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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just want to make it known that this is not about my dog, nor was he involved any way. If he was, you wouldn't be hearing about it hear cause I would probably make it a pint to make national news, or something close. I am currently employees with this place I will be talking about and where these events have been happening, I've been there for just under a year, and I work any all all positions. I have been around dogs my whole life, but not being paid/professionally for it until I was 19. I have never encountered anything that I am going through, not even close. I've dealt with a lot with dogs, you name it I probably did it...even the same thing, but just not this. First I'll give you a short background to help understand why I have a hard time not knowing where to go or what to do.
A year ago, I moved from up north to the south to be with my fiancé. I have never lived away from home, I don't have many friends there but the ones I have are basically family, and prior to this I have always struggled with depression and anxiety.
I ended up finding a job with this company that I am still working at now, and first impressions of the place were great. They offer anything imaginable, and it's just pleasing to the eye.
Skip ahead to June 2015.
After numerous meetings, training of new employees, people quoting both senior staff and new, a staff of 25 had stayed and that's how it's been. Now, out of the 25, there is only 9 of us who are known as 'senior staff', myself being included, for the fact that we've been there the longest, and we all have never failed at our jobs. The 9 of us vary and age, and our titles range from mangers to kennel workers. Some are full-time, some are part-time, and some are selected days and shifts.
Now, this facility has always been the same when it came to busy seasons...all holidays, and summer require longer hours, and larger staffing for the amount of dogs.

So, this whole thing began 3 weeks ago. Down south where I am, we are expirencing above normal temperatures with intense humidity. It always 89-105° depending on the day, with a 65-85% humidity level. In this weather, dogs safety is suppose to come first, and we do what we had to do. They are inside more, air conditioning, with auto refill water bowls. We have two separate buildings, but they are connected by our pool yard, and a fence walkway. The front building that everyone sees is the newest, most updated and spacious one. The second one was already on property when bought, had minimal work done. Looks alone, it's horrible in comparison, the room sizes range from so small a Yorkie can go in, but two Yorkies would be too much all the way up to, two Danes can fit but one can sprawl out, and the other would be made to curl up. Horrible set-up, lots of broken guillotine doors that lead out to long skinny un-shaded patios, and unlike the front, there has always been a steady bug and sometimes mouse problem. That being said, if we as employees had any say, the building would be gone.
When were busy we have to both buildings, so it's a little hectic at times always running around between the buildings.
Now, 4th of July rolls around and we successfully ended the holiday. Myself and a few other employees that worked above average hours had the next day off, where as some didn't because of how we staff, basically there always has to be at least 2 senior staff out back, 1 up front and always one Manager on duty.
July 5th 2015.
I had the day off, and it was a good day. Did all the things that had to be done, and even more.
One of my co-workers, along with others, we're very close. She was my first friend down here. We always talk, so when she had messaged me that night, I wasn't surprised. I was completely wrong.

Speed things up, here we go...
I was informed that one of the dogs that was in the back building had been locked outside on his patio, no one knew why, how long or by who, and he died of heatstroke.
Parents were notified, actions were taken....but no actions of employee discipline or even corporate investigations came.
Skip to the next week, we have about the same amount of dogs. After what happened, we were still upset, but we all had a meeting, and we were all instructed and briefed on everything about the heat, prevention, symptoms....everything. We were told what we thought had happened, why and when, and we were told to not do it again, to be aware all the time, triple check, never assume, and always ask. This made me mad cause us senior staff we know it. And it's all been said before, but to sum it up...after all this time, the new ones just still did NOT get it.
That being said skip to the following week. I had another good day off, and the again got a message from my co-worker. She was still upset, as was I, we had known the dog, he even played and was the same breed as mine, and was barely 2 years old. So she just started telling how upset she was and how she had another bad day. I consoled her, and was told, no like, bad. I asked but she didn't wanna tell, she would talk to me tomorrow. I didn't push her.
Moments later, she broke. 3 dogs had heatstroke that day, and 1 of them had died. The other two sent to emergency care.
Next day, I go in, 1 dog got the okay to come back, with meds and 48 next day monitoring, the other one stayed at the vet, she was okay, but we found out from the owners she had been acting like that all day, they brought her to us anyways, and we didn't like it and it got worse so we took her....that dog wasn't even with us for an hour. But she is ok.
The one who we lost, was from a family of 4 small breed dogs, 3 the age of 6, and one was 9. Tad bit overweight, and it was their FIRST time every boarding with it, and only second day there. How did he die, but not the other 3? Careless mistake. They just assumed all 4 were in the room, and didn't check. It was too late by the time it was realized. We found out who was in charge of lockdowns, but they swore up and down he was I there. Either way, no one has proof.
Parents were notified, the other 3 got picked up and left.
Now the past week, and days have been a blur and I'll just sum it up for you to show the extreme lack of care from some, overworking themselves to make up for other people, high stress, emotional energy, and Judy overall poopshow.
Our manager was a mess, we all agreed as a team that it wasn't professional, and she needed to step up in a time of crisis, and she didn't. Because of that, she was sent away on "vacation" until the 31st. No one has heard from here, or tried and vice versa, nor do we know if she is coming back. We got a fill in/clean-up/investigating manager from another place who leaves today, and Tuesday our Regional will be staying with us for a week and few days.
So for the past 8 days, I have not stopped working. 4 of those days were double shift 6-7pm, or 6-6pm. Mind you, I have be to up at 4am to get to work and not be late, 530-545 arrival, and takes me the same amount of time to get home. Because of how angry, upset, paranoid I have been because of how these things could of been prevented, I literally am all over the place at work. I'm constantly picking up after people in the sense things were done wrong, or they weren't done at all, taking extra steps and going above and beyond so all customers are happy and their dogs are safe, I make sure they have every answer questioned, they know exactly what we have been doing with the dogs during the day cause it's so hot, and making phone calls to inform parents about the smallest things just to make sure they know. I have slept 35 hours those past days, and I have no idea how my body hasn't given up on me. I may seem crazy, but my job doesn't matter to me anymore. There's always more, but for as long as I'm there, you better believe I am going to do everything in my power to prevent anything from happening to them, and covering every base all the time. I have lost all respect for the company, and I refuse to follow any of their restrictions and guidelines(within reason, and I'm mostly referring to customer/dog care). Either way, I do what's best, what makes the customer happy and if they don't like it, then they can fire me. At least I know I can go to bed at night knowing I gave it my all. I have no intentions to leave as of now, I think about it, but I and others stick it out for that sake of these dogs that mostly all of who we have a relationship with. We're either all going to be have to be pushed out from unfair treatment, fired, or the place gets shut down.
Bottom line: Corporate has no say as to what I do, and I do not care. No one can fault me for it either.


So here I am now, I have work in 2 hours and I know it's going to be another ruthless day of laziness and stupidity.

My question to you, how is it that no one knows about this? Where I lived before, it's happened and it was on the news, and the proper actions were taken.
What can I do, and still remain anonymous, to help either get this out to the public? I feel people need to be aware of the fact that this company has a motto that they swear by, and it's a lie. I have so many reasons to back this up, as do others, but all they care about is money. I would never want to send my dog somewhere knowing that that's how the buisness is ran, and that dogs have died like that. It happens, I've never dealt with it....but I know it can happen. I know all the risks, but that's not my point.
I know it might go by state, but are there any inspectors who can come? Anyone I can call?

Any advice, comments, encouragement, or questions that I will answer are more than welcome.
Please let me know.
If needed, I'll supply an email.

Thank you for taking the time to read. It means more than I could ever express....??

562 Posts
This is awful! :( Were I you, I would make an inquiry to upper management to see if they are aware of what has happened, and what steps they are taking to make sure it does not happen again. If they're being wishy-washy about taking accountability, then I would start contacting journalists, starting with the smaller independent ones. In a town the size of Houma, I'm sure there has to be more than a couple. Before you start spilling, request anonymity from the journalist.

Your other option is to take some time and write up a story yourself (anonymously), complete with proofs, make several copies of everything, and mail it to ALL of your news outlets. You can bet that one or more of them will certainly pick it up. I can't think of what other steps you might take, but I'm sure that others will be chiming in.

I assure you, nobody who boards their dogs wants to board them at a place run like yours is; no offense to you, of course. If the general public knew that the dogs they are taking in to board there were in imminent danger of death, that place would be as empty as a church on a weekday.

Premium Member
10,779 Posts
It has not made the news because the owners did not report it either to the news, on social media, or in a ratings site where they rate kennels.

I'm originally from New Orleans, I know exactly what you mean about the heat and humidity. At minimum the outdoor runs should have shade, and a misting system. If those things were in use it's likely those dogs would not have suffered heat stroke and the one death.

I think at most you can call in an anonymous tip to the humane society and see if they'll investigate. Using social media may also be a possibility.
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