Avoiding Liability When Working With Dogs



An all-in-one self-help package for trainers, rescue groups, and shelters. Includes ready-to-use contracts, waivers and other legal documents by Mr. Phillips, plus his 1-1/2 hour video seminar explaining everything in simple language. The Q&A sessions on this DVD are fun and illuminating. Prevent trouble before it begins!


Shelters, rescues, and trainers are increasingly the target of lawsuits by people hurt by dogs.

  • Shelters and rescues have a legal duty, enforced by the courts, to disclose the bite history and circumstances of every bite. You get sued if you don’t.
  • Trainers are exposed to huge medical bills if they get hurt by a dog, but the courts normally prevent trainers from getting reimbursed because they supposedly have “assumed the risk.” You need a contract to protect yourself if you’re injured.
  • Shelters, rescues, and trainers also have to deal with accidents that happen on premises they own or work at, accidents caused by the proximity of dogs and guests, and fights between dogs that result in injuries to the dogs themselves. Clients have to be told about the usual risks, and they have to hold you harmless for them.

The legal documents in this package include a very good Training Agreement, Adoption Agreement, Waiver for Entry on Premises, Bailment Agreement for Surrender of Dog, and Policy and Procedures for Observing and Reporting Problems with Dogs.

You also will see the video of Mr. Phillips’ 90-minute seminar about avoiding liability. He gives concrete examples of the problems that occur and how to solve them. You can watch it on your phone, tablet, or desktop. Here’s what one trainer said about the video:

I have your video and have updated my contract accordingly. So much information, but the actual work of updating my contracts was very, very easy. You are right, trainers really don’t know. All the seminars, conference, books and videos that are geared toward trainers do not mention the things you talk about. Scary to think how much I didn’t know before your video!

Special Problems Facing Shelters and Rescue Groups

One of the biggest problems for shelters and rescue groups is being accused of sending vicious dogs back onto the streets, and failing to disclose the bite history and circumstances of each bite. There are more cases every year for injuries by so-called “shelter dogs” and “rescue dogs.” To protect yourself and your organization, you will have Policy and Procedures for Observing and Reporting Problems with Dogs. Here is what Veterinarian Jill Muraoka Lim (Ohana Pet Hospital, Ventura, CA) said about this:

Oftentimes, the people involved with rescues and shelters are so focused on the welfare of the pets that they do not consider potential lawsuits or liability associated with their actions (accepting known aggressive or destructive animals). I think Mr. Phillips’ presentation made us all stop and think about how we can both protect the interest of the pets and protect our organizations from potential liability.