So my accountant contacted me and said he had gray squirrels eating through the bottom of his shed to get to a barrel of bird food he had in there. I showed up yesterday and set a number of cages around. I did not give him a price (he didnt ask and I honestly wasnt sure what to charge as I am new to the business and havent dealt with squirrels like this) but felt pretty confident I would pick up a couple of squirrels.
I called him this morning to see how we were doing and he said "you arent going to like my answer...". He went on to tell me that we had caught 3 of them and that his wife and granddaughter felt bad and took them each to the park and released them. This certainly surprised me and caught me off guard. I told him that what they did was illegal in NY State, which he did not know. I asked him if he wanted me to come and pull the traps and he asked if they could keep them there for another day or so. (which I read as they were going to catch and release more of them). I emailed him a link to the DEC website that shows that homeowners can not transport live animals, they need to use a NWCO.
So my question is, how do I charge this job? As I said he is my accountant, has been for probably close to 10 years but it was NOT done as a favor, he hired me. I would assume charging him the rate that I would charge for the set up and per animal fee, even though I didnt have to deal with the animals, does that seem right? I am regretting not setting a price prior to doing this job and realize that is my first mistake. I just dont know how to price all these jobs yet. He lives one town over so I would have had to drive there a couple of times (2 were caught in the same trap - 5 x 5 Comstock) so I didnt have to travel there to take care of them. I also wonder how you price various animals. For instance, I often charge $50 for most animals I catch (Woodchucks, skunks, fox, coons, etc) plus a set up fee dependent on location and requirements. But I have a hard time justifying $50 for a squirrel, especially when the potential for catching several exists.
So to boil this down to 2 questions I would love to get feedback on:
1. Do you charge the full amount if the homeowner releases the animals you catch
2. Do you have a sliding scale per animal like if you were to charge $50 for a woodchuck, what would you charge for a squirrel or chipmunk. (I get that different areas of the country have different standards of living and therefore fees would vary, your chuck fee may be higher or lower, but use your numbers to give me a ratio of how the 2 costs would compare)
I appreciate any feedback I can get, thanks!