Terms and Conditions for Pet Sitters

DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION

1. In this Agreement, the following rules of interpretation apply unless the contrary intention appears:

  • headings are for convenience only and do not affect the interpretation of this Agreement,
  • the singular includes the plural and vice versa,
  • words that are gender neutral or gender specific include each gender,
    where a word or phrase is given a particular meaning, other parts of speech and grammatical forms of that word or phrase have corresponding meanings,
  • the words “such as,” “including,” “particularly” and similar expressions are not used as, nor are intended to be interpreted as, words of limitation.

2. A reference to:

  • “Agreement” refers to this contract between the Pet Sitter and VIPets Ltd which is made up of the ‘Terms and Conditions for Pet Sitters’ and ‘Policies and Procedures for Pet Sitters’ which constitute this entire Agreement,
  • “Terms” refers to all Terms of this entire Agreement,
  • “Client” refers to the Pet owner who has registered with VIPets Ltd and owns or rents the Premises where the Pet resides,
  • “Applicant” refers to the person applying for a contract Pet Sitting position VIPets Ltd,
  • “Pet Sitter” refers to the person contracted by VIPets Ltd,
  • “Pet Sitting” refers to the services provided by the Pet Sitter referred to the Client as set out in clause 4,
  • “Pet Sitting Assignment” refers to the duration of time the referred Pet Sitter is scheduled to stay and carry out Pet Care Services in the Client’s Home,
  • “Pet Care Services” are the obligations and duties the Pet Sitter is expected to carry out as set out in clause 4,
  • “Visitors” refers to the authorised and/or unauthorised invitees of the Pet Sitter,
  • “Home” refers to the dwelling where the Pet Sitting Assignment is undertaken,
  • “Premises” refers to the Home, chattels, fixtures and garden where the Pet Sitting Assignment is undertaken,
  • “Pet” refers exclusively to the Pets listed in the Client Portal,
  • “Client Portal” refers to the online scheduling software that all Clients must sign up for in order to book services with VIPets Ltd,
  • “Utilities” refers to the expenses incurred during the Pet Sitting Assignment such as power, phone, gas, Internet, water, waste removal, garden maintenance and cleaning services.
  • “Meet and Greet” refers to the initial consultation where an employee or contractor VIPets Ltd comes to the Client’s home to discuss the needs of the Pets,
  • “Public Liability Policy” refers to the public liability insurance VIPets Ltd carries to the value of $1 million. This includes additional Pet cover of up to $10,000 per Pet,
  • “You” refers to the Applicant or Pet Sitter contracted by VIPets Ltd,
  • “Them” or “They” refers to the Client registered with VIPets Ltd,
  • “Us” or “Our” or “We” refers to the business VIPets Ltd.

2. GENERAL

2.1. This document is an Agreement between VIPets Ltd and the Applicant. We ask the Applicant please read this Agreement carefully as the Applicant will be deemed to have accepted the Terms by applying for a Pet Sitting position with VIPets Ltd. The Pet Sitter’s application for a contract Pet Sitting position with VIPets Ltd shall constitute the Applicant’s acceptance of the Terms of this Agreement. If the Applicant does not accept the Terms of this Agreement the Applicant should not apply for a contract Pet Sitting position with VIPets Ltd.

2.2. The Pet Sitter agrees to perform Pet Care Services as outlined in ‘Terms and Conditions for Pet Sitters’ and ‘Policies and Procedures for Pet Sitters’ together with Client instructions listed within the Client Portal.

2.3. This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between VIPets Ltd and the Pet Sitter, and no other understanding that modifies the Terms hereof shall be binding unless made in writing and signed by an authorised representative of both VIPets Ltd and the Pet Sitter.

2.4. VIPets Ltd may vary these Terms at any time. In this case the Pet Sitter will be notified. If the Pet Sitter continues to accept Pet Sitting Assignments through VIPets Ltd they will be deemed to have accepted any alterations to this Agreement.

2.5. The Pet Sitter agrees to provide Pet Care Services to our Clients in a reliable, trustworthy, and caring manner. The Pet Sitter will make all attempts to provide the Pet with optimal care and welfare.

3. AFFILIATION AND PARTNERSHIP

3.1. VIPets Ltd’s relationship with the Pet Sitter is of a contract nature. The Pet Sitters are self employed contractors who are expected to file their own tax returns, pay their own GST and ACC Levies. Pet Sitters are not eligible for holiday pay, sick leave or time-and-a-half on public holidays. The Pet Sitter is to be paid 50% of the Pet Sitting fees paid to VIPets Ltd. Pet Sitters are to issue a 5 day invoice to VIPets Ltd on a Sunday for the previous week’s visits.

3.2. For the Pet Sitter to be protected under this Agreement and our Public Liability Policy, all bookings, changes and cancellations must be made directly with VIPets Ltd through the Client Portal. The Pet Sitter therefore understand and agrees:

A) all bookings for Pet Sitters registered with VIPets Ltd must be made by the Client directly through the Client portal or by a phone call to VIPets Ltd. Any other method will be considered a private arrangement and is breach of this Agreement,

B) all changes and/or cancellations to any Pet Sitting Assignment must be made directly through VIPets Ltd, not with the Client,

C) if arrangements are made directly with the Client, the Pet Sitter must also relay that information to VIPets Ltd. Any other arrangement made directly with the Client will be considered a breach of this Agreement,

D) the Pet Sitter will not accept any remuneration (monetary or otherwise) from Clients in return for Pet Care Services (gifts such as chocolate, wine, flowers etc. are permitted).

3.3. VIPets Ltd reserves the right to immediately terminate registration should the Pet Sitter accept Pet Sitting Assignments directly through our Client while they are registered with VIPets Ltd.

3.4. The Pet Sitter agrees they must not make private arrangements with the Client in relation to Pet care or house sitting. Should the Pet Sitter solicit any Client to whom VIPets Ltd has introduced or are aware is a Client of VIPets Ltd they will be liable by way of liquidated damages for:

A) the amount VIPets Ltd would have charged the Client for the period of the Pet Sitting Assignment,

B) all VIPets Ltd’s legal costs and disbursements of enforcing VIPets Ltd’s rights.

4. OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES OF THE PET SITTER

4.1 The Pet Sitter has certain Pet Care Services to perform during the course of their Pet Sitting Assignment. These include:

A) General responsibilities:

I) discussing with the Client how mail and telephone messages are to be forwarded to the Client in their absence,

II) reading and understanding all obligations and duties laid out in the Client Portal,

III) following all instructions left by the Client in regards to all aspects of the Pet Sitting Assignment,

IV) acting in accordance with this Agreement and the Client Portal,

V) residing at the Premises for at least 8 hours overnight (every night of the Pet Sitting Assignment) and leaving the premises for no more than a 5 hour period during the day,

VI) not using the Client’s personal computer, pool, spa or mobile phone without written consent from the Client.

B) Responsibility for Pets on a Pet Sitting Assignment:

The Pet Sitter will:

I) discuss the Pet’s care (feeding schedule, medication, sleeping arrangements etc.) directly with the Client and ensure all requirements are received via the Client Portal,

II) discuss how payment for requirements such as grooming, puppy school etc. is to be made and organise how payments will be made for contingencies such as unscheduled vet visits and/or emergencies in the Client’s absence,

III) not allow any animals or pets on the Premises except those specifically mentioned in the Client Portal,

IV) act in accordance with the Client Portal and follow all instructions precisely to ensure utmost care for all Pets,

V) notify VIPets Ltd immediately should the Pet become unwell.

C) Responsibility for dogs on outings:

The Pet Sitter will:

I) ensure all pets are transported safely at all times, including making sure they are leashed into the vehicle securely,

II) choose locations free from hazards where dogs can safely play,

III) be alert and aware of surroundings at all times and keep mobile phone usage to documenting the outing for the Client,

IV) carry equipment to deter unsupervised dogs that may be aggressive,

V) notify VIPets Ltd immediately should the dog become unwell and follow Client instructions on veterinary care.

D) Responsibility for the Premises:

The Pet Sitter will:

I) ensure utmost care of the Premises including all chattels, fixtures and fittings to at least the standard of the first day of the Pet Sitting Assignment and acknowledge the Pet Sitter is liable for any loss and damage caused to the Premises and all contents during the Pet Sitting Assignment,

II) not sub-let or allow any Visitor to sub-let the Premises,

III) not allow any Visitor to stay at the Premises without the explicit consent of the Client in writing,

IV) not use the Premises or allow Visitors to use the Premises for any illegal activities,

V) not interfere or allow Visitors to interfere with the comfort, privacy and reasonable peace of the neighbours,

VI) not damage or allow Visitors to cause damage and inform VIPets Ltd in regards to any accidental damage to the Premises as soon as possible,

VII) use adequate security measures provided at the Premises such as the alarm (if applicable) and locking windows and doors when appropriate to ensure the safety of the Pets and the Premises.

E) General Maintenance:

The Pet Sitter will:

I) maintain cleanliness of the Premises to at least the same standard as the day of arrival for the Pet Sitting Assignment,

II) take adequate measures to regularly clean the bathroom and kitchen,

III) maintain the grounds and garden of the Premises to at least the same standard as the day of arrival for the Pet Sitting Assignment,

IV) maintain recycling and refuse practices as set out in the Client Portal and ensure bins are put out to be emptied on day of collection,

V) water and feed indoor plants to maintain them to at least the standard they were found on the first day of the Pet Sitting Assignment,

VI) inform VIPets Ltd regarding any pest infestation of the Premises and work with VIPets Ltd to solve the problem.

F) Responsibility during emergencies:

In the unlikely event of an emergency or natural disaster the Pet Sitter shall:

I) dial 111 first and work with emergency services to limit damage to the Premises,

II) call VIPets Ltd to ensure utmost care and welfare for the pets,

III) if required, call ahead to work with the veterinarian listed in the Pet Sitters handbook to safely transport pets to the vet practice,

IV) notify VIPets Ltd of any damage that may have occurred that is likely to result in an insurance claim,

V) assist with any clean up required to maintain the Premises and safety of the Pets.

VI) Should the emergency or natural disaster render the Premises uninhabitable, the Pet Sitter will work with VIPets Ltd and the emergency contacts to transport the pets to safety and leave the Premises as secure as possible before evacuating.

G) Responsibility for excessive Utilities

I) The Pet Sitter will be liable to pay power, phone, gas, Internet, water and cleaning services reasonably deemed to be excessive by VIPets Ltd during the course of the Pet Sitting Assignment. The Client shall make necessary arrangements for recording the readings of all the relevant meters at the start of the Pet Sitting Assignment. The Pet Sitter’s liability for excessive Utilities will be calculated by reading the meters at the completion of the Pet Sitting assignment.

H) Ending the Pet Sitting Assignment

At the end of the Pet Sitting Assignment the Pet Sitter shall:

I) act in accordance with any previous discussions with the Client on how the Pet Sitter can help smooth the Client’s transition back, such as picking the Client up from the airport, leaving outside lights on, having milk in the fridge for their arrival etc.,

II) act in accordance with previous discussions with the Client on how to safely return anything other than the keys provided by VIPets Ltd, such as car keys, remotes etc.,

III) leave the Premises to at least the standard of the first day of the Pet Sitting Assignment. If the Premises are not left reasonably clean and fit for habitation on their departure, the Pet Sitter will be liable for the cost of one hour’s professional cleaning,

IV) be responsible for discharging any financial obligations (such as those for excessive Utilities) before leaving the Client’s Premises.

5. BACKGROUND CHECKS

5.1 VIPets Ltd will only contract Pet Sitters to care for Client’s Pets who have passed VIPets Ltd’s background checks. These include reference and criminal history checks. It is for this reason the Pet Sitter authorises VIPets Ltd to apply for a criminal conviction history from the Ministry of Justice on the Pet Sitter’s behalf and will supply three references (preferably from previous Pet Sitting Assignments). To enable these background checks the Pet Sitter agrees to:

A) provide VIPets Ltd with three recent references including full contact details of the referee,

B) fill out all paperwork and supply suitable identification to ensure criminal history checks can be carried out in a timely manner,

C) inform VIPets Ltd in writing within 48 hours of receiving any criminal conviction.

6. INSURANCE

6.1 VIPets Ltd provides public liability insurance to the value of $1 million to cover Pet Sitters from certain liability when caring for Pets during the course of the Pet Sitting Assignment. The full policy is available to view on request.

6.2 Claims are subject to a $500 excess payable by the Pet Sitter.

7. PRIVACY

7.1 VIPets Ltd stores personal information submitted during the application process which is used for the sole purpose of providing Pet Care Services to Clients. VIPets Ltd complies with the ‘Privacy Act 1993’ and will not under any circumstances divulge any information submitted to a third party unless compelled to by law. Pet sitters may request to view any information kept on file at any time. Please see Our privacy policy for details on what information We collect and what We use it for.

7.2 The Pet Sitter agrees that they shall not disclose any information pertaining to the Pet Sitting Assignment or in any of the provided documentation such as within the Client Portal to a third party.

7.3. During the course of the Pet Sitting Assignment the Pet Sitter will possibly have access to the Client’s personal information. The Pet Sitter understands and agrees:

A). any personal information the Pet Sitter is entrusted with over the course of the Pet Sitting Assignment must be kept private and confidential,

B). no personal Client information is to be shared with any third party.

8. HEALTH AND SAFETY

8.1 The Client will take all reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for VIPets Ltd and the Pet Sitter and shall conform to the ‘Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,’ along with all applicable regulations.

8.2 The Client must discuss any potential hazards with VIPets Ltd and the Pet Sitter and take all steps to mitigate any risk to the Pet Sitter’s health and safety.

8.3 Should the Pet Sitter have an accident in the Client’s home, the Client must inform VIPets Ltd immediately. The Client shall provide all reasonable assistance with any health and safety investigation.

Policies and Procedures for Pet Sitters

Meet and Greet: Before Pet Visits are scheduled with the Pet Sitter, the Pet Sitter must schedule a Meet and Greet with the Client to discuss the Pet’s needs and go over the Pet’s care in detail. This is especially necessary for Pets requiring medication or those with special needs. This is to be undertaken in the Pet Sitter’s own time as an investment in future Pet Sitting Assignments.

Pet medication: While all information pertaining to medication will be recorded in the Client Portal, it is the Client’s responsibility to provide the Pet Sitter with detailed instructions and an in-person demonstration on how exactly to administer medication to their pets. If the Pet absolutely refuses medication, food or water for any reason, the Pet Sitter is required to work with VIPets Ltd and the emergency contacts to transport the Pet(s) to their dedicated vet to have medication and/or food/water administered.

Keys: The Pet Sitter will be supplied a key to the property. It is strongly recommended this key is kept on the Pet Sitter’s person at all times when on the Client’s Premises. This is especially necessary for homes with doors that require a key to enter and lock automatically when closed.

Extreme Weather: Pet Sitters are required to walk dogs year-round, unless requested otherwise. If there are adverse conditions, Pet Sitters should seek out sheltered locations to take dogs to protect them from the weather. If dogs are required to wear protective clothing, its location will be recorded in the Client Portal. In extreme conditions or where walk routes are made treacherous with ice or heavy snow, Pet Sitters should make alternative arrangements for indoor exercise and mental stimulation for dogs.

Natural Disasters: In the unlikely event of a natural disaster, the Pet Sitter’s first priority is to ensure their own safety. Pet Sitters are then required to work with emergency services, VIPets Ltd and the Client’s emergency contacts to ensure the utmost care and welfare of the pets.

Equipment: All implements required to provide care for the home and pets (pooper scoopers, kitty litter, toys, gardening equipment etc.) will be provided by the Client and their location recorded in the Client Portal.

Alcohol and drugs: The consumption of alcohol or drugs is not permitted while the Pet Sitter is carrying out Pet Care Services such as (but not limited to) walking, feeding, grooming or administering medication to pets. At all other times it is expected that alcohol is consumed in a responsible manner (such as one wine with dinner) where the Pet Sitter remains able to deal with any possible situation that may arise, such as transporting an injured Pet to the veterinary practice. Pet Sitters are expected to ask their doctor if any medication they have been prescribed will have any potential negative effect on their ability to perform their Pet Sitting duties as set out in clause 4 of the Terms of Agreement for Pet Sitters.

Smoking: Cigarette smoking is not permitted inside the Client’s Home and must be confined to one outdoor smoking area. This smoking policy must be discussed with the Client in the initial interview and the Client must supply and/or approve of an appropriate Pet proof waste receptacle for cigarette butts and ash.

Cancellations: Due to the fact cancellations on the behalf of the Pet Sitter are a major inconvenience and cause a lot of anxiety for the Client at an already stressful time, there needs to be an exceptional reason for the cancellation of a Pet Sitting Assignment. Accepting a different Pet Sitting Assignment or a change of mind are not acceptable reasons.

Insurance: Pet Sitters are insured under our Public Liability Policy to the value of $1 million with an additional $10,000 pet care cover.

Please note: Terms and Conditions for Pet Sitters and Policies and procedures are subject to reasonable changes and amendments, which may be implemented from time to time. VIPets will notify the Pet Sitter should this occur.