Is this dog owner technically guilty of neglect?
February 20, 2008 8:47 PM Subscribe
I'm a dog walker in NYC and despite having stated that dogwalking is not a substitute for overnight care in the service agreement that I make owners sign, a customer is using 2 x 10 minute dog walks a day as care for her dog while she has been away for two nights.
posted by merocet to Law & Government (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This job came in as an emergency short term thing (regular dog walker couldn't cover these few days etc.) so I left the service agreement with the owner for her to sign saying I'd pick it up when I came round to give the dog it's first walk the next day. During the interview I asked what time she usually left for work and returned home so I could get a sense of the best time to walk the dog to break up its day and she told me but then insisted that she liked the dog walked early in the day and as late as possible and could I also put some food down for it if it's bowl was empty? Alarm bells right? But with a new contract I tend to avoid calling new clients out as liars with no evidence to back me up.
So 2 days into the job it's obvious that she's not been home since it started so the only attention that the dog is getting is from me. I'm changing pee pads that are left out on the floor, feeding the dog, giving it an anti-arthritis pill, walking it and hanging around to pet it and give it some much needed company as I found it cowering in a cupboard when I first arrived.
Obviously I'll continue to care for the dog until she gets back and I've told her over the phone that much, so, aside from the fact that I'm doing a whole heap more than I'm getting paid for, is this owner guilty technically of neglect? I've tried to look up New York State laws regarding this kind of thing but am having no luck except from the info on the ASPCA website which doesn't mention this kind of abandonment as neglect.
Any Mefites clued up about this stuff?