I absolutely would NOT recommend using River Grove especially (Dr. Zaytoun) to anyone not even my worst enemy! I brought my puppy there for vaccinations and boarding. I brought my puppy there for boarding and paid them almost $600 for 29 days. I thought it was a good deal and even brought my own food for my pup. He is on a special diet that is very expensive, but each bag is supposed to last a month yet within 2 weeks the receptionist Melanie contacted me and said it was finished and that I had to buy another bag. I asked her how it could finish so quickly. I also asked if they were over feeding him. She said no and that they had kept with the feeding amounts I requested. I asked if the other dogs in boarding were eating his food, she again said no. She knew
I was aware she was being dishonest since it is not possible for it to finish in 2 weeks otherwise.
When I went to see my puppy she advised me there was a hole in the wall that my puppy caused and they said I had to pay them to have it fixed. She showed me a very large hole and said the wall had no damage whatsoever
beforehand. I asked her how my 5 month old pup could have caused that and she said another staff member left him in a room by himself for an hour to clean out his crate and came back saw the damage. I was left wondering why on earth they would leave my puppy alone in a room unsupervised for a FULL HOUR.
Everyone knows you never leave puppies alone unsupervised because they could be seriously injured. They had so many crates in the facility, so if they needed to clean his crate they could have put him in another one in the meantime. I later found out from another staff member it was actually Melanie who left him alone as she was the only one working the day shift, so she was in fact lying when she told me it was someone else. I also believe the hole was already there before I boarded my dog and they wanted me to pay for it, because I confronted
them about the food issue. I also noticed that the other rooms in the boarding area had damage to all of the walls lending further support to my theory that the hole was already there.
Melanie said she wanted me to give her $200, so I told her I wanted to see an estimate for the damage and proof that my dog caused it. She continued to harass me for the $200 and later sent me an estimate for generic
dry wall repair in the amount of $325. They said they could not prove it was my dog since they do not have cameras in the boarding area, but insisted I should take their word for it. They threatened that if I did not pay they would have me remove my dog from the boarding before the pick-up date and would not give me a
refund me for the remaining days I paid in advance. They said I had to pay because I signed the boarding agreement. However, the boarding agreement only stated that I would have to pay for damage to food bowls and blankets. I never authorized them to leave my puppy in a room unsupervised, so I would never agree to pay for damage that resulted from their own negligence. They then threatened to take me to collections.
I should also mention that when I initially came to board my pup they promised he would get walks every 3-4hrs. However, I know that was not happening, because every time I would come to see him as soon as he was let out
of his crate he would urinate and defecate all over the floors as if he had been holding it all day. He would also act out, which also happens to dogs when they have been left in a crate too long without exercise. On two occasions I arrived unannounced and noticed that my dog was left in a room (not in a crate) by himself and the other time I noticed they had taken him out of the big crate and had left him in a tiny crate that he could barely move in, while the larger crates were empty. They mistreated him the entire time he was there and the vet
does not seem to like dogs at all. Some of the staff also are not knowledgeable about dogs.
I refused to pay for the damage because (1) this clinic has a displayed a history of dishonesty since Ive been going to them (and have been particularly been dishonest about the incident regarding the wall) (2) I do not believe my 5 month old puppy could physically cause such damage (3) my puppy has never shown destructive tendencies (4) they were mistreating him the entire time he was there (4) I will not pay for damage caused due to their negligence. I should mention that they later sent me a threatening email that I could tell was written by someone greatly lacking in education and common sense.
It is also important to note, while I had been going to them -- the vet told me I had to pay for numerous vaccinations and insisted they were all required. I later did my own research and discovered that many of them
were actually optional and not required. I pondered as to why he was being deceptive and realized after checking all of my receipts it was because it allowed him to charge me $50 for examinations on every vaccination. An
examination only consists of him taking a quick glance at your dogs teeth and ears and checking his heart rate.
The lesson in this is that you should always do your own research before paying a vet for anything. Never trust a boarding facility that requires you to pay in advance. Also never trust them unless you see working surveillance cameras in the boarding area. There are reputable businesses like petsmart that only require payment after you pick up your dog and also have surveillance cameras in the boarding area. These places may cost more, but you have peace of mind knowing your dog is being cared for and you dont have to worry about being scammed. The final lesson is never trust Dr. Zaytoun and his staff at the River Grove Animal Hospital.