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Best Friends Pet Hotel in Indianapolis accused of animal neglect by customers

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CASTLETON, Ind. — A lodge for pets is at present beneath investigation by Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) following allegations of animal neglect.

It comes after a number of house owners alleged that once they went to select up their canine, left in the care of the Best Friends Pet Hotel at 8224 Bash St. in Indianapolis, there was no one there and that it took hours to reunite with their pets.

Billy Brown stated he left his canine Bella in the care of Best Friends Pet Hotel for 4 days whereas his household traveled to Kentucky for a funeral.

He stated he’s by no means boarded Bella earlier than, so he relied on suggestions from individuals who shared the place they trusted sending their pets.

“We felt really comfortable at this place. They had a suite, paid a little extra. I had the camera inside so we could keep an eye on her the whole time we were gone,” stated Brown.

He stated it didn’t take lengthy to appreciate that one thing gave the impression to be off whereas watching the digital camera in Bella’s canine room.

“There were several times during the four days where we noticed on the camera that the food had been spilled and not been picked up for quite some time,” stated Brown. He additionally frightened she wasn’t getting the breaks 3 times per day that she was alleged to have.

It was Saturday morning, the place Brown and his household turned more and more involved over the care Bella was receiving on the facility.

“Saturday morning, we noticed that no one had come in the room Saturday morning to let her out or give her food,” he stated. “Her blankets were feces-covered, and her distress whining was getting a lot worse. It was something that we hadn’t heard before.”

After calls to the power and company that Brown claimed went unanswered, his household determined they have been too involved and lower their journey to Kentucky brief.

“Her cries were different cries that we’ve never heard before,” he stated.

When they arrived on the pet lodge on Saturday afternoon round 3 p.m., Brown stated there have been no vehicles in the parking zone. He stated he rang the doorbell and acquired no reply.

After realizing there was no one on the facility and seeing the misery they believed Bella was in, Brown stated he known as IMPD, who responded together with an IACS officer.

Katie Trennepohl, deputy director of IACS, instructed FOX59, “On Saturday we received a call to go out to Best Friends at 82nd and Bash on reports of pet owners trying to reach the facility regarding pets that were in their care.”

“The concern was that the owners weren’t able to get in contact with anybody during business hours,” Trennepohl stated. “It’s not uncommon for animals to be left alone overnight, but there should be somebody there at least through the day to care for the animals.”

According to an indication on the door, enterprise hours on the pet lodge on Saturdays are from 8 a.m. to five p.m.

An IMPD incident report confirms officers responded to the pet lodge Saturday afternoon previous to the tip of enterprise hours.

Brown stated as they have been making an attempt to resolve the scenario, his daughter seen a publish on Facebook from one other buyer who claimed they skilled one thing related that morning. That buyer was Nick Marucci.

Marucci instructed FOX59, he boarded his canine Maggie on Oct. 8 and he or she was supposed to remain till midday on Oct. 16. When Marucci went to select her up Saturday morning round 10:25 a.m., he stated he couldn’t get in contact with anybody on the facility by ringing the doorbell or calling.

“At the side door I could tell all the lights were off and the dogs were in their crates barking like crazy,” shared Marucci.

Marucci stated regardless of all efforts and cellphone calls to company and different areas in the realm, he was unable to get any solutions on whether or not he may get his canine out of the power.

“At a little after 1:00 I decided I needed to file a police report since it was clear no one was coming in,” wrote Marucci. “I left there at 2:30 after the police left hoping I would be able to get my dog in the morning.”

It wasn’t lengthy after Marucci left when Brown and his household stated they arrived on the facility.

“While out at dinner, I got a phone call from another officer who was back because Billy Brown had showed up to get his dog,” stated Marucci, “The officer said they were trying to get animal control out and there might be a chance to get the dog out tonight, but could still be in the morning.”

Trennepohl stated the IACS officer that was on scene was in a position to get in contact with the company workplace, and thru them, they have been in a position to get any person to return out and let the pet house owners in to reunite with their pets.

Both Marucci and Brown instructed FOX59 the one that got here out to assist was a former worker of the power that confirmed up with a key nonetheless in their possession.

“Corporate gave them permission to enter the building and rescue the dogs that the people were there waiting on to get that night,” stated Brown.

“When I showed up she was a mess and smelled like urine. Thankfully, the former employee showed up and some of us were able to get our dogs,” Marucci wrote to FOX59.

Both pet house owners stated they’re extraordinarily annoyed with the corporate’s lack of response to their efforts to select up their canine and in the aftermath of the scenario, the place they nonetheless really feel they’ve been left in the darkish.

“We were there for over four and a half hours in that parking lot waiting to try and call and get a hold of someone,” stated Brown, “3:00 til 8:30 that night.”

“It’s very concerning, very upsetting that there’s not an emergency number to contact anyone at all,” stated Brown. “It was basically a nightmare in our eyes to get her back. Our daughter was in tears. This is our first dog, so it was breaking her heart.”

After greater than 24 hours of pushing for solutions on what occurred and why pet house owners have been unable to get a response from Best Friends Pet Hotel workers, a spokesperson for Best Friends Pet Hotel shared a press release with FOX59:

“Nothing is more important to us than the pets in our care.  While we are aware of the police report that was filed over the weekend by a customer, we did have associates present on both Friday and Saturday taking care of the pets staying with us.  We met with the animal control officer over the weekend at our location to discuss the concerns raised and will continue to cooperate with any questions they might have.”

Pet house owners stated their issues didn’t cease as soon as that they had their canine again.

After noticing his canine wasn’t performing like herself or having regular bowel actions, Brown stated he introduced Bella again to the pet lodge Sunday to demand solutions.

“We went back to the facility. I guess they had flown somebody in and we had talked to them. I guess they said that take her to the vet and they would try and cover it. That’s all they said so far,” stated Brown. “I just want to know how they failed miserably.”

On Sunday, after selecting up her canine, Dexter, Jennifer Purkey stated she realized of the allegations pets had been left alone for a while. She instructed FOX59 she already had suspicions her canine hadn’t acquired the right care throughout his keep. She stated she started to push for solutions and spoke with somebody on the facility.

“She said the managers never showed up, they couldn’t get a hold of a manager, still at that time on Sunday,” stated Purkey. “They said that they were sorry, that they flew a couple managers in from Ohio to help, and they said when they came in on Sunday morning the place was a mess.”

When requested whether or not the corporate was bringing in out-of-state staff to assist on the facility, Best Friends Pet Hotel didn’t reply to FOX59, nonetheless, reporter Courtney Spinelli went to the power, asking to talk with workers. A girl who answered the door stated she was from out-of-state and would want to get the district supervisor.

After half-hour of ready outdoors, no one returned to talk to FOX59 Monday. We continued to obtain reviews from individuals who boarded their pets on the facility, alleging neglectful circumstances.

Purkey stated she boarded her canine, Dexter, a 1-year-old lab on the Best Friends Pet Hotel whereas her son was getting married over the weekend.

“I didn’t have any family really to watch him,” stated Purkey. “Every other boarding place that we usually go to were booked because of fall break.”

Knowing it could solely be a number of days that she was away from Dexter, Purkey stated she felt like issues could be okay.

“We did try to check the pet cams and we never saw any dogs playing over the weekend,” stated Purkey.

When Purkey returned to select up Dexter on Sunday is when she stated she began to imagine she wasn’t being too suspicious in regards to the scenario.

“We pre-packaged his food, one cup of food in a baggie each time. He gets three times fed each day,” stated Purkey. He shouldn’t have come residence with any.

“I get in and I check his bag, I started bawling because he had one bag of food missing,” stated Purkey. “So, he didn’t get his bag of food on Friday, he didn’t get any of his food on Saturday, he didn’t come home with his blanket that we took him in with.”

Both Brown and Marucci shared related claims with FOX59 about their expertise.

Brown stated, “They returned three bags of untouched food, three days’ worth of untouched food and we’re not the only ones that had happened to.”

Marucci stated Maggie takes 4 cups of meals per day, so he despatched 32 cups price of meals together with her with directions to provide her two cups in the morning and two in the night throughout her eight day keep.

He wrote to FOX59, “When I finally picked her up late Saturday there was 24 cups of food left – so clearly she wasn’t being fed.”

All three house owners stated they need solutions from the Best Friends Pet Hotel on what occurred throughout their pets’ keep on the facility.

“I want to know why they took so many animals in knowing they couldn’t care for that many and I want to know why there’s not an emergency number to contact anyone at all,” stated Brown.

“They can’t talk to tell people what happened, so we have to talk for them,” stated Purkey. “It’s their responsibility to take care of these animals. They had a job to do. They’re in charge. They need to be held accountable for their actions.”

IACS stated it’s taking all claims critically and can proceed its investigation into allegations of animal neglect on the Best Friends Pet Hotel.

“We will handle the investigation. We do have an open case; we’re working with people at the corporate office of Best Friends and also just looking into allegations here locally,” stated Trennepohl.

“We do ask that if anybody has information on this or anything further that they would like to add that they can report that through the Request Indy app,” stated Trennepohl.

In order to research the claims alleged by pet house owners, IACS stated folks must report what they might know.

“This is a unique situation, there’s lots of allegations, but without more people to back it up, we really can’t prove a case, so we really need people to provide any information they have,” stated Trennepohl.

IACS receives calls typically about folks not correctly caring for his or her pets, however stated it is a bit completely different.

“I think when you’re entrusting your pet’s care to somebody else, you have a certain expectation and as a pet owner myself, I can’t imagine the feeling that my pet might have been locked in a facility and nobody was taking care of them,” stated Trennepohl.

“We’re definitely taking this seriously and we’re looking into it.”

Anyone with info also can name Indianapolis Animal Care Services at 317-327-1397.