The staff of Villa la PAWS is extremely saddened by the events of last weekend in Gilbert where 20 dogs perished from lack of AC and proper supervision.
As a part of the pet care industry we wish to address this calamity and express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased pets. Our staff works daily to provide the highest standard of pet care to our community, and believe that tragedies such as this are abhorrent and undoubtedly preventable.
Trusting someone with your pets life is one of the highest forms of trust, one we do not take lightly. Therefore, we feel that it is our duty as a part of the pet service industry to educate our community to help prevent future tragedies such as this.
First and foremost it is a sad truth that the pet service industry, our industry, is unregulated when it comes to the safety of animals left in someone’s care. Any person can open a pet services business without having to meet a set standard of credentials, licensing, or training. This lack of a barrier to entry into the industry, besides zoning and special-use permits, is something many take advantage of, opening unsafe facilities for monetary gain with little regard for the safety of the animals.
We made it our mission, from the beginning, to develop and adhere to a set of standards we feel every pet and pet parent deserves. These standards are part of our foundation to provide a safe, healthy environment. Many companies bypass implementing strict safety procedures, hiring overnight staff, and more simply to save money. As a company that provides such services we believe these should be an industry requirement, not an option. However, without industry regulations it is up to the pet owner to investigate and ask questions when selecting a boarding, daycare, or grooming facility.
When you investigate a place to board your 4-legged kids, here are some questions to ask:
- Is there staff caring for the animals 24/7?
- Do you have emergency procedures in place?
- Do you have an evacuation plan and what is it?
- Do you have an outside fenced area to evacuate the dogs to?
- If no one is onsite at night/weekends, what security systems do you have and how long will it take for a human to show-up? In the event of the following emergencies, here’s an idea of what the facility should have in place:Is your staff trained in dog behavior to notice any potential health issues?
- Fire, flooding, burglary/break-in – There should be first responders and staff with a key, an evacuation plan, and an alert system set up.
- A/C or power outage – There should be a temperature alert system and someone who is notified and will respond immediately. What is the plan for keeping pets cool?
- Is your staff trained in dog behavior to notice any potential health issues?
- Do you have webcams and are they monitored 24/7 and record everything?
- Do you have an emergency vet service available?
- Do you require vaccinations and keep track that they are current?
At Villa La PAWS our standard of pet care mandates that all of our facilities have 24/7 onsite staff, trained in evacuation procedures, in addition to our 24/7 webcams for pet parents to check-in on their beloved pet. To further provide the highest quality of pet care we make a concerted effort to partner with emergency vet services and hire staff that have vet tech training to ensure the health and safety of your pet. Because of this if an accident, health issue, or emergency situation were to occur, there is always trained staff on hand to ensure the safety of pets in our care.
In closing, we offer our most heartfelt apologies to the families for their loss. Please know we are here to help answer any questions or address any concerns as it relates to pet boarding, daycare or grooming. We hope through raising awareness and education we can aide in preventing tragedies like this from ever reoccurring and will continue to work to set the highest standard in the pet service industry.