Welcome back to our second article, Legal Issues With Hiring Underage Kids To Watch Your Pets.
Previously, I discussed issues that could happen with your house and your pets if you have a child take care of your pets, if you didn’t get a chance to read that article, check it out here.
This article ‘Legal Issues With Hiring Underage Kids To Watch Your Pets’ will give you an idea of the LEGAL implications to consider. Also, I touch on the topic of PARENTS and FRIENDSHIP. I’ll explain what these mean later.
Legal Issues With Hiring Underage Kids To Watch Your Pets
First and foremost, underage kids cannot sign legal contracts. Why does should that matter to you, the pet parent?
This is important because without a contract which states the job details, who’s responsible for the pet care and other legal parameters, specifics are hard to enforce and this puts all the liability back on you or the parent of the child who’s watching your pets.
What exactly does this mean?
With an enforceable contract, the who, what, when, where and why’s are answered.
This means that the person caring for your pet agrees to due certain things as outlined in the contract. Furthermore, they have all the information to responsibly and correctly care for your pet and home the way you want it done.
The adult should have the legal capacity to understand the implications of their job duties. Herein lies another issue: making sure you’re hiring a competent adult to take care of your pets and home.
Without a contract, you’re in a sticky spot and a lot is left up in the air. If problems would arise, your homeowner’s insurance might cover (if you carry it) or the policy belonging to the child’s parents. Tricky, right?
Legal Issues With Hiring Underage Kids To Watch Your Pets – Pet Care Duties And Responsibilities
Also, as far as legal responsibilities, an underage child does not understand all the responsibility that pet sitting and dog walking requires.
I talked about this in the first article but again, what would happen if your dog was stung by a bee and his face started swelling up? As he starts gasping for air, the neighbor kid might panic and not know you’re dog is having an allergic reaction. Actually, an adult could blow this off and not know what to do, but that’s a whole other discussion on why a professional pet sitter is a wise choice.
Another thing to consider ties in to the kid’s parents. If they’re friends of yours and something bad happens while their child is watching your pet, that could put stress on your friendship, do you want that?
Should your dog get stung by a bee and die because the child doesn’t know what to do, I’m quite sure you’ll have some words for your neighbor when you get home.
Legal Issues With Parents and/or Guardians
Additionally, the parents of the child could be on the hook for any damages that occur in your home. They could be responsible if your pet is neglected (or worse). If something drastic happens to your home, say a fire or major theft or vandalism, your insurance company might pay but then go after your neighbors.
Do you really want to put your friendship on the line in order to save a little money?
Unintended Rated R Movies, Pornography and Computer Use
Another reason I frown on having underage kids in my home unattended relates to the internet and cable TV. This might sound strange but if you have internet or cable TV you know what’s out there. Examples would include pornography websites, x-rated movies and pay-per-view movies.
You might think your neighbor kid would NEVER use your TV or computer to look at this stuff but think again.
I wouldn’t want to be the one who (inadvertently) enabled a child to view this material. That’s a big burden and just one other reason a professional pet sitter should be used versus the next door neighbor kid.
Please consider what your home is worth, what your pets are worth and hire a knowledgeable, professional pet sitter.
Read the first article in this 3-part series: Dangers Of Having Your Underage Neighbor Kid Care For Pets
Thanks for reading! If you found this helpful, please LIKE IT and SHARE IT,
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”
P.S. Would you like to talk to us about our pet care services? If so, fill out this form, once we receive it we’ll contact you to discuss your needs.
P.P.S. Read the first article in this series: Dangers of Having Underage Neighbor Kid Care For Pets