We chose this kennel because they were air-conditioned, had a friendly staff, and were a member of the American Boarding Kennels Association.
We dropped our healthy dog off to be boarded for 4 days. We know he was healthy because he had a vet visit 4 days prior for a minor skin rash. They had strict instructions as to his medication and exercise (his breed can be prone to heat prostration and breathing problems).
We went to pick him up and was told he passed away. The last they had checked on him was 5:45pm the nite before and did not notice this until after I had paid my bill and was waiting for them to bring him up. This was close to 9 a.m. The manager told me several times how sorry they were and they would pay for a necropsy to be done, up to $200. They were so sorry they would even transport him to the vet for me. They told me this probably 4 or 5 times. I went home to find a vet to perform the necropsy.
I called several vets and was told by 3 that the necropsy needed to be done soon and by a pathologist. The only one was a lab 40 miles away. Two other vets recommended 2 different locations in that same town. When I called them back to tell them this, they said OK and just needed driving directions.
I personally drove the driving instructions to them, along with the paperwork they may have needed, even though I faxed it directly to the lab also. I was told they would 'take care of it for me. And again, they were sorry.'
Two hours later we received a message on our answering machine from the owner of the business who said she was sorry, but they could not transport him for us. We could come pick him up or they would bury him on their property by 5 pm.
I called the owner back and asked what happened about all the promises to help me and have a necropsy. She responded they were too busy and couldn't do it but if I gave her receipts for my expenses for the labwork, she would reimburse me. I told her that I would not like to tote my dead companion in the car with my 2 kids all that way as I am grieving and it is too difficult. I asked if she would pay to have him creamated, and she reluctantly agreed.
In the end we decided that he could be buried on their property as I was too distraught to take care of matters myself, the children would have been traumatized and my husband was too enraged to be in anyone's presence without being abusive to them.
My questions are: if they didn't feel responsible, why did they continually offer to cover ANY necropsy charges? Why did it take so long to notice a dead animal in their facility? Why did they prolong the matter about transporting him if they never intended to do so? And most importantly, what happened to basic compassion?
The only compensation I have for this whole matter is that the owner said they would credit me back the kennel fees I paid before I knew my friend was dead. I do not know if they were negligent in his care or not; he could have died from any number of things. The manager seemed genuine but the owner was acting as though this was business as usual,without any concern for the animal or its owners. It boiled down to her worry about what it was going to cost her.
Very sad family
Port Orange, Florida