It's that time of year when many of you might be planning vacations, and looking for a safe place to keep your pet while you're away - but a local man says a Pierce County boarding facility left his dog fighting for her life.
It all started last Monday, when Shawn Larson left his miniature pinscher, Gabby, in the care of 'The Pet Brigade'.
"I dropped her off at six p.m. and visited her at lunch, and then at about four p.m. I got a call saying she's missing, she'd taken off, and they were trying to catch her," said Larson.
The owner of 'The Pet Brigade' says it appears the eight-pound dog somehow climbed a six-foot chain link fence, and escaped.
"I've had her four years, we've lived in houses with a four-foot chain link fence, and she's never attempted to climb one of those," said Larson.
He says his dog turned up a day later and about a mile away, but by then she'd been hit by a car. The head trauma, vision, and hearing loss she suffered as a result left Gabby literally walking in circles.
It also left Larson with a $2200 vet bill he can't afford to pay on his own.
"One of the managers I spoke to told me she needed to call the owner and she'd get back to me, and she did get back to me and say they were only liable for $200 on a vet bill," he said.
Animal Law Attorney Adam Karp told KING 5 that anyone considering boarding their pet should read the facility's contract very closely. If any specific clause inside a contract makes you feel uncomfortable, he says you should ask the facility about it, and let them know you don't agree with it.
If they're not willing to negotiate, Karp says, go somewhere else.
He also suggests dog and cat owners get referrals and references on pet boarding facilities from people they trust, like neighbors, family, and friends.
In Larson's case, he did not sign or initial a clause on 'The Pet Brigade' contract regarding liability, because it did not sit well with him.
On Monday, exactly one week from the day Gabby escaped from the boarding facility, the owner of 'The Pet Brigade' not only apologized, he gave Larson a check for the $2200 vet bill.
In addition, he agreed to provide care for Gabby while Larson is at work. 'The Pet Brigade' will also pay for an additional three vet visits for Gabby over the next 90 days.
The owner of 'The Pet Brigade' tells KING 5 this is the first time something like this has happened in the past 10 years he's been in business. He also says that as soon as he became fully aware of the situation, he was willing to pay Gabby's bill.
Larson says he's grateful the facility agreed to cover his dog's medical costs, and he remains hopeful Gabby will make a full recovery.