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Discussion Starter #1
I've always offered to probe customers snakes, trim nails, etc for free but recently people have mentioned that a lot of other places charge for this...
The other thing that has prompted this thread is the increase in people bringing in leopard geckos that need skin removing from toes, minor bumps and nicks on reptiles, unshed snakes and people asking for advice with non-feeding royals (a local shop is selling non-feeding cf babies and everyone loves the price...) This happened at this time last year, and even with the best help I could give I still ended up having to assist or force feed a number of snakes.
Obviously these are things that should by rights be done by a vet, but I hate to turn people away knowing that there is a chance the animal will never be taken. I am in no way qualified other than by experience, but will not take on something that I feel is more than my abilities (by choice - it has happened of course!)
So, are there legalities associated with charging for this stuff (only a couple of quid) or should it be offered for free - either for goodwill or because I'm not qualified?
Should I be getting people to sign something - whether charged or not - to cover my back 'just in case'?

Any help appreciated!
 

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Good question.

It's a minefield isn't it.

If a gecko dies whilst you're "treating it" no matter how minor - we live in a society where it certainly is plausable that someone can turn around and sue you!

Things like, assist feeding, they don't need a medical vet, I don't think a court could prove that you provided medical attention when not a qualified vet or that you were directly responsible for the death of that animal, but people could potentially kick up a fuss which would be a pain in the butt!

I personally haven't yet... but am tempted to do... just a small form with a disclaimer that we are not a vet and we recommend a vet at all times, write what needs doing and have them sign to confirm that they know you are not a vet and that they are aware of what you are doing to the animal..... just in case.

My vet inspector was telling me at the last inspection about a shop that was being sued because a kid got salmonella the day after touching animals in the shop... and how now he's recommending you make all customers wear disposable rubber gloves if they're allowed to stroke anything - because of a few morons who might decide to sue! He probably got the salmonella from eating poorly cooked chicken that night but the shop is settling anyway because they don't want the negative publicity of having to fight it.

I always stick a sign on the window that says I charge for clipping, probing, etc. but I very rarely do, only if Idon't actually like the person :whistling2: Any of my regulars certainly get it for free. People love the idea they're getting something of value for nothing so it makes them happy!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there any chance I could have a look at the wording that you use on your form?
 

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I know a few other shop keepers that charge for things like probe sexing & nail clipping.

As long as your not doing anything that would legally need to be done by or supervised by a qualified veterinarian then you should have no problems.

I would avoid administering any form of medication even be it just a bit of ointment for a nose rub or something equally as simple like worming. By all means make suggestions on how to go about treating but if you step in and administer the treatment for them your putting yourself in the firing line. If you do make a suggestion then it's wise to start the sentance with the words "I'm not a qualified veterinarian but...".

I guess if someone did have an animal that needed treatment and they wouldn't take it to the vet but you felt you could personally get it sorted and back to health then you could allways have them sign it over to you so it was legally your animal then they could buy it back when you had got it well again. By them signing it over to you it legally becomes yours and you can administer treatments as you feel fit without the fear of any comeback. You could also do the same with non-feeders, have them sign it over to you then sell it back to them once feeding.
 
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