Reader Warns Against Boarding Pets at Wag Hotels

When you go away for the holidays, finding a reputable place to board a pet or even finding a great pet sitter is a challenge, but for one family the experience turned into a nightmare. They went to what they thought was an upscale facility, Wag Hotels, but when they came back from vacation, the dog was sick and died within an hour.

CTN was alerted to the story posted on Nextdoor by a reader who wrote “I happen to have some experiences with Wag Hotels because we were going to board our dog there until I toured the facility and got a hinky feeling.”

If one looks at the Yelp reviews, the Wag Hotel in Santa Monica has a 4.4 star rating, out of five, with 200 reviews.

The reader told CTN, “I researched them and discovered they are defendants in a class-action lawsuit.”

The reader had posted at the end of the gut-wrenching story on Nextdoor on July 7 that “I am so sorry for your loss, you are not alone in experiencing criminal misconduct, negligence and abuse from Wag Hotels. The company is a pet chain ‘hotel’ that has been cited numerous times in the San Francisco area, the Los Angeles area and others.

“Wag Hotels is currently in the middle of a class-action lawsuit due to their negligence, dangerous practices and their policy of hiring inexperienced personnel whom they do not train to care for their clients’ pets.” The San Francisco Chronicle ran a February story about the pet hotel click here.

Fox TV in August 2023 reported on issues with Wag Hotels in a story click here.

The lawsuit is ongoing, and plaintiff’s’ lawyer will be seeking changes to the company’s practices along with damages for pet owners who boarded their dogs. They are encouraging dog owners who use Wag to contact the law firm to share their experiences.

The Nextdoor Post is heartbreaking.  The pet owner wrote: “Wag Hotel on Colorado and 19th is a horror story. Please do not use this horrible boarding facility. We dropped off a healthy, vibrant and loving Bernese Mountain dog. Picked up a very sick dog who was DEAD within the hour!

“If you love your pet at all, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS BOARDING FACILITY. At pickup Lincoln was clearly sick. You didn’t need to be a veterinarian or even know about dogs to tell. His tongue was hanging out his mouth WHITE, head tucked in, gagging, weak, had trouble walking, drooling, and not responding well.

The Santa Monica resident asked Wags staff what was wrong with their dog because he looked sick. Staff responded, “Yah, you are right. He does look sick.”

The veterinarian said he was bloated, had been ill for likely a couple days, suffered, and was clearly ignored.

The pets owners found out later that the dog was whimpering, anxious, and couldn’t sleep for two days and the staff did nothing.

“This is a supposedly upscale boarding facility in a very wealthy area,” Lincoln’s owners said. “Why didn’t they take him to a vet? The money for healthcare wasn’t an issue. The neglect is totally inexcusable. He was in pain and wildly dehydrated.

“The staff left him alone in a room and ignored him. Please, no matter what excuses or insincere condolences they offer to this review, please board your pet someplace else. I will never forget having to do CPR on Lincoln and watch him slip away.”

Numerous people responded to the post and one man summed up many people’s thoughts:

“Heartbreaking experience! So sad. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to find your fur baby in this condition and have them die within the hour. I hope you and our community are able to stop it. This must never happen again!!!!!”

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