Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

01st December 2016

Refusing care for homes with pets?

I would like to ask a question, can a carer refuse to provide services to a customer because a customer has a cat or a dog in their property? Thank you.


Dear Susannah,


Thank you for your question.


Pets play a very important part in the lives of many elderly and frail individuals. For many older people a pet may well be the only company that person has apart from their carer during the course of a day.


If you have a problem with a particular pet, or if there is a very good reason why you cannot work with animals for instance an allergy or if the pet bites for instance then this is a matter that you should discuss with your manager.


It should not be a case of refusing, it should be a case of discussing any concerns that you have with your manager and finding an appropriate solution.


You should look at your contract of employment and I think that your Manager should also look at any contract that there is with the local Council.


It certainly would not be reasonable to expect you to work in a home if there was an unrestrained dangerous dog allowed to wander freely.


In a case that I was involved with before it was agreed that the pet should be kept in a separate room while the visit took place.


Best wishes.




*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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