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  • kitty death

    need some advice we had a kitty whos been ill as of late passaway at our kennel today. I called the husband to let him know and hes worried about having to tell the wife because she was already worried about leaving him. So heres the sticky part we still have the dog until the 5th do we charge for the cat up until the day he died??? Im inclined not to just as a courtesy what do you all think. Thanks Dawn

  • #2
    That's so sad I think it really depends on why the cat died. Was he/she ill and the owners were aware? If so then yes, I would charge up until the death. If it was do to an accident or you feel it was your kennels fault then no. I would comp the whole boarding fee dog and all, but that's just me.

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    • #3
      We had several deaths (old, sick animals) over the 20 years at the kennel and we never charged.
      Seems like that's the decent/compassionate way to handle it IMO.
      Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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      • #4
        You do have the right to charge for the kitty until the day he passed away. You have to evaluate your relationship with them to determine what you want to do. If the cat was only there a couple days, you might wish to just waive the bill, but if he was there for a while, it is appropriate for you to charge them, after all, he did take up space you could not sell to another. If you have a strong relationship and a long standing one, I would probably waive the charges on the cat and figure that good will will have them bringing their next cat in for boarding.

        However, I have to say that I am very concerned that you were boarding a cat that was ill. Sick animals should be boarding at their vet. If you knew he had been sick, you took a huge risk. If you didn't know he had been sick, I'm concerned about your screening process. A lot of the boarding business is covering your rear. Death of an animal is indeed a factor in the boarding business. Board long enough and handle enough animals and it is going to happen. Often with no warning. But you do want to limit your liability.

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        • #5
          No don't charge. If they offer to pay anyway, don't accept it. Nothing against you, but I am surprised you even asked.

          I would find out what the families whishes for the kitty are, and pay to cremate him/her. I know you didn't cause the death, and that they knew the kitty was ill. I would pay for cremation, just as a nice gesture. They didn't get to be with their baby at the end, you did, that has to be hard for them.
          If you sweat the small stuff, all you have is small soggy stuff.....

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          • #6
            I would definitely not charge for the cat and I probabaly wouldn't charge for the dog either. Probabaly not "good business" since you state the cat has been in poor health and, I assume, not any fault of the kennels, but as Sibes said it would be the compassionate thing to do.
            SheilaB from SC

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            • #7
              I'll probably

              get flack but I'm of the opinion that you are in business to make money and should charge. Hopefully the cat passed away in his sleep and was peaceful. I would ask them what arrangements they would like made for the cat, do you freeze it and return the body or dispose of it? I would also send a flower arrangement after they get home to let them know you do care.
              Do you have a written policy that your clients sign covering this sort of thing?
              I know that we are a compassionate industry and that tends to get in the way sometimes. Does a vet charge for the surgery when a pet dies on the operating table?
              Does a hospital charge when a person dies in their care?
              I think it's a hard thing to deal with from all aspects but as a business you sometimes have to set that aside.

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              • #8
                I probably wouldn't charge just because it's already so hard to lose a pet, I'm sure the wife would have rather been with the kitty and had no choice but to board them. You do have the right to charge, but if I was on the other end of the situation I would be truly grateful to not have to worry about it, if it were my kitty, and I would probably pay anyway.

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                • #9
                  I'm kinda thinking along the same lines as SwissNChow. If you had the cat for only a few days, I'd waive the charges. But if you had him in your care for a couple of weeks, well, that's still a tough call. For me, it would probably depend on my relationship with the owner.

                  And I do agree that the cat should have been boarded at his vet's. It probably wouldn't have made a bit of difference, but it would definitely have taken any responsibility off of you'r shoulders.

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                  • #10
                    I really think it depends on the situation. You say the owners knew the cat was ill, was it on medication, requiring extra care, etc? If so, then I can see why you would charge for the boarding, since the owners knew it would require extra care in the first place. It may be the LEVEL of care you give as a boarding facility the reason they left the cat with you in the first place, and they may be more then willing to pay for teh peace of mind they had knowing their baby was well taken care of in his last days. As far as the issue of boarding at the vet verses with you, I know if my pet had some type of a illness that I KNEW it would require extra care, but already knew what that care was, (such as extra meds or something like that) I would honestly rather have them at a boarding facility that felt a little more like home then at a hospital. I know on holidays and weekends around here, many times the pets boarding at the vet get checked on once a day, where many of the boarding facilities may have someone there all day. JMO I would, however, make sure I knew what type of arangements they wanted for the cat and make sure they are taken care of before they get back.

                    I would never creamate without written concent from the owners though. CYA! they could come back and say "we wanted a necropsy" then you look like you were trying to cover something up even though you were just trying to be nice and compassionate.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 4Sibes View Post
                      We had several deaths (old, sick animals) over the 20 years at the kennel and we never charged.
                      Seems like that's the decent/compassionate way to handle it IMO.
                      I don't work in a kennel now But I agree with 4Sibes . I would be inclined to think at this point how the client feels at this time rather than the money aspect of it all.Although the death was not by fault of the kennel as a client I would be hesitant to use the facilities for future pets if they showed lack of compassion.

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