We’ve heard of all the wonderful things that a good doggy daycare can offer your dog: socialization, exercise, and trained caregivers who will supervise your beloved furry companion.
But there’s so much more that comes from using a doggy daycare. Dogs were infected with a flu strain while attending daycares in Urban Chicago. Several dogs have died as a result.
Twenty dogs boarding in an Arizona daycare died after the air conditioning apparently went out. The dogs were in the care of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s son. Investigations found it was a freak accident and no charges were filed.
And, tragically, dogs are mauled to death at daycares. A reader emailed me yesterday and told me that her daughter’s dog was mauled to death by two other dogs while at a doggy daycare.
Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case. A search online found the following:
Last year Mouffie, an 8 year old poodle, died at a Charleston, South Carolina daycare after having been bitten by another dog. According to the daycare, Mouffie was bitten after having a seizure, and claim they offered to take the dog to an emergency vet but the dog’s owner told them no. The dog’s owner claims that never happened.
A chihuahua named Jojo died while in the care of a Hawaii daycare. The daycare told the owner that their dog was examined by a vet and must have died of natural causes. However, when the dog was examined by the family’s regular vet, they learned their dog had been bitten several times, and that’s what caused their dog’s death. Two former employees later disclosed they’d been bitten while breaking up fights at the daycare.
Doggy daycares tout the wonderful experience they offer your dog, but what kind of training do the people working at these places have to do this job? According to the Houston Chronicle’s Chron blog, all you need to open a doggy daycare in Texas is an understanding of dogs, a business license, a space and some customers. Some states require little more then a kennel license.
To be sure, there are some very high quality daycares out there. But not all. A daycare where Rumpy attended told me when I signed him up that the owner was a certified trainer. But as time went on, the owner was usually not onsite. The last day Rumpy attended, I saw a dog outside on the sidewalk. It was a high-traffic area, so I followed the dog. He came right to me when I called, and when I had hold of his collar, I saw he had a visitors tag from the daycare where Rumpy attends. I returned the dog, picked up Rumpy, and never went back. I later learned the dog I found had dug a hole and escaped beneath the fence. The dogs were not being supervised when that happened. That daycare is still in operation.
Does YOUR dog attend daycare? How do you know your dog is safe there?