A Tampa dog owner is outraged after a trip to doggy day care turned deadly for her precious pet.
Elke Griffin reached out to 10News for answers. How could her beloved dog Blue have been killed while in TyVy Pet Hotel's care.
The company calls it a “tragic accident.” The owner tells 10News that negligence is to blame for the dog’s death.
“I can't even. I just don't even want to be home,” said Blue’s owner, Elke Griffin. She says her house is so empty without her 4-year-old terrier-pit bull mix.
“He was my rock. He was my kid,” said Griffin.
Wanting the best for her boy, Blue while she took her nephew to Disney World, Griffin says she researched area pet hotels and chose TyVy off Dale Mabry in Tampa.
“I thought it was 5 stars. I wanted him to have his own room and be spoiled,” Griffin said.
But Griffin says that just an hour after she dropped off Blue, she got a call from TyVy,
“We let him outside in the yard to run around, and the kennel members tell me his nails are bleeding. They said it was all four paws,” a worker said on Griffin’s voice mail.
TyVy manager Lori Weberman tells 10News from Michigan, where the company has another facility, that Blue sheared off or snagged his nails while running on concrete. Griffin believes Blue’s nails were cut without her permission.
“They were nubs on all four. Impossible, not within an hour,” Griffin said.
She was assured that Blue was safe, but a few hours later got another call saying he was dead.
“She told me he was hit by a car. I was like 'How was he hit by a car? He's in your hotel! How can he be hit by a car,'” Griffin recalled.
TyVy tells 10News that a worker had taken Blue out for a walk around a nearby pond about a block behind the building. The pet hotel considers it an upgrade for the dogs.
Griffin says she had no idea Blue would leave the building and argues he wasn't on his own harness and leash, but on TyVy's lead that snapped.
“He snapped the lead and went running out about a block onto Dale Mabry Highway, in front of a car, and the car didn't stop. I didn't give you consent. I didn't give you consent to take my dog off this property,” Griffin said.
Weberman says the lead is standard for dogs up to 100 pounds, but wouldn't clarify if workers ask for pet owners’ permission to leave the property.
It’s a policy that Weberman tells 10News will now change. They’re halting the lake walks in Blue’s memory.
“I'm very angry, and I'm very hurt. I want justice for Blue. I want a bill to hold these people accountable,” said Griffin.
A new law, proposed by Tampa Senator Dana Young, calls for money for owners after the injury or death of a pet if someone' is liable.
TyVy insists there wasn't negligence, just an accident leading to Blue's death.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for Griffin.
And there's a Facebook page to help get justice for Blue.
Griffin, meanwhile, says she's looking for an attorney.