JBLM soldier's dog hit by car after escaping dog daycare facility
KING 5 reported yesterday that a miniature pinscher named Gabby was hit by a car after escaping from a dog daycare facility at Joint Base Lewis McChord.
Last Monday Shawn Larson dropped Gabby off at The Pet Bridgade, the only privately owned and operated dog daycare/boarding facility on a military post.
Later that day Larson got a call from The Pet Brigade saying that Gabby was missing and they were trying to catch her.
Sadly, they found Gabby the next day about a mile from away from the facility where the tiny dog had been hit by a car.
The Pet Brigade's owner said that Gabby escaped by climbing a six-foot chain link fence.
Larson told KING 5, "I've had her four years, we've lived in houses with a four-foot chain link fence, and she's never attempted to climb one of those," said Larson.
I have witnessed dogs climbing fences before. And you can find a number of videos of fence-climbing dogs on You Tube.
But if, as Larson said, she had never climbed a fence before, I wouldn't be surprised if that's not how she actually escaped.
Gabby suffered head trauma and hearing/vision loss, and her long term prospects for a full recovery are unclear.
Her initial treatment at the veterinarian cost $2200 which Larson could not afford to pay. When he talked to an employee she told him that the Pet Brigade's owner said the business was only liable for $200.
Like most dog daycare/boarding facilities, the Pet Brigade requires dog owners to sign a contract before they will accept a dog. Their contract has a clause that limits liability to a maximum amount of $200.
KING 5 spoke with Bellingham-based Animal Attorney Adam Karp who said that you should read these contracts carefully and let the business know if you don't agree with any part of it.
When Larson signed his contract, he didn't initial the liability clause because "it didn't sit well with him."
A few days after Larson was told the company would only pay $200 of Gabby's vet bill, the Pet Brigade's owner called Larson to say he would pay for Gabby's entire vet bill. No one specified if it was because Larson didn't initial the liability clause, but I would guess that had something to do with it.
He also said he would provide care for Gabby while Larson was at work and pay for 3 more vet visits over the next 90 days.
As you can see in this video from KING 5, Gabby still looks disoriented. I hope medical treatment will eventually help her make full recovery.
Be sure that you read contacts with dog daycare/boarding facilities before you sign them to protect yourself in situations like Larson experienced.
And remember, regardless of what you sign, these facilities have the responsibility for keeping your dog safe while it is in their care and they need to be held accountable if they don't.
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