I have three dogs myself and at this point in my life, they are my priorities.
You are correct in that unless financing, having an inspection is a choice made by the buyer. The 10 day inspection is intended to give the buyer the option to back out of the agreement if excessive problems are identified as a result of the professionally conducted inspection. Since you have not had an inspection, there wouldn't seem to be any factual basis on which to base you withdrawal from the contract based on a "right of cancellation" within the 10 day window.
The home inspection contingency gives you the right to terminate the contract if the condition of the property does not suit your standards. You can terminate the contract within the home inspection contingency period and your Earnest Money Deposit should be returned. Then all parties should be relieved of any further obligations set forth on the contract.
Clearly, it is a home inspection contingency. Now, what is the reason why you are cancelling the contract? Cold feet?
You have to seek a lawyer to assist you in this matter.
Best of luck.
Perhaps it would had been wiser (and cheaper than an attorney) to pay an inspector to go in, just so you had that documented...but clearly to late now. Lesson learned.
Would love to know the outcome when everything is settled. Please keep the posting open and let us all know.
It probably would have been less expensive to have just gone through with an inspection and then backed away.