have told us they have informed their vet that we are looking after their pets and in at least one case, they preauthorized any necessary payments in the event of an emergency. However, up until now, I’ve always assumed all we really needed was the name and phone number of the family vet.

From now on, I’ll be asking for home owners to contact their vet and give permission, in whatever that vet requires.

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