A Kitten Is For The Contract, Not Just For Christmas

, , , | Right | November 7, 2019

(I work at a national pet store. Instead of selling cats and dogs, we rent out space to local animal shelters and foster groups. One day, a lady comes in with her son and decides to adopt a kitten.)

Me: “Here’s [Foster Group]’s paperwork. Here’s where you enter your information, and you’ll want to read over this page and leave your initials here.”

Customer: “Wait, what does this part mean?”

Me: *reading* “It looks like part of their contract is that if you decide you can’t keep the cat, you have to return it directly to [Foster Group]. If you choose to dump or abandon the cat at a kill shelter, they’ll hold you liable for $500.”

Customer: “What? No shelter has ever made me sign for something like that!”

Me: “Well, if you’re planning to keep the cat, it’s not something you need to worry about, right?”

Customer: “How would they even know what I’m doing with the cat?”

Me: “I know they send emails to make sure everyone is doing okay, but I’m not sure how they’d be able to prove you abandoned the cat. Do you want their phone number? It’s their paperwork, not ours, so maybe they’d be able to explain it better.”

Customer: “I don’t like this. I’m going to have my lawyer friend look over this contract. This is ridiculous.”

Me: “Okay, but if you can’t fill out the paperwork now, you won’t be able to take the kitten home today. All the cats belong to [Foster Group]. They wrote the contract, not us, so we have to follow their rules. Are you sure you don’t want me to call them? I have their phone number right here.”

Customer: “No, I’m just going to go home and talk to my lawyer friend.”

Me: “Okay. Here’s a pamphlet with [Foster Group]’s phone number in case you want to talk to them.”

Customer: “Thank you. What did you say they were called?”

Me: “[Foster Group]. They have a website, too, if you want to look them up.”

(The lady stormed out with her disappointed son, who never said a word through the whole exchange. Later, I found out from the managers that we got a nasty complaint from the woman saying that our contracts were “weirdly worded,” even though I repeatedly told her that neither the cats nor the contracts were ours! I still don’t understand why she didn’t want to be held liable for dumping the cat. Why did she want to spend $100 to adopt it if she didn’t plan to keep it?)

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