Terms & COnditions

Agreeing to use ForPaws for your pet care needs means that you agree to our terms and conditions below. 

General Terms

Animal Health, Wellbeing & Insurance - If your pet becomes injured or ill or suffers an accident whilst in our care, we may feel it is necessary to take it to your vets - any costs incurred are your responsibility to settle. We will make every effort to contact you in this event, but if we cannot we will proceed with any course of treatment recommended by the vet. We recommend our customers insure their pets for vet fees and third party liability - we are not liable for third party damage by your pet.

We are covered for public liability, professional indemnity, key loss, and care and custody of animals. Work with animals is, by it's nature, unpredictable - so we are insured for this and all our staff have considered their own and your pet's safety in how they conduct their work.  Any requests for compensation due to injury, or damage to property will be referred to our insurance company (PetPlan Sanctuary).  

Only Corrine Lisle-Harding is covered by ForPaws professional indemnity insurance. Clients will not request advice on their pets' behaviour, health or wellbeing from their ForPaws dog walker or pet sitter, and if they do they understand that this advice has not been paid for and is not part of our service, therefore it will not be covered by our insurance. 

We will not use any tools or techniques on your pet that we believe will cause pain, discomfort or affect its health, happiness or wellbeing, including slip leads and choke collars and any punitive methods.

Additional Charges - Any unavoidable charges or expenditure that we must pay to complete a service will be charged to you.

Late & Non-Payment - Additional charges may be made if accounts are not paid in a timely manner. Non-payment of fees owed will result in legal action to recover monies owed and all costs relating to that non-payment, suspension of services to that client and interest will usually accrue at a rate of 4% APR above the HSBC base lending rate.

Prices and Availabilty - We reserve the right to occasionally review and adjust the prices and availability of our services.

Termination of Services - If you decide to terminate our arrangement, or we decide to withdraw service from you, then any keys held will be returned once the account is settled.

Dog Walking Terms

1. Invoicing

1.1. Dog walks are invoiced 7 days before the end of the month and are due for payment immediately and no later than the final calendar day of that month.

1.2. Any changes made to walks due that month after the invoice has been raised, will be credited or debited to your account and will reduce next month’s balance, as shown in the Account Summary that is sent with your invoice.

2. Payment

2.1. Payment must be made via bank transfer to the ForPaws account shown on your invoice, on or before the final day of the month in order for us to meet the terms of payment to our walker team.

2.2. We are unable to accept cash or cheques for dog walking services.

2.3. Failure to pay on or before the final calendar day of the month may incur a £10 admin fee, which will be added to your account on the 1st day of following month.

2.4. If we have not received payment from you by the 8th calendar day of the following month, we will begin charging interest on the outstanding sum at a rate of 4% per annum above the base lending rate of HSBC Bank Plc, each day until the sum is paid. Walks will also be suspended until this amount is paid.

3. Cancellations & Termination of Our Contract

3.1. Any walks to be cancelled, must be cancelled by Friday 5pm of the preceding week. Any walks cancelled after this point may be charged in full, although we reserve the right to waive this at our discretion. 

3.2. Clients may cancel the walking service at any time without charge, provided that the minimum notice is provided (as in term 1.3.1). If it has not then walks scheduled for the week will be charged in full.

3.3. If it becomes necessary for ForPaws to terminate this contract, we will provide a minimum of one week’s notice unless this is due to non-payment (inline with terms in section 2) or insistence that we act in a manner contrary to our ethics (outlined in section 6) or as a result of actions or negligence by you that jeopardise the safety and wellbeing of ForPaws’ staff.

4. Holidays, Bank Holidays & The Festive Period

4.1. ForPaws make every effort to cover staff holidays, but occasionally this may not be possible. On these times we will give you plenty of notice that we are unable to cover certain days. For customers who book our services occasionally, we will let you know of dates we are not available and ask you to contact us by a set date if you require cover.

4.2. We assume all regular walks and services are not required on weekends or bank holidays, unless customers explicitly request them. Bank Holiday walks are charged at double time and weekend and out of hours (5.30pm - 9am) walks are charged at a time and a half.

4.3. We usually close our walks for 2 weeks over the festive period to give our walkers some time off, but we do contact all clients to see if they need us at the beginning of December. We ask all clients to contact us by a date (normally during the middle of the month) to confirm their requirements. Any bookings cancelled after this date will be charged in full as at this stage we have formalised our rota and often have to start turning away clients as we become fully booked.

4.4. Customers are not charged for walks that do not take place during holidays, bank holidays or the Christmas period.

5. Force Majeure

5.1. From time to time events may lead to us needing to cut short our walks. These occasions are rare, but can include bad weather (such as snow, storms or high winds making transport difficult or walks unsafe for the dogs or walker, or extreme heat putting dogs at risk of heatstroke) a dog or walker becoming injured, traffic issues, or illness. We will always tell you when this has been the case.

5.1.1. Refunds are usually not issued for small group walks, as this is the nature of the work and we feel that this usually balances out with the occasional longer walk in better conditions, or when a cheeky dog decides that the walk should be longer on the odd day!

5.1.2. Home visits are normally discounted to a shorter time frame in this instance, to a minimum of 30 minutes. Again, occasionally the visit may be shorter than 30 minutes, however this is usually balanced out by the occasional longer visit that we do not charge for.

5.2. Sometimes our customers kindly cancel walks when they hear we are not well, or if the weather is bad enough for their own work to be cancelled, which we appreciate and we of course credit these walks to their account. In the event of inclement weather leading to work cancellations, we ask that you let us know by 8.30am on the day to allow us to reshuffle the day.

6. Force Free Walks & Training

6.1. We do not use force or intimidation on the dogs we walk, this would include smacking, shouting, lead jerking or using any tool designed to cause pain or shock, such as a choke chain, electric or spray collar, or Pet Corrector. Any owners who request ForPaws staff to use these methods on animals in our care will be referred to Corrine in the first instance, who will work with the owner to find a more suitable way to manage the dog in our care. If an owner still would prefer we use these methods with their dog, we will have to suggest they look for an alternative walker as this is not a service we will provide.

6.2. Requests to train your dog on our walks:

6.2.1. Our small group walks and home visits are not training walks - unless agreed directly with Corrine. This is because our walkers are also not qualified trainers or behaviourists, so we do not ask or expect them to train the dogs in our care.

6.2.2. On small groups our walkers have several dogs to monitor at the same time and it is not possible to do this responsibly and fairly whilst focusing on the training of one exclusively. It is also not generally possible to ‘train’ for a duration of 1 hour.

6.2.3. It may be possible to continue your dogs training on a home visit if there is just 1 dog to look after. If you need this, please highlight this in your booking form, or with your dog walker in their consultation, who can discuss your requirements with you. They will then discuss this with Corrine, who will ensure that the training is both in line with ForPaws ethical approach to dog training and that the walker is confident to continue your training. If necessary she may discuss this further with you and accompany the walker initially to ensure that they are continuing the training correctly. In this case there will be an additional assessment fee incurred.

6.3. We are happy to walk dogs on lead where necessary (although not in the group walk) but if any dogs pull, we will (with the owners’ permission) purchase and fit a no-pull head or body harness for use exclusively with that dog for our walks. This is to ensure that both the dog and our walker stay safe and well. The harness remains the property of ForPaws (unless owners would like to purchase it from us) but we will happily leave this with you for use whilst our services are engaged.

7. Insurance

7.1. All our walkers are insured under ForPaws  insurance policy, provided all bookings are made, managed and paid for through Sarah Sorgi or Corrine on the Pet Sitter System.  Any bookings not made via this are not covered on our insurance.

7.2. Our insurance includes; care and custody of animals, key cover, third party liability, professional indemnity (for Corrine only).  We advise all clients have their own pet insurance which includes third party liability.

7.3. All of our walkers have insured their car for business use.

7.4. We are not liable for any injury sustained by your dog, or any third party incident caused by your dog, unless as a direct result of our negligence - for this reason we strongly suggest all of our clients hold valid pet insurance including third party liability insurance for their dog.  

8. Other Terms

8.1. We reserve the right to review and adjust our services and prices from time to time. Any additional expenditure incurred in the care of your animal (agreed in advance with you) will be charged to you.

8.2. Very occasionally an animal will become sick or injured whilst in our care. In this event we will make every effort to contact you, but if we are unable to speak to you, we will act in the best interests of the animal, and this may mean that we take your dog to the vets. We are not liable for the expenses incurred from this visit.

8.3. All our owners must ensure that their dog has an appropriately fitted collar or harness (with an ID tag) and lead that is left out for us to use when we collect the dog for a walk.

9. Contact and Hours

9.1. Any queries about your booking can be directed to your dog walker.

9.2. ForPaw’s working hours are 9.00am - 5.00pm on Monday - Friday and we can take calls and bookings throughout this time - although do note that we have very hectic schedules and we are not always able to respond immediately to calls and emails. Correspondence received outside of this time will be replied to on the start of the next working day.

9.3. For urgent matters regarding your booking, do feel free to contact your walker directly (and copy [email protected]) but please bear in mind that our walkers need time off too and may not be able to respond immediately to your request.

Cat Feeding Terms

Bookings - All bookings must be made through the PetSitter Software, or by emailing [email protected].  Bookings are not be made directly with your cat sitter and any made in this way will not be covered by ForPaws Insurance or Terms and Conditions and will result in the termination of our services with that client.

When booking initially we will invoice you and this must be paid to secure the booking. Until our invoice is paid, your booking is not confirmed and may be cancelled if we receive a booking from an existing customer for that slot.

Subsequent bookings can then be made via email or the petsitter tool and will be invoiced at the start of the month in which the service is due. These are due for payment immediately and no later than the last day of the month in which the service takes place.

Cancellations and changes can be made to bookings up until the month they are due - after this point cancellations and changes are charged in full as we can only take a certain number of bookings and will turn away customers once full. Any exceptions to this rule are at ForPaws discretion.

Invoices & Late Payment - Invoices for services due in that month are sent out at (or around) the 1st of each month and are due for payment immediately in order to confirm the booking and no later than the last day of the month in which the service takes place. Non-payment in busy time periods may mean that we allocate your space to another client. If your account is not settled by the 1st of the following month, we will add a £10 charge to your account and non-payment by the 8th calendar day of the following month will result interest being accrued at a rate of 4%APR above the HSBC base rate, calculated daily until the account is settled.

Keys - keys can be given to your sitter on the additional meeting and held permanently to facilitate future bookings. Alternatively we can leave the key somewhere safe at the end of the booking. We can also make journeys to you to pick up and drop off keys, but these journeys are chargeable to cover our time and fuel and must be at a convenient time for the sitter.

Timings - We cannot guarantee a time for visits, we reserve the right to adjust our schedule to suit the visits we have on our books, however as a guideline, customers booking 2 visits a day will have a morning and evening visit and customers who have 1 visit a day will have their visits at approximately the same time each day (within a 4 hour window).

Force Majeure - from time to time circumstances outside of our control may affect our schedule (for example, weather affecting travel, traffic accident etc) and cause us to have to vary this and reduce visit times in order to keep to our schedule. This is not a regular occurrence, however when this happens we do not offer a refund.

Insurance - see section 7 above, all our cat sitters are equally covered by this insurance.