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Old 08-13-2014, 12:01 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,705 posts, read 10,126,357 times
Reputation: 8525


I know a guy that was just given the chance of a life time. There is a Kennel out on one of the local ranches that I use to board Jazz and Dash at until they doubled the prices overnight meaning my dogs would cost more per night then I would staying at a nice hotel! Last year the people that ran it for many many years quit as they are old and having health issues so the kennels and mobil home they lived in have sat empty since then. I am not sure how this happened but this guy who walks dogs is being given the chance by the ranch owner to open the kennels. The ranch owner is a very nice guy who would love to see this guy make it so is keeping the rent low. I mean the guy will get the mobil home to live in and the kennels for what the average person here pays for rent. Currently he is homeles and lives in his car with his two dogs as walking dogs has not gotten him enough to pay rent in this town. He is a nice guy but my worries are he is not the most responsible guy nor do I think he realizes that owning a kennel will be lots of hard work. I think he is thinking he will have tons of free time to do what he wants and be raking in big money. This ranch is in an area where wild fires are quite possible and if there was one and it got evacuated it would mean the kennel owner had to be responsible to get all the dogs to saftey.

I say he is irresponsible as he brings about 6-8 dogs counting his two to the dog park and they all get out of his car and wander off leash down the sidewalk to the park if I was a dog owner I would be rather upset to see my dog walker have my dog off leash like that walking down the side walk. Then he gets in the park he often sits and talks and really is not keeping a good eye on the dogs so not cleaning up after them unless he happens to see it or some one tells him but often he puts the bag he used to clean up down were he sits and there it stays until someone else tosses it in the trash. He brings cokes into the dog park sets them down and the next day there is his garbage still where he left it

So I am wondering from those of you with kennel experience am I wrong is owning a kennel not hard work that takes a responsible hard working owner and staff? Don't you need insurance ? Someone asked him and he said no.Many of us at the park have our doubts.I know I would never trust my dogs to his care.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:42 PM
279 posts, read 384,001 times
Reputation: 567
I would be mad if I was paying someone to walk my dog and found out that he isn't actually walking her. He needs to change his title from "dog walker" to "guy that will drive them to the dog park".

I would imagine my dog would be neglected overnight if I used the kennel he is opening.

Of course he needs insurance, a business license, tax id, emergency vet agreement, etc.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:00 PM
Location: Paradise
2,456 posts, read 1,992,049 times
Reputation: 4023
And yes...it's A LOT of work.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:06 PM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,170,630 times
Reputation: 9611
It's a ton of work and responsibility. I understand the ranch owner wants to help the guy out, but is he aware of how this guy handles his own dogs? If it was me, I'd want to know this before I went through with the deal, rather than after.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:09 PM
10,604 posts, read 14,129,393 times
Reputation: 17198
OMG what a mess.

I worked for a kennel. You only take each occupant out and walk around the property. SEPARATELY. ON LEASHES. You don't go freaking DRIVING THEM to PARKS. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you and it's the dog walking clients not the kennel clients at the park.

I NEVER EVER take my clients to parks.

The guy is doing it because he can charge 6 times as much for the same block of time with 6 dogs instead of 1. PLENTY of "dog walkers" try this scam. (not including places like NYC)

It only takes ONE dirty look or raised tail to cause a FIGHT between two dogs.

What if there's a snake, or animal or something nearby or some dangerous thing ...you need them ON LEASH.(or confined)

SAFETY and HEALTH is the number ONE concern.

It is an enormous amount of work and even doing the feeding takes common sense and skills. Mix up the foods and you have nightmare diarrhea. Or worse.

Unless the place is a "doggy day care" for socializing NONE Of them should be around the others.

You also are NOT SUPPOSED TO DISTURB the kennel during "rest time". The MINUTE they see or smell you all hell breaks lose for an hour or so.

The ONLY time our kennel took them out or went inside the kennels was to walk or feed or clean. Mid day was QUIET TIME.

DOGS GET STRESSED boarding in chaotic environment. Even FUN can be a stress on a dog. (their perception of fun)

And any fool without insurance is a FOOL.

IT's not a legal requirement there perhaps but any dog owners are forgetting to ask for proof.

Also, having dogs off leash wandering around in public makes your insurance NULL and VOID.

And insurance for on site BOARDING etc is MORE than dog walking insurance/pet sitting.

He sounds ignorant but basically in most states pets are only seen as property so if one dies, you only lose the "cost of replacement". And your reputation.

You can't be sued for "emotional distress" etc. So maybe he's not so ignorant to know that. Perhaps the prior kennel owners didn't insure either and told him.

Did you ever see and verify their insurance?

How is some homeless jackass supposed to get EMERGENCY VET TREATMENT If one of the dogs has a problem? Happens ALL THE TIME. Even a broken toenail needs surgery or attention.

I have it in my paperwork that I'll pay and they reimburse me if they can't be reached but of course I prefer they pay the vet by phone in case of emergency.

I am very selective who I take for clients because of it. But I'm going in their homes, it's different.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 08-13-2014 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:04 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,705 posts, read 10,126,357 times
Reputation: 8525
First the prior kennel owner has nothing to do with this he too rented from the ranch owner and he closed last December due to his age and health so has nothing to do with it. It is a cattle ranch and the owner rents out some parts of the ranch and the empty kennel is one of those parts.He has not opened the kennel yet but is in the process. The dogs he brings to the park are dogs he walks and sometimes a couple of them are regulars at the park that come with owners too. Many of the dog walkers here take groups to the dog parks, to the beach and other leash free areas and yes the owners know ( in his case I' m not sure the owners know he lets them out of the car off leash but they do seem to know he brings them to the dog park)

At the kennel part of the kennel property use to be a large garden as the previous owner liked Jazz so much he use to let her out to garden with him. He was totally smitten with her and that was one place she was actually happy to go to as we drove out on the ranch road past the cattle she would be so excited and she would greet him in a way that only special friends got.

The guy that is planning on opening the kennel plans to fence this part and use it as a group play yard so we probably will not see him at the dog park. But I am not sure he understands that people in the right ratio have to be out in the yard too and that if he plans to even leave his own dogs out there alone he better put coyote rollers on the fence as coyotes and even mountain lions are out on that ranch as it is in the foothills.

There are a couple popular kennels here that also offer day care and the kennel dogs that are ok with other dogs are out with the day care group but owners know that. Jazz boarded at such a place that is owned by a dog trainer when she was young and she also did daycare there to help socialize her as a pup;However I quit using this place and changed to the place on the ranch as Jazz was afraid of the dog trainer/owner.She was very sensitive and I think he was a bit too hard handed.This was back in the 90's and his training style was still the popular one and he and I went around and around about using positive reinforcement with her.

These kennels have lots of people working there and keep a certain person to dogs ratio out in the play yard. We also have one place that now has two locations that is all cage free, only well socialized dogs can board there and when it is bed time they have the option of being in a large room with beds that has an open door much like a garage door and yes people sleep in it too ( as some dogs like to wander in and out at night) or a room that the door is closed at night and it has dog beds, chairs , couchs and even a few bunk beds where humans sleep in the upper bunk but dogs that want to can sleep in the lower bunks. It also has a bone shapped swimming pool in one of the play yards People that use it love it and I did look into it the first time I boarded Dazzle as being a sight hound he is a creature of much comfort but at $70.00 a night with a slight break for additional dogs I decided he would do fine on his crate pad at the vets. For a while I had a dog sitter but she died suddenly and when I see some of the others in town I am not sure if I would be as comfortable as I am when I leave them at my vets..yeah they are stuck in a kennel but the kennel techs love them and are always excited to see both Chaos and Dazzle/Both my dogs are very sweet snugglers.

We also have another kennel up the coast a bit on a different ranch and they keep the dogs in a cage free play yard and dogs sleep in a barn not sure if they are loose or not in the barn and with owners permission and dogs that behave they can follow people on horses on a trail ride for exercise.

Anyway from what I am reading my gut feelings about this seem correct so unless this guy proves us wrong and steps up to be more resposible then what we have seen this could be a bad I think he has some wild fantasy of what it will be like owning a kennel and home no dogs suffer because of it.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:24 PM
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,413 posts, read 5,107,308 times
Reputation: 7213
You are right to be very concerned, this sounds like a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Can you talk to the ranch owner and explain your concerns and why they should be his concerns also?

Several eons ago when I was a mere youth I worked for a vet as a kennel hand, taking dogs out of their cages to the exercise area, preparing food, cleaning cages, etc. and it was hard work if you wanted to do it right, keeping things very clean and safe. There was enough work to keep me busy at a full time job and it was a small clinic, solo practitioner, usually about a dozen dogs, some patients, others just boarders.

My humane society now has a small facility to board dogs, space rented from a vet with a large facility. We have seven runs although we occasionally have more than one dog in the large run if we get two that came to us together from an owner. I'd estimate that for the basic care that we provide we allocate about 20 minutes per dog, times 3. We have volunteers who come in morning, noon and night to see to the dogs and sometimes other folks who will come in and take a single dog for a longer period of time, walk them around town to get them used to being on leash, socializing with strangers, etc. This facility is just for our use and we are not "open to the public looking to adopt", for that we have adoption events at Petsmart and other locations. We still try to have most of our dogs in individual foster care in peoples homes.

I realize that these two examples are not exactly like a boarding facility but they are similar enough to give you some idea of what it takes.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:16 PM
Location: Northeastern U.S.
1,465 posts, read 886,874 times
Reputation: 2914
The boarding kennel I occasionally use allows dogs to exercise in a fenced area together; it's one of the reasons I picked the place. Of course, they insist that all dogs be up to date on their vaccinations, including bordatella; and they screen the dogs to make sure they are compatible with the others.

I've used dog walkers who have walked my dog with other dogs (one or two others, not five or six); but they've always asked my permission first, after either asking me if my dog was calm around other dogs or observing him, or both.

I've seen dog walkers at the dog parks I use - they always pick up after their charges, and keep their eyes on them. I would be seriously concerned if I saw any dog caregiver or owner behave so carelessly as the OP describes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:07 PM
13,355 posts, read 7,343,654 times
Reputation: 12367
I agree this seems to be a disaster waiting to happen. Just reading about the possibility of this guy running a kennel brings to mind the recent fire in Arizona where the dogs perished due to the caretakers being absent. IMHO, if this guy even started to run the business I would likely anonymously tip off the authorities and have the operation thoroughly investigated for the sake of the dogs.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:01 AM
621 posts, read 1,038,227 times
Reputation: 1246
Had a small boarding operation for 11 yrs. Loved it, was a ton of fun... but a ton of work. 24/7/365!

We ran all of our boarders together and it was great for the dogs and for me! Kept them occupied and not bored sitting in a concrete and chain link kennel all day, and since they weren't bored and stressed out it made less work for me.

But..... every dog that stayed with us had to go through a test before they were allowed to stay. I am very good at reading a dog and could pretty much tell within the first hour if they were going to be ok or not. That didn't mean I could just relax... there was a lot of watching and training still involved. One can never let their guard down when you are taking care of someone else's pet!

Stupid stuff happens and you have to know how to deal with it. Do you know how to spot a dog that is getting sick? If a dog appears "off" what do you do? When do you take it to a vet? Injuries happen, do you know enough about first aid to keep the dog ok until you can get it to a Vet? It's all these things that make a difference in kennels. And this is what always worries me about Dog Sitters. Do they know how to handle an emergency!!??

This guy might make a go of it, or might not. Most kennels fail because owners find out it's not Playing with Puppies all day long. It's work, and responsibility, and a bunch of stress!
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