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Doggie daycare for the Holidays? Not all are created equal

Posted at 10:01 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 00:45:46-05

In Colorado, it seems every dog has his daycare, especially around the holidays.

"Henry is my little baby, so I don't want to just leave him anywhere," said Sallie Marchant, who looked carefully at online reviews before choosing U Lucky Dog Daycare, 4040 Fox St., for her wire fox terrier, Henry.  "This is his first day. I watched him online. He looked like he had fun."

With dog daycares popping up everywhere, we started digging into state inspection records and found not all are created equal.

Lucky Dog Resorts, 2801 Janitell Rd., in Colorado Springs, failed its most recent inspection, and the report references "the death of a dog" after it was attacked by another dog.

The report states that camera footage from the incident showed the attacking dog exhibit aggressive and dominant behavior that should have resulted in the dog being removed from the play group before the attack occurred.

In addition, the report states that Staff failed to take the dog for immediate vet care even after the dog appeared in distress after the attack and ultimately died at the facility.

Denver7 has been unable to reach the owners of Lucky Dog Resorts for comment.

In Lakewood, The Den K9 Daycare, 8700 W 14th Ave, failed its last inspection after a repeat violation of the ratio between dogs and supervisors.

The report states inspectors found one person with 24 dogs. Colorado statute requires that there be one staff member for every 15 dogs.

The owner, Joy Buhre, told Denver7's Jaclyn Allen that she doesn't agree with the 15:1 rule and said no dog has ever been seriously injured there.

"I feel like we're getting a bad rap, but we're doing an awesome job. Our customers love us," said Buhre.

Colorado is one of the few states that regulates dog daycares. They are licensed and inspected through PACFA, the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act.

MORE | Doggie daycare inspection sheet

A daycare with repeat violations can be fined up to $1,000 per violation, and after three failed inspections in one year, can have its license revoked.

"These are their children, so they want to make sure they're doing well," said Abigail Mondragon, the General Manager at U Lucky Dog.

Mondragon said that for their staff, safety is a top priority. They have live-stream web cams, CPR-trained staff and six separate groups of dogs.

She said they are also members of the Colorado Association of Dog Daycares, an industry group that helps set standards and provides training.

"Ask questions when you are choosing a daycare. Do they have live web cams? Do they allow tours? That's so important to see where you're going to leave your pets and or fur babies because it's so important that they're safe," said Mondragon.

If you want to check out how your doggie daycare did in the most recent inspections as of November 7, click here for a list.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture regularly updates the list with the most recent inspections here. The data includes other types of facilities but can be filtered for "Boarding/Training," the category for dog daycares. 

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