The form for Power of Attorney (POA) designates the types of decisions that the person holding the POA (known as the "agent") is authorized to make on someone's behalf.  In order to authorize treatment or euthanasia of an animal owned by the person who granted them the POA, the form must grant to the agent authority to act "with respect to... (B) chattel and goods transactions [or]... (N) all other matters" and it may NOT contain a limitation preventing the agent from acting to authorize care and treatment of companion animals.  (Limits on an agent's authority are found in a section of the form called "Modifications.")

A veterinarian faced with an individual who is not the owner and has not been designated by the owner as the agent for the purposes of authorizing consent to treatment, but is claiming Power of Attorney for the owner, should ask to see the document granting the POA (this request is not unusual) and review it to be sure that the person claiming to hold POA is truly authorized to act as the animal owner's agent for this purpose.

A sample form for granting Power of Attorney, for the purpose of determining whether the POA is a valid one, can be found at the New York State Bar Association website (click here).