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OUR POLICY 

Out and About

Owners responsibilities
Owners will ensure their pet is clean, with up to date vaccinations, de flea and anti worm treatments. All dogs and cats must be micro chipped with a valid identification tag. Owner is to make a full disclosure of any problems which might make your pet unsuitable for walks or home visits including but not limited to health problems, antisocial behaviour, aggression, incontinence/ lack of house training or excessive loud barking or whining. Failure to disclose this information may result in Muddy Hounds refusing to care for your pet without notice.
The owner shall provide sufficient food and medication for the duration of care. Failure to do so may result in a fee for any expense accrued.
All efforts will be made to contact the owner in an event of an emergency. However Muddy Hounds reserves the right to make decisions on the behalf of your pets health provided at all times it is in the interest of the animal and on the advice of a vet. Muddy Hounds is not held accountable for vet fees or third party claims whilst your dog is in our ccare. The owner is responsible for all fees incurred by us.
Owner is financially responsible any loss or damage to property / vehicle whilst in our care. A fee of £5 will be charged if the dog urinates or defecates in the vehicle.

Muddy Hounds responsibilities
Muddy Hounds will ensure that your pets safety is our priority with care taken to ensure that they are walked in a safe and secure environment.
Muddy Hounds is fully insured with Public Liability and care custody and control which includes all Muddy Hounds staff.
Muddy Hounds holds customers key which are labelled with pets names only and are never kept with customers registration forms. They are at all times kept in a secure place overnight. Muddy Hounds insurance cover key loss.

Charges and Payments
Payments can be made in cash or paid directly into Muddy Hounds account. If Invoices are issued they must be paid by the 1st of the following month. Failure to do so may result in Muddy Hounds postponing walks until invoice is paid in full. Cash payments to be made at time of collecting keys/ animal.
If your pet is not collected by the pre arranged time without prior notice, a late feel of £10 will be payable on top of daily rate.
Muddy Hounds has the right to permanently re home your dog if not collected within a week of agreed date.

Bookings
All bookings are to be made through Muddy Hounds (Laura Hopkins ). All Muddy Hounds walkers and staff are agents of the company. As such the walkers and staff are not permitted to work directly for the client and infringement of this will result in the removal from our register. We respectfully act that you do not place our walkers or staff in that position. Any assignments carried our privately and not directly through the company will NOT be covered by the Muddy Hounds insurance.
All bookings are operated on a first come first serve basis. Any monies/deposits due at the time must be paid in order for the booking to be confirmed.
It shall be the sole responsibility of the client to ensure that Muddy Hounds is fully aware of any health issues the pet(s) are experiencing, or have experienced in the past. Muddy Hounds cannot be held liable for any actions or omissions which result in problems or complications for anything not disclosed.
(Walking) Clients must ensure that their requirements for the following week are communicated to us no later than Sunday 5pm. Please note that there is no guarantee of space for weekly bookings.
(Boarding/House sitting) These services get booked up very quickly so we ask for bookings to be made as far in advance as possible. A 25% deposit at the time of booking will be required to secure your place.
Please note: If the carer booked to provide boarding for your dogs has resident dogs, they will need to be socialised with clients dogs prior to boarding commencing. By signing our form, you give written consent to your dog(s) staying with the resident animals.
We reserve the right to decline or terminate a booking in any circumstance.

Cancellation
Any same day cancellation will incur charges as follows; (same day being from 9pm the previous night when ‘office’ closes) Daycare cancellation £10 and walking cancellation £5.

Charges
(Walking / Pet sitting) Charges are as advertised on our prices page on our website.
(Boarding / House sitting) Charges are per 24 hours form the hour the service begins, ie. 10am-10pm. A partial day fee is incurred for the last day where appropriate.
We would like to remind clients that payments are due no later than 10 days after the date of invoice. We as a company reserve the right to impose a £2.50 initial payment fee is a payment is more the 3 days overdue, then £0.50 charged on a daily basis from the 4th day until payment is received in full. All debts will be actively pursued.

Flexibility is required
(1) We offer group walk services where dogs are allowed to interact with other dogs on the walk; although we aim to keep group walks limited to 4 in a group, we are insured to walk up to 6 dogs per handler. Group walks naturally have a potentially heightened risk, although all group walks are carefully planned and monitored. By choosing to take up this service on your own accord you accept that during the day’s activities Muddy Hounds will not be held responsible for injuries to your dog or others.
(2) Your booked time for dog walks is estimated only and whilst we make every effort to arrive at given times, depending on road conditions and unforeseen circumstances, please allow approximately +/-50minutes of your booked time slot for our staff to attend. In adverse weather conditions please understand that although we may still be operating we may experience more lengthy delays. If however, we are more than three hours outside of the booked time slot then Muddy Hounds will refund 50% of the walk.

Inclement weather for dog walking / pet visits
(1) In the event of extreme weather which may have an effect on the client’s pet (ie. Heat or thunder) the walker shall, at their sole discretion, take appropriate action that they consider necessary including not carrying out scheduled exercise until it is, in their opinion, safe to do so.
(2) During inclement weather, if your visits are not essential OR you are changing your plans to stay home please let us know so we can make other arrangement and prioritise those who need it. Full charge will still be applicable if visits cancelled on the same day.
(3) If you live in a area where our walker cannot reach your home safely because of poor road conditions, service will not be provided. You will receive a text or email notification if this happens.
(4) If it takes our walker additional time to reach your home due to road issues, lack of clear access etc, the additional time may be included as part of your walking time if this is the only way we can ensure our walkers get to visit all their clients that day.
(5) Walks may be cut short in order to allow time for dogs to be cleaned after their walk and before returning them home. However although we will do the best we can with cleaning the dogs, we cannot return them pristine and as such a certain amount of mess has to be accepted from time to time.

Safety / Duty of care
Muddy hounds reserves the right to end a dog walk prematurely due to the best interests of any dog on the walk. This can be due to a number of reasons, not limited to but including, adverse weather conditions or the unruly behaviour of dogs on the walk.
The client accepts that even though their dog is vaccinated against Bordetella (Kennel cough) there is a chance that their dog can still contract kennel cough. The client agrees that they will not hold Muddy Hounds responsible if their dog contracts Kennel cough whilst attending any of our services.
Our walkers reserve the right to not use flexi leads / retractable leads due to health concerns to both walkers and dogs.
(Walking / Sitting) If a walker / sitter is unable to gain access to your house due to failed locks, bolts left on gates where the walker / sitter cannot reach without putting themselves at harm, chains on doors, keys in doors etc. any fault of client or their property you will still be charged for a service. If a walker / sitter is unable to lock any of your doors on completion of service due to an issue with the locks or keys, you will be notified immediately by text or email. Muddy Hounds will not be held responsible for any damage to locks/keys.
The walker / sitter shall follow instruction given on the booking form by cannot be held responsible for any complications that may arise.
Our walkers / sitters may have a spouse, family member or colleague accompany them whilst providing the scheduled service. No companion shall enter the clients’ property without prior discussion and agreement.
All companions will be subject to whatever checks Muddy Hounds considers necessary or appropriate.
(Boarding / Sitting) Should Muddy Hounds staff or one of its sitters be bitten or otherwise exposed to any disease or ailment received from the clients pet, the client shall be responsible for all payment of costs incurred by the sitter in receiving treatment and subsequent care plus any legal costs arising as a consequence.
If your pet(s) behaviour or condition prohibits the company or its sitters from caring for them, the client authorises their pets to be placed in a kennelling establishment or other suitable accommodation with all charges incurred payable by the client. There will be a minimum £20 charge for transporting the animal in this instance plus mileage costs. In this event no part of the booking fee is refundable.
Death – This is a distressing subject and thankfully not something we have ever had to deal with, however it needs to be addressed. In the unlikely events that your dog sadly passes away while in our care, we will notify you as soon as possible and will then take your pet to your usual vet (or to our vet if yours is out of area) until you decide what arrangements you wish to make. We will also report it to the local council. We strongly recommend you have a post mortem to indentify the cause of death as it helps everyone involved to have answers at this really difficult time but of course, this is your choice.
The client shall provide sufficient pet food, cat litter and any treats for their pet(s) for the duration of the service.
The client shall show the sitter the location of appropriate cleaning materials, including but not limited to, plastic bags, disposable gloves, towels, disinfectant, paper towels and bin bags.
Muddy Hounds and the individual sitter cannot be held liable or responsible for any stains, marks or damages caused by the pet(s), their fouling or attempts to clean it.
Any damage to the property or possessions of the client in their absence, however caused by the pet(s), shall be recorded by the sitter and where considered by Muddy Hounds to be serious enough to inform you, we will do so at the earliest opportunity by whatever means is available.
Publicity
The client consents to their dog being photographed, videotaped, and/or used in any media or advertising by Muddy Hounds without prior approval. All such media remain the property of Muddy Hounds. If any client does not wish this to be the case we request that they inform Muddy Hounds in writing/email in order that we have a record.
Privacy Policy
We will only use your personal data when legally permitted. The most common uses of your personal data are:
(1) Where we need to perform the contract between us.
(2) Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
(3) Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal ground for processing your personal data, other than in relation to sending marketing communications to you via email or text message. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by emailing us.