To let others know what happened to my dog?(27 Posts)
Sorry if this is long.
My dog has been going to daycare for about 9 months. It's a big place -several fields for them to run about in. He goes once or twice a week. Incidentally, my dog is not aggressive. He is soft as mush, and staff are constantly remarking on how sweet-natured he is and how lovely and respectful he is with the other dogs.
About 5 months ago, I went to pick up my dog from daycare. As he was being brought out, I heard one dog barking aggressively and another yelping. The member of staff then emerged with my dog. I asked her if something has just happened with the dogs and she said no. That night my dog was extremely distressed and crying. Turns out he had been attacked as he came out. We found wounds on his ear and he required treatment. When we got in touch with the owner, he spoke to staff to find out what had happened, apologised, banned the dog who has done it, forked out for the vet fees and assured me that this kind of thing was very very rare. For those reasons, I allowed my dog to go back.
Now to last week. A week last Sunday I noticed my dog's side had swelled up very badly. Took him to the vet Monday morning. She shaved him and found bite marks which had obviously become infected. He has had several trips to the vet now, has had the wound drained, has undergone general anaesthetic to have a Penrose drain inserted to let the fluid out, has stitches and is on more antibiotics. All this has cost £600 so far (hopefully insurance will pay out), the postponing of our holiday, and distress and pain for our dog.
These bites did not happen under our watch. I am positive of this. I wish they had as my dog loves daycare and he won't be able to go back now. I haven't got in contact with them as I've been too angry and been trying to think what to say.
WIBU to post what has happened on their Facebook site which is read by other users of the service rather than getting in touch privately? I believe other owners ought to know what kind of place they are leaving their dogs in. I've no intention of sending my dog back there after two incidents in under five months but I do feel other owners should know that staff either aren't informing of fights or that they are understaffed and aren't even noticing. I'm really not sure what to do and wonder if I'm being clouded by emotion.
Thanks if you've read this far.
First of all I hope your dog is ok. I have a cat who gets into fights with the local Tom and we've spent a fortune on vets bills!
I think to cover your arse you should get in touch with the Daycare people privately first. Otherwise it can be dismissed as passive aggressive nutcasery if you go straight in on their FB page.
Then if you don't get a positive outcome, go ahead and post.
Awful for you and your poor dog, but I agree with Ladyofthecanyon. You were taken seriously the first time so no need to think you won't this time. The place does sound vast so is it quite possible your dog was attacked without staff even knowing?
Dogs bite each other just as kids do in nursery. I think these things are inevitable in doggy day care surely?
I'm not sure really... what happens at daycare do they all play together or stay in separate pens? What's the ratio of staff to dogs? How can they prevent biting (unless all dogs are muzzled?) If they're all running around the fields together it's hard to miss biting.
Thank you very much for the replies. Am back at the vet this morning so here's hoping she's pleased with how he's doing...
You're probably right that I should contact the owner directly first. And yes, it's quite likely that staff didn't see the incident. In that case though, they aren't being staffed properly and it should be addressed. They are also only in one paddock at a time so should be in sight of staff at all times.
Re. bites happening regularly at daycare: this place claims to vet dogs before admitting them to make sure there are no aggression problems. While I know there still might be the odd squirmish, my dog has been extremely sensitive to other dogs' signals since the first attack. He doesn't go bugging other dogs at all and will give them a wide berth if he's in any doubt. Also, it's the two infections he has got from the bites which have caused all this rather than the bites themselves. They ought to have been cleaned. As we weren't informed either time, we weren't able to do that even on getting home.
You can't go accusing the doggy day care of anything publicly e.g warning others on Facebook, as you have no evidence it was their fault and they could have you done for slander. You won't be doing yourself any favours!
Your poor dog.
I wouldn't write on their facebook page - I'd be concerned about libel. Write to them privately however and perhaps share your concerns with friends etc verbally so that word gets around the local dog community - but in a non-attributable way.
As an alternative to day care, can you pay a good dog walking service for two dog walks per day at 9 am and at 13.00 and keep him at home. I have friends who do this - although they are home by 16.30 every everning
Two incidents like this is not normal - there's clearly a supervisory or husbandry issue.
It's also not reasonable for the Daycare not to report the incidents to you - don't they have any kind of log book for aggressive incidents or owner communications?
They sound unprofessional and slapdash
You have a dog in day care???
Look after the dog yourself- or don't have a dog.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Sorry your dog was hurt but I agree this sort of thing must be an inevitable part of "daycare".
Definitely don't put anything on Facebook - the owners dealt with you professionally previously and you have no reason to attempt to trash their businesses. They've done nothing wrong
If you put it straight on fb without letting the owners know first, they will just come back with "If you'd let us know first we could have addressed this etc etc but you didn't give us chance".
Hope your poor dog is ok.
Again, thank you so much for the replies. I'll get in contact with them privately today and take it from there. I must admit, it had crossed my mind that it could be libel and I couldn't PROVE it happened under their watch, but then I wondered how that squared with a few of the reviews of the places which are also accusing them of neglect (most reviews are very positive) and which have been allowed to stand.
Ignore cailleach you have to work so do the responsible thing and put your dog in day care rather than leave him alone. Just like millions of parents use nursery, childminders or nannies (or unpaid help like grandparents) for their children
I'm sorry you and your dog have been through this.
I agree with PP that you need to speak to the management rather than post on fb.
I don't think this is inevitable. I would contact the owners with the vet report and bill and then I wouldn't be sending my dog back there. They clearly don't care what happens to the dogs in their care. And I would be letting every dog walker I saw in the park know to avoid the place.
hmc, thanks for the advice re dog walkers. I actually work from home so can walk him myself easily -he went to daycare once or twice weekly for the social element and because it was a nice way for him to get a tonne of exercise. If I ever have to go out to work again though, I think it might have to be a dog walker rather than daycare in future.
Contact them privately. At least give them the chance to make it right.
Is your dog castrated? My dog's holiday hotel (they also do daycare) don't allow uncastrated males as well as being really strict about behaviour.
Right. Email sent. Dog has been for check up and vet is pleased with him.
Fruit, he's not castrated, no.
Thank you for the responses.
Ah, if he isn't castrated that might make him a bit of a target among other dogs (still no excuse for what happened however - Daycare need better supervision).
Some dogs feel threatened by uncastrated dogs and will go on the offensive. I hadn't particularly planned to get my dog castrated but there were too many incidents when I was walking him off lead and other dogs would pick an unprovoked fight with him. This scenario stopped completely once he had been castrated
Castration can increase fear-related aggression in dogs so it isn't necessarily a solution.
Definitely follow up with the day care
Most day care sont take entire dogs, so that could be a factor.
I'm please you didn't go public - I work in a vets and even through our training advice is -go private, if resolved great, if not resolved go higher. And then if still not happy go public!
I hope this has no lasting effects on your pooch!
Glad to read you've gone back to them with your problems, far more effective and less confrontation than a social media assault.
I worry about these sort of settings, not all dogs are well socialised and sometimes it takes an incident for a dog's lack of training to come to the fore, I just don't see how you can police them, it would be like trying to run an international pre-school of sugar filled toddlers who all spoke different languages.
Could you find home day care? Someone with one or two dogs that can take yours during the day, a smaller stable herd would be a much nicer environment.
ps: Hope your dog feels better soon, I would be baying for blood if anyone hurt my dog!
Thank you to everyone who responded. I emailed the daycare Monday morning and have had no response from them. Going to try again tmoro and if they still ignore, I'm thinking of reporting to the LA. I assume it's them who provide a licence. Also, daycare did in fact eventually admit liability for the first attack so that will be going in any review I write about the place.
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