After hearing about the terrible incident at Gilbert Green Acre boarding facility where at least 17 dogs lost their lives due to heat stroke, I felt it was important to address several things. First, I want to say how sorry we are to all the families who lost their pets due to what I personally believe to be gross negligence on the part of Green Acre Kennels. I am shocked, saddened, heartbroken for the suffering of the dogs, and yes outraged!
Rather than blow my top (and believe me, I want to) I am trying to look at this horrible tragedy and figure out how the deaths of those poor dogs can do some good (if that’s possible).
I guess what I would like to say to any pet lover looking for pet care options for their beloved furry family members, regardless of what option you choose, you have to do your due diligence in checking out the pet care option you may choose for your furry companions. I believe there are several questions any pet owner should be asking a pet care company or any boarding facility such as Green Acres Boarding in Gilbert before leaving them in their care.
1) Do they have people on staff who have knowledge of dogs, dog behavior and body language? Is *any* training provided to the employees/caretakers that care for the pets/dogs?
Critter Caretakers has a couple sitters on staff who are heavily involved in rescue work, another who has worked in dog kennels/daycare and been through dog training course to train others through Pet Smart. Additionally, the owner has been through a dog body language class and shared that information with the sitters.
2) Is the dog care provider a legal, registered business and/or have state approval?
While there are no licensing requirements for a dog kennel per se, in my opinion it should still be a properly registered business with the state. Green Acre Boarding Kennels was not. Nor were they reporting the income in a business capacity, per the owner. It was being reported as ‘additional income’ per this interview with her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs3KKO_1ShI
Critter Caretakers is registered with the state of Arizona as an LLC. We are a registered tax paying business. We are also found on the Better Business Bureau with supportive testimonials.
3) Can you visit the facility and get a tour at any time of the day, not just ‘certain’ hours?
I believe a business with nothing to hide will allow a prospective client to tour their facility at any time during normal business hours. One that limits the hours for tours would cause me to question them.
While Critter Caretakers does not have a facility to visit per se, we do have online testimonials supporting our services in multiple locations. We are also happy to provide you with the names of clients we’ve served who will provide additional support of our services.
4) Is the facility staffed 24 hours a day? If not, do they have security cameras that will allow anything out of the ordinary to be seen?
Many kennels, and vet boarding offices, do NOT have staff there 24 hours a day, even for hospitalized pets (this is not all of them, but many of them are not staffed overnight.)
Critter Caretakers will make late night visits up until 10pm for daily visits. We also provide overnight and live-in care.
5) If a boarding facility is *not* staffed 24 hours a day, do they have measurements in place that will alert staff to anything out of the ordinary such as power outages, AC outages, fires, etc.?
Our sitters watch out for things like this at your home. In fact just the other day one of our sitters made an additional visit, of her OWN accord because she felt something might have been wrong with the AC. Sure enough the client’s air conditioning had gone out. She brought the cats to me, the owner’s house, and I kept the girls safe until the AC could be fixed the next day; again the sitter met the repairmen and we waited till the house was cooled down to bring them back.
6) Have you ever even heard of the facility? Do you know someone who has used the services of the pet care provider before? Can you find information about them online, in multiple locations, not just one, or the website?
We believe in-home petsitting is the best option and should be your main choice in pet care. You KNOW where your fur-kid will be and the conditions of your home while you are away. You know your petsitter and have met her in person; she is bonded, insured, and background checked. Your sitter updates you on a daily basis with pictures and stories about your critters. Your home and furry friends are checked on frequently, and anything out of the ordinary is brought to your attention immediately. Your pet is far less stressed by staying in his or her own environment than by going into a boarding situation. Granted, some accidents can still happen – nothing is 100% foolproof, but you can be assured the level of integrity and personal accountability of Critter Caretakers Pet Sitting is something you can count on.
The above are ALL questions a pet guardian should be asking themselves when searching for a care provider for their pets! It cannot be said enough how unfortunate the incident at Green Acre Boarding Kennels is! It is my hope that this travesty provides a lesson for all pet owners out there. Please do your research, ask questions and keep in mind that sometimes saving a little money could cost you something much more dear.