February 26, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Washington animal rights attorney shares what to look for in a dog boarding facility

Overall, our state veterinarian says it’s essential to make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, whether they are being boarded or not.

WASHINGTON, USA — People in the Pacific Northwest love their pets and in fact, Seattle ranks in the top 10 for most dog-friendly cities.

The holiday season is the busiest for pet owners trying to find pet care while they travel to see family or friends.

“It’s our second busiest week of the year, so it’s super busy,” said Elise Vincentini, the owner of Downtown Dog Lounge.

The Downtown Dog Lounge in Seattle is busy right now. They just took in many dogs from the Dog Resort in SODO following a fire at their facility more than a week ago.

 “I think it was like 43 the first night,” Vincentini said. 

Recent protests surrounding the fire at the SODO Dog Resort are causing concern. Three dogs escaped the fire but went missing; only one was found alive. That dog, named Remi, was found days later and was badly hurt after reportedly falling off an on-ramp near Lumen Field. 

Some dog owners wonder what to look for when boarding their dogs.

“If they’re going to be doing business, they should be licensed. So you should check that they have a state business license and a local license,” said Adam Karp with Animal Law Offices.

Karp has been with Animal Law Offices for 25 years. 

He said it’s important to look at reviews and also the paperwork from the facility.

 “You want to look at the contract as well to make sure that they’re not trying to really get a release of liability for everything under the sun,” Karp said. 

Karp said it is important to check the facility is insured and members of the American Boarding Kennel Association and/or International Boarding & Pet Services Association.

“Read the contracts, take your time, recognize that you are surrendering control and care of a loved one to strangers, really. And you will have no ability to monitor or supervise as you might at your own home. And so this type of interest payment shouldn’t be treated really any differently than we’re used to and trust a human family member to the custody of another person or entity,” Karp said. 

If a boarding facility does not work for you, apps like WAG and Rover offer overnight boarding one-on-one with your pet. Overall, our state veterinarian says it’s important to make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, whether they are being boarded or not.

There have also been reports of an unidentified respiratory illness that currently affects dogs in different states across the country.  While there are no reported cases in Washington, there have been 100 cases reported in Oregon.

“Today, so far, I think there’s really no reason to panic at this point. We’re seeing pretty classic trends to what we traditionally see this time of year,” said Dr. Amber Itle, Washington State’s Veterinarian.

Currently, some boarding facilities are not allowing dogs to stay there who have recently traveled out of state. 

“There’s reason to be cautious, there’s reasons to take those steps. And so if you know that you’re bringing in an animal from an area where we’ve had a known outbreak, then you know, sure, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking those extra steps and precautions,” Dr. Itle said.