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Posted: 12/18/2005 2:46:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 1:57:40 PM EDT by VTHOKIESHOOTER]


Leslie and I planned a get-away to Asheville, NC to tour the Biltmore Estate (great place) however we wanted to take our dogs as well. Over the years we have hated boarding our dogs. They are our "children" and are part of the family. When we called the Biltmore Estate, they put us in contact with a local Vet who recommended At Play with Sparky www.atplaywithsparky.com/At%20Play%20with%20Sparky%20-%20Crateless%20Boarding.htm
as a place to keep our dogs just for a few hours while we tour the Biltmore. We called them and they explained that they are a doggie day care facility that plays with our dogs along with other dogs while we are gone (like child day care). We thought this would be a great alternative to boarding our dogs so we brought them along with us for our weekend get-away. We dropped our dogs off and they seemed really happy playing with dozens of other dogs. We told the woman who was running the facilty that we would be back to pick our dogs up at 5 she said that wouldn't be a problem because they stay open until 7.

After having a great day touring the Biltmore Estate and manson, we arive to pick our dogs up at 5:15. To our suprise, there was no one there. Lights were off door was locked. We could hear lots of dog barking going on but there was no one there. Outside there was another out of town couple there had been waiting for a half hour. We waited and waited. We could hear our dogs in the back barking, there were even some dogs trying to chew through a wooden fence trying to get out. After an hour and a half I jumped a fence to see what the hell was going one. In the back I saw a pen that had my 2 dogs along with dozens of other dogs. None of the dogs had any food or water and all of the dogs were in distress (many were trying to dig out). I climbed up a fence and looked inside and there were dozens of other dogs being kept in small pens without food or water, they were also barking and in distress. At this point my blood is boiling with rage and anger.

I then called the Asheville Police department and explained the situation to them. They told me they couldn't help if a business closed early and that they couldn't do anything. I told them that they couldn't do anything for dozens of dogs that were being mistreated. The officer replied to me that I could call animal control. I called animal control, no one answered so I left a message. 90 minutes went by. No answer from animal control. I started thinking about either busting the glass or cutting the lock to get in and get to the dogs. (I know I probably would have ended up in jail) The other couple decided to call the police again. This time they said that if someone wasn't distpatched to our location within 30 minutes 4 people were going to break into a business. 20 minutes later the first cruiser showed up. We explained to the officer what was going on and that we had been leaving messages on the office number and that we tried calling the owners but their number was unlisted. 30 minutes later the officer told us that she was able to get in touch with the owners and that they were on their way. 40 minutes later they showed up GRINNING saying "Oh I guess our night staff didn't show up!" Not only did this traumatize our dogs but it fucked our stay in Asheville up bigtime!!! The owners said that we didn't owe them anything and gave us two toys for our dogs. I left without saying a word- if I had said anything I would have probably said/done something that I would have regreted (I had already mouthed off to the cop)

We got our dogs back, the nails on the lab were worn to the point that some of them were bleeding. Both dogs drank almost a gallon of water each when we brought them back to the hotel room.

If anyone goes to Asheville DO NOT take your dogs to At play with Sparky. Tomorrow I am contacting the Better Business Bureau, The Humane Society and The Biltmore, and any other organizations to keep this from happening to anyone else.

I can't begin to describe how mad I am.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 2:50:48 PM EDT
So how do you really feel?



Be glad you got your pups back, and that they're otherwise OK.

Damn. What a way to run a business!
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 2:54:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
So how do you really feel?

I have been angry in the past, nothing ever, ever came as close to last night. The GF was crying, the other couple was upset- not to mention the area turned into the ghetto/crackdealing area as soon as the sun went down. Thankfully I had the Sig strapped on w/ spare mag. We had a bunch of crackheads stop by to see what we "we be doing". I told Leslie it would cap the night off to have somoone try to carjack us.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 2:55:00 PM EDT
Man, that's messed up.

I would use every legal option to close that business.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 2:56:46 PM EDT
I have a HUGE softspot in my heart for dogs, I'd have broken in.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 2:59:22 PM EDT
In before the "they're just dogs and if you think they're part of your family your parents molested you" jackasses

(and you know who you are)
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:03:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 3:03:48 PM EDT by VTHOKIESHOOTER]

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
I have a HUGE softspot in my heart for dogs, I'd have broken in.

I was very, very close to doing it. I probably would have gone to Lowes gotten a pair of bolt cutters and a replacement lock and grabbed my two dogs and the other couple's dog.

The other couple's dog BTW was a rat terrier puppy with short hair that they had left outside in the freezing cold for lord knows how long. It was shivvering when they finally got their puppy.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:11:46 PM EDT
All in all (government non-intervention, amongst other), I've noticed its not a dog friendly nation despite all the Disney movies and happy dog food commercials.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:13:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
"Oh I guess our night staff didn't show up!"



My first question would have been, "Then why the hell did the day staff leave?!"

When I did shift work, if I left my job before my relief arrived, even if it was time for my shift to end, I'd have been fired.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:15:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
"Oh I guess our night staff didn't show up!"



My first question would have been, "Then why the hell did the day staff leave?!"

When I did shift work, if I left my job before my relief arrived, even if it was time for my shift to end, I'd have been fired.

I know!!!!!!!! Why the hell would someone leave 20 dogs by themselves unsupervised and leave them outside??!

They told us someone would be with our dogs the whole time.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:22:10 PM EDT
FIRST of all Why the HELL would you call the cops when your dogs are around???

Cops + Dogs = Situation BAD!!

Im just glad that your dogs are OK... I know I would be FUCKING PISSED as all hell. There has GOT to be a licensing bureau or something that you can get in touch with.

But, Relax, grab a shot of Jack Daniels and relax... all is well now.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:23:21 PM EDT
Those people should be dealt a slow agonizing death. I don't know how you kept yourself in control. I definitely would've been arrested.

Can you tell I'm a dog lover?
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:23:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DrFrige:


But, Relax, grab a shot of Jack Daniels and relax... all is well now.

Wayyyyy ahead of you. Back home now drinking some of the fine wine we bought at the Biltmore winnery.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:23:51 PM EDT

Outrageous !

Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:25:40 PM EDT
If the dogs were that thirsty how long was the damn dayshift asshole gone before you showed up? It's a shame that people are so damn useless. Penning up animals and then not properly taking care of them really pisses me off.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:25:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rakky:
I don't know how you kept yourself in control. I definitely would've been arrested.


Uhhhhh I don't know if you could say I was in control. I went off on the cops when they told us they wouldn't do anything the first time.......lots of f'bombs were said in the process. Tomorrow I will be on a mission to shut that place down.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:31:31 PM EDT
Call the local TV station. They love stories like this.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:34:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By Rakky:
I don't know how you kept yourself in control. I definitely would've been arrested.


Uhhhhh I don't know if you could say I was in control. I went off on the cops when they told us they wouldn't do anything the first time.......lots of f'bombs were said in the process. Tomorrow I will be on a mission to shut that place down.



Trying to shut down the police station may get you in trouble.

The actual conditions at the place seem worthy of reporting, especially as they were not anything like what was represented to you.

And the night crew issue is no excuse. It sounds like the day crew wasn't taking care of them, either.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:37:40 PM EDT
i used to live in asheville, but havent heard of the place--where is it?
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:39:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 3:39:54 PM EDT by VTHOKIESHOOTER]

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:
i used to live in asheville, but havent heard of the place--where is it?

If you are headed to the Biltmore from I40, Biltmore will be on the left. Go over the bridge and take a left at the next light. The place will be the building on the left.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:42:22 PM EDT
Did you call the Vet that recommended this establishment?
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:43:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bgenlvtex:
Did you call the Vet that recommended this establishment?

No, the GF did the calling......she can't remember that vet she talked to.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:44:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
In before the "they're just dogs and if you think they're part of your family your parents molested you" jackasses

(and you know who you are)



ummm.........sorry!?............

jj
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:44:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:
i used to live in asheville, but havent heard of the place--where is it?

If you are headed to the Biltmore from I40, Biltmore will be on the left. Go over the bridge and take a left at the next light. The place will be the building on the left.



i know where you mean, but when we moved, they were doing a lot of work in that area of town--i can see where it would be kinda scary there at night, right off the train tracks


glad your puppies are ok
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:47:32 PM EDT
The night help was probably scoring some rock.

Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:49:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By diabolical_chicken:
i used to live in asheville, but havent heard of the place--where is it?

If you are headed to the Biltmore from I40, Biltmore will be on the left. Go over the bridge and take a left at the next light. The place will be the building on the left.



i know where you mean, but when we moved, they were doing a lot of work in that area of town--i can see where it would be kinda scary there at night, right off the train tracks


glad your puppies are ok

I was prepared to combat any persons with malicous intent (AR was in the trunk)
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:49:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 3:51:19 PM EDT by AshNH]

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Call the local TV station. They love stories like this.


Gotta agree with that plan. Every station has some bitchy consumer affairs reporter with steel balls that's ready to go after places that do shit like this.

I know how you feel about your dogs, we're the same way ... They're part of the family and it sucks that it's so difficult to do anything with your pets because everyplace is so anti-dog these days. We've actually cancelled our travel plans for Christmas because the family member that had originally offered to let us stay with the dog at their place, recanted the offer this week and said ... Well, you can stay but the dog has to stay outside ... No fucking chance. No friend of mine will be staying outdoors in New England without shelter in the middle of winter.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:52:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AshNH:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Call the local TV station. They love stories like this.


Gotta gree with that plan. Every station has some bitchy consumer affairs reporter with steel balls that's ready to go after places that do shit like this.

I know how you feel about your dogs, we're the same way ... They're part of the family and it sucks that it's so difficult to do anything with your pets because everyplace is so anti-dog these days. We've actually cancelled our travel plans for Christmas because the family member that had originally offered to let us stay with the dog at their place, recanted the offer this week and said ... Well, you can stay but the dog has to stay outside ... No fucking chance. No friend of mine will be staying outdoors in New England without shelter in the middle of winter.

Good for you! This is the last straw, if our dogs aren't invited or if a friend or family member isn't available to watch our dogs we are staying home. I love my dogs more than most of my family anyway.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:52:17 PM EDT
It sounds like the owners of the business don't have a firm grasp on how the business is run when they are not around. Sounds like they make a lot of promises through advertising and such, but don't actually see to it that the promises are kept. It's been my observation that a lot of hospitals and other health care facilities do the same thing. I gag when I hear the commercials for the hospital I work in.

But back to the case in point, I wonder if they've had other customers show up to pick up dogs when the facility is closed. You paid for a service and didn't get it, keep us updated.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 3:53:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gitarmac:



But back to the case in point, I wonder if they've had other customers show up to pick up dogs when the facility is closed. You paid for a service and didn't get it, keep us updated.

They didn't charge us, though at this point I would like to send them a bill..........
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 3:34:55 AM EDT
Bump for the morning crew
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:26:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 4:28:20 AM EDT by VoodooChile]

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Bump for the morning crew



+1 on the local TV stations..I worked in TV news for 7 years..News Directors love mistreated animal stories..makes for good video...Get on it because someone else's dog is getting the same treatment yours did as we speak.

ETA..Are you close enough to drive back there because they may want to interview you and get video of your dog?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:34:16 AM EDT
Yep, I'd have been pissed!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:41:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
So how do you really feel?

I have been angry in the past, nothing ever, ever came as close to last night. The GF was crying, the other couple was upset- not to mention the area turned into the ghetto/crackdealing area as soon as the sun went down. Thankfully I had the Sig strapped on w/ spare mag. We had a bunch of crackheads stop by to see what we "we be doing". I told Leslie it would cap the night off to have somoone try to carjack us.



So you had your sig strapped on while you fbombing the cops? Your a braver man then me sir. The last thing I would do while carrying concealed would be getting into it with the cops and threating to break into a business.

P.S. big dog lover also have a german shephard who is just great.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:43:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MasterSniper:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
So how do you really feel?

I have been angry in the past, nothing ever, ever came as close to last night. The GF was crying, the other couple was upset- not to mention the area turned into the ghetto/crackdealing area as soon as the sun went down. Thankfully I had the Sig strapped on w/ spare mag. We had a bunch of crackheads stop by to see what we "we be doing". I told Leslie it would cap the night off to have somoone try to carjack us.



So you had your sig strapped on while you fbombing the cops? Your a braver man then me sir. The last thing I would do while carrying concealed would be getting into it with the cops and threating to break into a business.

P.S. big dog lover also have a german shephard who is just great.

When the cops showed up I stowed the Sig under the car seat, in the process of doing that I managed to pop the button on my pants. Nothing worse then having to talk to the cops while holding your pants up.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:44:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VoodooChile:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Bump for the morning crew



+1 on the local TV stations..I worked in TV news for 7 years..News Directors love mistreated animal stories..makes for good video...Get on it because someone else's dog is getting the same treatment yours did as we speak.

ETA..Are you close enough to drive back there because they may want to interview you and get video of your dog?

It is a 3 and a half hour drive, if an interview would get that place shutdown I would travel back.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:51:34 AM EDT
Firemission?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:53:20 AM EDT
tag for updates

Glad to hear your dogs are doing ok. Give 'em hell!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:00:54 AM EDT
damn.. just damn
My dogs rate right up there with my kids and if a daycare ran it's business like that dogcare, it would be shut down.
Do what you have to do VTHOKIESHOOTER, get it shut down.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:04:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 5:06:13 AM EDT by Hellhound]

Originally Posted By VoodooChile:


Get on it because someone else's dog is getting the same treatment yours did as we speak.




Good point there.

I know it would be an inconvienence, time and money wise, but I would personally get great satisfacton from outing this "business".

As a dog owner, I would love to be informed about services in my area for our best buddies.

I have a feeling the owner knows exactly what happened that night, and it is easy to blame the "help".



ETA: The more I think about this the madder I get!! Dammit!!



Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:05:33 AM EDT
Y'all take a look at their website and compair what they "say" they do versus my experience if you haven't done so already.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:10:54 AM EDT
Screw them, those people suck I would have been SSSOOOOOOO PISSED off.

I think you handled it beter than I would have................ they need to be punished..
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:13:02 AM EDT
Wow, that's just absurd! I hope you get that place shut down!

Glad your dogs are ok now.

Tagged for updates.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:16:01 AM EDT
I just thought of an experience we had with a vet/kennel.

We were going to have to board our best buddy for a couple of days and we went to our vet.

Vet is located about 1/8th of a mile from our neighborhood, been going there for a couple of years.

Made an appointment to board her one day and the next day my wife was out and decided to stop by and check out the facilities.

They would not let her take a walk to the back and check it out. She offerered to come back later and they still said no.

I called the vet and related the story. He told me no as well.

I explained that I would have to take our business elsewhere if they were so secretive about their facility.

He told me it was some liability BS and they don't have time for tours.

Fine, he lost our business/trust and when we spread the word around our 'hood, many people stopped going to him.

Got a call from them about 6 months later, wanting to know why we have not been back. I politely told the office manager about the events and she was "shocked".

Of course, she was one of the people we talked to initially and she denied it.

I told her that I know that I personally cost them about 10 customers and please tell the vet to call me if he wants to discuss the issue.

That was 5 years ago and I have not heard a word from them.

Fuck 'em, I figured I saved someone/pet a lot of anguish down the line.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:18:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AshNH:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Call the local TV station. They love stories like this.


Gotta agree with that plan. Every station has some bitchy consumer affairs reporter with steel balls that's ready to go after places that do shit like this.

I know how you feel about your dogs, we're the same way ... They're part of the family and it sucks that it's so difficult to do anything with your pets because everyplace is so anti-dog these days. We've actually cancelled our travel plans for Christmas because the family member that had originally offered to let us stay with the dog at their place, recanted the offer this week and said ... Well, you can stay but the dog has to stay outside ... No fucking chance. No friend of mine will be staying outdoors in New England without shelter in the middle of winter.



+1 definately.... A digital cam would have been a good thing to have as well...
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:24:26 AM EDT
Sorry to hear it went so badly, but glad it turned out okay.


Boy, I would be LIVID!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:26:55 AM EDT
Man sorry about your troubles while visiting WNC.....................I like to say I was shocked by the response of our local business owners............but sadly I'm not.

Asheville has become a mecca for every left of center activity known to man, and it carries over into the way local businesses operate.

Hell, APD is short 29 officers, I'm surprised they showed up at all.

I'd contact the local TV Station (WLOS.com) and the local newspaper (citizen-times.com). But I wouldn't expect much. Asheville is strictly a tourist city. Any blemishes on it's record seem to always go unreported.

Might also try sending a email to a local talk radio host with a large following. Guy's name is Matt Mittan and he's on WWNC (WWNC.com) from 1500-1800 daily. Best chance (IMHO) to get some things stirred up.

Again, sorry about the bad experience. Don't let some dipshits behavior think that's how all of us operate around here.



Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:27:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:

Made an appointment to board her one day and the next day my wife was out and decided to stop by and check out the facilities.

They would not let her take a walk to the back and check it out. She offerered to come back later and they still said no.

I called the vet and related the story. He told me no as well.





I turn around and walk out if they won't let me take a look at the kennel conditions. Luckily, I have two nice boarding kennels nearby.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:33:44 AM EDT
Calling the BBB will get you no where. They will take your complaint, but that's about it.

+111 on calling the TV station. I would also call the Biltmore and tell them what happened. They should be able to refer you to the vet they referred you to earlier.

I'm sure the the state of NC has some sort of Board of Profession Regulation, call them. I would also call the city and the county and report them. I'm sure they have an occupational license with either one, if not both.

I don't know if the health dept would be involved but I'm sure there is some Gov't entity that inspects that kennel. It would be key if you found which agency does these inspections and call them with a complaint. (It works for restaurants, it should work for a kennel.)
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:48:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By richhermes:
Calling the BBB will get you no where. They will take your complaint, but that's about it.

+111 on calling the TV station. I would also call the Biltmore and tell them what happened. They should be able to refer you to the vet they referred you to earlier.

I'm sure the the state of NC has some sort of Board of Profession Regulation, call them. I would also call the city and the county and report them. I'm sure they have an occupational license with either one, if not both.

I don't know if the health dept would be involved but I'm sure there is some Gov't entity that inspects that kennel. It would be key if you found which agency does these inspections and call them with a complaint. (It works for restaurants, it should work for a kennel.)




i just sent VTHOKIESHOOTER an IM for him to call our main news people they our in close contact with the attorney genral and have done alot of good work for our state.and very much dont like asshole buisness like this.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:55:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
I have a HUGE softspot in my heart for dogs, I'd have broken in.

I was very, very close to doing it. I probably would have gone to Lowes gotten a pair of bolt cutters and a replacement lock and grabbed my two dogs and the other couple's dog.

The other couple's dog BTW was a rat terrier puppy with short hair that they had left outside in the freezing cold for lord knows how long. It was shivvering when they finally got their puppy.



I could see that kind of thought process running through my mind.
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