A couple reached out to NBC 6 after their dog was killed at a Fort Lauderdale doggie day-care. An older and larger dog killed it after the smaller one broke out of an enclosure.
According to documents from Animal Care and Adoption in Broward County, Charlie, a three-year-old Shih Tzu, broke through a small hole in a fence to a place where Victor, a 14-year-old Doberman was.
Charlie’s owners, Denise Norena and Natacha Abreu, have his ashes in a small box in the bedroom.
“I work from home, so Charlie spent all day with me on my lap, Abreu said. “Carrying her like a monkey or just helping with work.”
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On November 12, they took her to Social Paws Daycare and Boarding facility. They were friends with the owners and never had a bad experience until this day.
“She came back in a box,” Abreu said.
At first, the owners say a worker there told them Charlie still needed a bath and would call back later, then the owner called crying with the news.
The couple says they did not get a complete story until after they posted on social media and began speaking to NBC 6.
They say they didn’t know there was an aggressive dog at the location and now want to see surveillance video of Charlie’s last moments to know exactly what happened.
“If this dog attacked a human it would have been a different story,” Denise Norena said. “We know that they have video and we’ve never seen the video so everything is just hearsay to me about what happened and it doesn’t add up.”
NBC 6 spoke with the owner, Jarad Gonzalez, on Sunday.
“Obviously, this is a tragic accident,” Gonzalez said. “I feel horrible. I reached out to both the parents and Charlie. I sent flowers. You know, it just breaks my heart. I don’t want this to happen to any dog. Obviously, we’re in the pet business.”
Gonzalez says it happened when they were moving several dogs inside and confirmed they do have video cameras.
“Things got lost in translation, the problem with the video or the lack thereof,” Gonzalez said. “The reason there is no video is because where, the point where it happened, there’s a blind spot in the yard. It happened so close to the wall.”
He says it all happened in a matter of seconds.
Victor, the Doberman, had arthritis and had his own fenced off area, separate from other dogs.
Victor, Gonzalez says, is not staying with them again. They’re reviewing their practices and the fence is fixed.
“Within the same day of that incident it was fixed,” Gonzalez said. “Actually, we’re going to redo the entire fence at this point. The fence where it happened is completely fixed.”
Charlie’s parents say they hope lessons are learned so it doesn’t happen again.
A key takeaway for owners is to ask a lot of questions, specifically about how they house aggressive dogs.
The owner of Social Paws place says they feel they do have the responsibility to take in all types of dogs.