For some time we have been using a local kennel thinking that all was fine, and it may have been until a few months ago, I don't know.
But recently we started hearing all sorts of things from a number of differing reliable sources (including the owner herself) I didn't give it all too much heed at first as I thought my dogs got special care as she seemed to have a connection with them, and unlike other dogs I had witnessed getting a yelling at etc. mine did not seem to upset her. Then the last time they stayed there I was greeted with the news that my "kids" (always flea-free and checked every single day for ticks) had arrived with fleas. When I asked when they discovered the fleas, surprise, surprise, it was when they were bathed to come home!
Okay, so why am I so upset, well the reason is that they claim to flea bath on entry, not on exit. So, if my guys arrived with fleas that is when it should have been discovered. It was not done and the only logical conclusion is that they collected the little blighters while at the kennel, I am guessing that if mine were not bathed neither were others and as they all access the same play/exercise area, it only takes one dog with fleas to spread the love! Oh, by the way, one of my dogs had "one flea" and the other had "a few". In my experience if they had arrived with fleas they would have had more than a few between them after so many days in kennels.
The other reason I was upset is that one of mine (adopted about 8 weeks ago) had been through a nightmare with fleas for years from the look of him. It seemed so unfair that after such long-term discomfort and the battle we have had to get him fit and free of the associated skin problems and getting his coat to grow back, he was placed in the same situation again. Thankfully they were not in for weeks, so it was caught early and dealt with, but so upsetting.
This made me suspicious of other claims, and my "investigations" threw up the following questions:
1. Are dogs really bathed on entry? Not by what I know, some are, some are not, depending on how busy they are.
2. Dogs are exercised off-leash without adequate supervision (proof as one dog went missing on a walk, and was lost in the bush for nearly a week, I found this out from the owner who I met coincidentally). The area is also infested with red-bellied blacks and eastern brown snakes, large numbers of dogs are walked together, usually with only one human companion. The idea of off-leash walks is great, if the whole property is dog-fenced, but unfenced and with only one walker to supervise, that's a different matter!
3. Over-crowding, by 30% over Christmas, up to five small dogs in one kennel, every large dog kennel doubled-up where temperament would allow. She actaully told me this herself in front of another person.
4. Shouting at dogs and using a batton on doors to stop barking. Again I have witnessed this.
5. The kennels are, except for peak period, run by the owner alone, she of course needs to leave occassionally to shop and take care of business, when she does the kennels are unattended. With snakes around, dogs being placed in runs with other comaptible dogs (flights occur even between friends) and heavy bush surrounding the kennels, that seems like a risky idea to me. Again the owner told me this herself, and a number of other people I have spoken to also concur that this is the case.
6. Finally, claims such as veterinary nursing skills should be checked out. They can cause you to feel unjustifiably comforted when leaving your pet.
Okay, so that's my rant. I wish I could say it is an isolated experience but the owner of this kennels told me that the other "local" alternative also overcrowds dogs, is dirty and even more expensive. If she is to be believed, which is of course questionable, then I am fast running out of care options for my fur babies when I am away.
But please guys check kennels out properly, may even be worth calling in "unannounced" to see what reception you get!!
If anyone knows of a genuinely good kennels on the Sunshine Coast please let me know.