Today I heard from a mom whose daughter was severely mauled by a shelter dog an hour after the mom signed the adoption contract which included a waiver of liability. The little girl was rushed to the hospital with gaping head wounds which required multiple staples to close. As a result of the waiver, the family will have to bear the full costs of the extensive medical treatment as well as the trauma and pain which the child will suffer.
Liability waivers always work against the person who is asked to sign on the dotted line. They take away not only your rights but also the rights of your family members who could be left with all the bills if something happens to you. And it takes away their rights if they are attacked, even though they did not sign anything.
The mom wanted to blame “the system” but she was the one who signed the contract. Don’t we all know that we are supposed to read before signing — that written words mean exactly what they say — that contracts are enforced by the courts?
She didn’t have to sign it, and nor should you. The shelters are overwhelmed with dogs overjoyed to get them into peoples’ homes, so there is no need to sign a contract that takes away all your rights! You will still get your dog and you can keep your legal rights intact, in case they lied to you about the dog’s temperament.