French Bulldog Puppy Killed During Playtime At Dog Hotel
A woman is in mourning after her French bulldog puppy was killed during playtime at a dog hotel in Hollywood.
Melissa Wood and her roommate Sara Coates left their pups at Pooch Hotel, a Hollywood boarding facility and doggie spa, while they went on a short vacation. But on Sunday they received a call saying that Wood's puppy Boggs had gotten into an altercation and was being taken to a vet as a precaution, according to KTLA. It sounded more serious 45 minutes later when an emergency room vet called Wood and told her the dog was in critical condition. While the pair were in line for airport security, they received a final call saying there was nothing more that could be done to save the dog.
Wood said she's so devastated that she hasn't been able to give on-camera interviews, but she has posted remembrances of her pup on Instagram. And the hashtag #justiceforboggs is filled with people outraged at the incident.
Wood found out that Boggs had been attacked by a pit bull mix five times the size of the eight-month-old bulldog. The dog had picked up Boggs in its mouth and shook him, leaving the pup with internal injuries. Boggs' trachea was also torn, making it impossible for him to breathe.
The hotel is owned by the San Diego-based Petco, which offered up a statement in the wake of Boggs' death. They told KTLA they were investigating the incident but said it happened during "supervised play." The company said that Boggs had interacted with the dog before without any incident. Spokeswoman Megan Oxford said in a statement, "We believe that this is an unfortunate and isolated incident and in no way related to the actions of our store team."
When the pair arrived back in L.A., they picked up Coates' dog Reuben and Coates said the dog seemed terrified. The manager apologized to the women and said the incident had happened too fast for them to do anything to stop it. Some dog owners told CBS Los Angeles that since the incident their dogs have been grouped together for playtime based on size instead of temperament as they were before.
Video of the attack is available since there are webcams that allow owners to monitor their dogs while they're away. The women believe the dogs weren't being properly supervised, and they're looking into taking legal action. Coates wrote in an e-mail to KTLA: "Our hearts are so broken and while we know that nothing can bring her back, we need this place to take responsibility so nothing like this ever happens again."
UPDATE: Petco has released a full statement on the incident at their website that describes their policy for grouping dogs together for playtime. Here's an excerpt:
All of us at Pooch Hotel and the Petco family are deeply saddened by Boggs’ tragic passing. While we are in the process of thoroughly investigating the circumstances around Boggs’ death, we can confirm that the incident took place during supervised play and that both dogs had interacted without incident during at least two other play sessions. We care deeply about every pet and pet parent who walks through our doors, and take pride in our high standards for animal care and safety. Our thoughts are with the pet parents in this difficult time. Our hotel and daycare staff are all trained on dog behavior, emergency procedures, dog altercation prevention and dog altercation resolution.