When pets damage sitters' property

What do you think is the right thing for owners to do if their pets damage clothes or footwear or other property of the sitter?


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I think owners must warn in advance their pets are destroying ones. Then the sitter needs to be cautious, to put his clothes, shoes, items in order to be safe (in closets or closed rooms)

The owner’s insurance company may pay but the sitter will have to show invoices of his belongings. To proove the value . Not easy. The owner can also buy new shoes.

A couple of sitters came to my home last summer. My puppy was 3 months old they were warned he was chewing everything, to be very careful , as he was able to open doors. They did not report any damage so i guess they paid attention

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Well for sure it’s not nice to assume any responsability of their pet’s damage, but insurances will not pay either If your shoes look quite old and If they are new, you need to show them the invoice.

But do you really consider you made “a massive favour” to the owners, sitting for them ? Do you consider they made “a massive favour” allowing you to stay in their (lovely ? huge? Well situated?) house?

The “insurance backed guarantee” is only for damage to the owner’s property, it turns out. Not for the sitter’s property. But as you pointed out, if your pet damages someone’s property, the owner is responsible! Unless they are puppies and you have been forewarned.

Yes - absolutely. I did them a really massive favour! They were let down by their original sitter and I stepped in at short notice. There were four absolutely adorable pets - and some challenging difficult situations.

It was definitely not a “massive favour” that they allowed me to stay in their house! I was working! They needed someone to stay - and if they had paid for the service, it would have cost them well in excess of £1000! When you volunteer, the work often comes with accommodation! Nobody is doing you a massive favour by putting you up when you are volunteering for them!

It was a lovely, large, well-situated house. Unfortunately the garden was a dust pit as the lawn hadn’t been lain until right at the end. And there was constant construction noise from a neighbouring house. So although it was August, it was not pleasant to sit on the patio except at night, when the noise stopped and you couldn’t see the dust pit!

I would just get the boots repaired and make sure that I did not leave any of my shoes lying around again. Hard lesson to learn, but it may save you future worse damage -as many dogs think that anything on the floor is a toy. One of my home owners cautioned me not to leave my suitcase open , since her cat peed in a previous sitters luggage. You have to anticipate things happening with animals.

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Glad to say, the owner has agreed to meet the cost of a repair. She has found a repairer.

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Just an update. I was told by the repairer they couldn’t do the repair until the New Year, that I wouldn’t get my boots back for at least a month, & that the new shoe tongue would not be the same as the tongue on the other shoe. As you can see, the tongue is a very prominent part of the shoe. Not wanting to be without my walking boots for over a month, and not being willing to wear a pair of boots that looked different from each other, and not wanting to continue feeling unpresentable each time I had to wear those boots, I finally decided to buy a new pair of boots. I invited the HO to contribute the cost of repair towards the price of my new boots, which they did, without comment. It wasn’t the easiest time for me to afford new boots when I shouldn’t even have needed to replace them. I put the damaged boots in a recycling bin, and felt so much better. This has finally been resolved more than 4 months after the damage!

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Just curious. What was the price of your damaged boots, when new? The price of your new boots?

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They now cost ÂŁ150 new. But I found a discounted pair online (not in my preferred choice of colour) - for ÂŁ99.99 + delivery. I did ask THS to mediate in this matter but had no response.

@Marilyn i don’t see why THS would have to interfere. Why your home owner has not asked his insurance company ?

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I think THS should have something in place for these situations. After all, they have insurance for HOs’ property. Anyway, it’s all sorted now.

We have a dog who is liable to chew shoes and boots, which is why we shut all of our shoes away from her. I do however explain this to potential sitters and advise that shoes and boots are always shut away when not being worn. Having warned sitters about this, if they then leave shoes or boots out and they get chewed I would not expect to pay for the damage. However if I hadn’t warned and their property was damaged I would offer to repair or replace the damaged item… likewise I would not be happy if she was left with access to my footwear by the sitter and it was damaged in my absence.

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