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My question relates to neighbours and petsitting. We

My question relates to...

My question relates to neighbours and petsitting. We recently acquired a small part and had to leave to go out of town to attend to my elderly parents. We had ordered a second cage to put in our cabin however it had not arrived. Since we could not fit the cage in the car nor could we take the bird with us in a transport box and have it stay all weekend my neighbour, a self described 'bird-people' person offered to take the bird to their home and care for it while we were away. We took the up on the offer and the worst possible outcome happened.

Expert's Assistant: The Etiquette Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Etiquette Expert should be aware of?

Her husband left the cage door opened and the bird flew down to the floor since it wings were clipped. Unfortunately their dog killed the bird and the wife called us in tears with the news. My question is this. The bird was expensive approximately $600.00. Since they offered to care for it and described themselves as 'bird-people', shouldn't the offer to replace it?

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Olivia Kent
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4,072
Experience: Executive Director at Neurogenx Nerve Center of Princeton
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. Please note this site is for general information for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Communicating with an expert on this site does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You might be offered a phone call, but you are under no obligation to accept; the phone call requests don’t come from me - they’re offered by the site - but if you do want a phone call I’d be happy to do that as well.

Give me just a moment to review what you've written.

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Certainly they SHOULD offer to replace it (but given the cost I would be very surprised if they did)...

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You could try to drop hints about the cost of the bird... or you may decide to sue them for the value of the bird.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We came back the next day, Monday, and picked up the cage. My neighbour had the bird wrapped in a paper towel in my transport box (you can't move them in the cage as they get cold and drafts can be dangerous). There were feathers all over her living room (they'd been there 2 days-creepy) and when I unwrapped the poor bird, it had several puncture marks and its eyes were popped. Completely heartbreaking. I did go over care for the bird with my neighbour before we left such as out-of cage rules for a baby bird, who handles it, nutrition and where the fresh food was for it and where the bird should be kept day and night-and it was agreed that at night it would be in their office and during the day the dining room table. I found out that they had it on the kitchen island and her husband had left the door open and fallen asleep on the couch.What bothers me the most is their attitude! My husband had mentioned when the wife said "we feel just awful about it" that it was an accident and in the interest of good neighbours "...if you just replace the bird...", "let's move forward", "...next time just keep the door closed...". The wife kept silent and I had a bad feeling. I did not like the look on her face and she was silent. Apparently the husband had thrown his phone when this happened and broke his iPhone. His excuse for not calling was this and his feelings of anxiety. F.Y.I. No animal of mine will ever be in their care again.Today, Wednesday, my husband phoned the neighbour husband and stated on his voice mail that we had found another bird however it was not as tame as the first and in an attempt to open a dialogue, he said the bird was $600 and he suggested they split it with us and pay half). When he received no response, he texted him in case he was in a poor cell phone reception area as it happens from time to time.Today I got a call from the wife stating her husband was not answering my husband calls or texts anymore due to his 'anxiety' and 'stress' over the situation. She was calling me 'wife to wife' to make Maik stop calling her husband. She made a point of saying she was truly upset that A) we made the statement that they should replace the bird and B) that their possibly would be a next time. She went on to state that they were behind in their bills and trying to catch up, they were planning to get married next year and were in no position to pay for the bird and she did not realize that they were taking on a financial responsibility when they offered to care for the bird. I was stunned! I told her I would call her back. I needed to regroup.I called my husband and told him our 'low-rent' neighbours (we live in million dollar + homes) were going to stiff us over the bird. Note this is the same neighbour that nearly stiffed another neighbour when he broke a RC model car because he thought it was cheap. Granted the other neighbour's nagging was excessive but now I understand why.What is my next step? Pretend they don't exist? I am flabbergasted. I was raised that if you borrow something you return it in better condition than you got it. If you break something your replace it.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What do to alleviate the awkwardness?

The only way to alleviate the awkwardness is NOT to continue asking for money. Whether they can't afford it or they don't want to pay for it, asking for money will not help the awkwardness situation - even if they are responsible for what happened to your bird.

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They were clearly trying to be neighborly when they offered to watch the bird.

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Is there anything else I can answer for you?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No. No thank you. I get that she was trying to be neighbourly however stating that they were bird people implies that they had experience which clearly they do not. It was a lie. Since this is the second time something like this has happened; the first; was when I loaned her my Raclette grill and did not get all the pieces back, I'd be crazy to loan her anything again.She wants to borrow four of my wine barrels for her wedding which I told her OK. I spoke to her this weekend and told her that I was not willing to loan them to her unless she was willing to undertake the financial responsibility for them i case they were damaged or go missing as they were over $200.00 each. I suggested she rent some from a wedding place as I'm sure they would have rental insurance with an affordable deductible. I know that they don't rent them in our area and you have to travel 100km to get them but I don't care anymore.

You're definitely free not to rent your property to someone who damages it! Most people would say that's a pretty smart decision :)

And if you need anything in the future and you want to reach me directly you can do so by clicking HERE or by putting "This Question Is For Olivia" before you start typing your question.

If you wouldn't mind, could you please take a moment to submit a rating so that I receive credit for working with you. Experts only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! It DOES NOT cost you anything at all to submit a rating; it just allows me to get credit for helping you - otherwise I get no credit at all. You CAN still ask follow up questions after rating. There may be a lag between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but I assure you I will ALWAYS come back and answer your question.

Olivia Kent
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4,072
Experience: Executive Director at Neurogenx Nerve Center of Princeton
Verified
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