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Old 09-27-2011, 02:38 PM   #76
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In red again.

Originally Posted by c3363 View Post

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I'm glad that others have had better experiences than I did. Like I've said in previous posts, I based my visit on those positive reviews. I would hope that my trip was an exception. However, I feel that it is important to post reviews honestly even if they do not fall favorably on the business so that readers can make their own decisions about whether or not to utilize particular services. If some feel it is an exaggeration, that's fine, they can choose to visit and make their own judgement. I am not preventing anyone from their right to view positive reviews by posting my experience.

It is my opinion that the kennel is substandard. I described it as I saw it. Have you also visited the indoor and indoor/outdoor suites in person? Did you find them acceptable? Do you think it's suspicious that guests cannot take photographs of their own pet ONLY while in that area? Why do you think that policy is in effect along with not being able to escort your dog back with an employee after showing proof of ownership? In my opinion, this is to prevent most owners from going back there.

No, I don't find it suspicious. The kennel is a privately owned company and has the right to implement their own rules, including no photography. What if some dogs are spooked by camera flashes? Etc. They don't need to provide an explanation and they did in fact take you to see the area. Others on this thread have toured the entire facility as well.

As far as escorting your pet back with the staff, again, they are a private facility with their own rules. What if there are only half a dozen staff working and yet there are a dozen owners wishing to escort their pets back? They need to limit access to the non-public areas because they are exactly that, non-public. Restaurants, Resort Hotels, Theme Parks, Airports etc won't allow customers in "staff only areas" either.

The accommodations are very partially shown on the website which is misleading in my opinion. Others may not feel the website is misleading, so they should have no problem with my description of a low small wire and steel cage. I wonder why Best Friends does not show full photos of the standard suites in favor of closeups of a dog's face if there is nothing to hide? This is the first sentence of the description from the website: "These climate-controlled suites are up to 32 square feet, and provide a pet cot for your dog’s comfort. Dogs have unlimited access to their patio area, except during cleaning." You can only see a small dog with his head in a doorway and a large dog in a much larger room under the Standard Suite area. The large dog in the room does not represent any of the indoor/outdoor or indoor only accommodations. The indoor/outdoor accommodations are actually significantly smaller than the indoor only. Dimensions are given, but without photographs, it is difficult to visualize the area. I am very confident that had the owners of the two large spaniels been able to visualize the size of the suite, they would not have chosen to board them together as the dogs could barely move.

I saw the website description. 4 x 8 IS 32 square feet, and 4 x 7 is 28 square feet. And 3 feet of clearance indicated that the suites have a height of three feet. So they are being completely truthful and forthcoming.

It further describes the following for indoor/outdoor:

Bedrooms are 4’ x 4’ and 3’ x 4’. All bedrooms have a minimum of 3 feet of clearance. Patios are 3’ x 8’ and 4’ x 8’. Patios have more than 9 feet of clearance. The larger suites are comfortably sized for most dogs, except giant breeds.

So yes, the indoor portions of the indoor/outdoor ARE smaller, 16 square feet and 12 square feet respectively. Again, three feet of clearance indicated a 3 foot height for the indoor portion.

The patios are 24 and 32 square feet respectively. They have 9 feet of clearance, so they are 9 feet high. The large dog you speak of sure looks like he is in a 4 x 8 patio with 9 feet of clearance. The cage behind him looks 4 x 4.

I mentioned some aspects of the walks and accommodations that I personally felt were misleading. The information I reviewed was based on my 2-3 daily visits for 7 days in September. If these aspects are not misleading to other guests, than they will have no problem when visiting.

I understand you felt the walks were misleading, however the website clearly states that they are "potty walks" and owners are free to walk their dogs recreationally on the trail etc.

I personally don't agree with the waiver even if it is considered standard by some people. Personally, I think there are numerous instances where the kennel should be held responsible for injury or death.

The insurance premiums of the kennel would be through the room if they assumed ANY responsibility for death or injury. For example, in pet-friendly accommodations I believe the same stands. Heck, in human-friendly accommodations the same stands! Disney will not assume responsibility for injuries, or even deaths, that occur on property. And if there was an rare exceptional circumstance, a law suit could be brought.

In addition, fabricating food intake reports is not one of the services I should expect. Not accurately checking vaccine records is another serious concern. Visiting a dog who is soaked in urine, yelping in unexplained pain and completely miserable due largely to a lack of any affection whatsoever on the part of the employees is not what I expect from a "luxury pet resort." Keep in mind this is a dog that has never in his life soiled himself.

I went back and re-read your original post. I didn't interpret your dog having a wet underside as him having soiled himself. I assumed he had gotten wet from his water bowl etc. I apologize, you are right, that is not acceptable.

In terms of snake removal, it doesn't matter what the employees are being paid. That is not my responsibility or concern. If they are unable to remove the snake, they can close off the area like others have said and call in someone who is more qualified. And to answer the question of "would I move the snake myself?" Absolutely! If the snake wouldn't move along on it's own and I had proper safety equipment (which is very easy to acquire). However, I do have experience with reptiles. Is it a guest's job or responsibility to do this? Absolutely not.

Just because the staff didn't immediately show concern or jump to fix the situation doesn't mean they didn't address the issue. We encountered a much larger snake at Coronado Springs. It was on one of the exterior corridors, it was 4 feet long and a good 5 inches wide at it's widest point. We called the front desk and asked for it to be removed. No one seemed panicked or concerned. In fact, they stated it was a common occurrence.

And it DOES matter what they are paid. It isn't in their job description to remove a poisonous creature. Again, do you know for a fact that they didn't go and close the trail after you notified them?
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:03 PM   #77
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The op gave his honest opinion. Yet some find it necessary to argue semantics of the website. It doesn't change the fact that it was not what he was expecting.

The fact that there are ZERO photos online of the indoor suites is quite suspicious. The argument that there are no photos because some dogs might e afraid of the flash? Give me a break!! They could have taken pics of the rooms while the place was still vacant and about to open.

They should have photos of each accommodation choice online. They don't however, and my belief is that once you get to WDW with your pet, it's too late to turn back. So you're stuck housing your pet in the suite. The suite that I'm sure many folks would not have chosen if they'd seen online, before they arrived at WDW.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by kirrrby View Post
First red flag should have been the long wait time, second one should have been their reluctance to show you their accommodations.

I agree.
The veterinary hospital that I work at has a boarding kennel. Our hosptal is one of the oldest animal hospitals in the area. It is not pretty, but it is spotless clean and AAHA accredited and our clients appreciate that more than it being a nice place to look at. They should have no issue showing you around. That to me is a huge red flag.

Best Friends Pet Care shut down their locations in each of the parks and built the one large one. I believe it is a horrible spot, because there are swamps near it, which means alligators, snakes, bugs..etc. They might say that they check, but they don't about the Bordatella vaccine (for Kennel Cough) my dog contracted it after staying at the Magic Kingdom one when it was open.
We were never asked for that paperwork. She even had the current vaccine only weeks old. But she still contracted it. We have never had luck with any of the locations that were in WDW and refuse to ever use BFPC, even at the new location. Also, when we used the MK one, we had my dog Amber (who is a rottweiler) on a choke chain. They kept it on her so tight during her stay that it began wearing away the hair on her neck. Even after we would check on her, it always seemed to tighten mysteriously.

I'm sorry your Rottie was treated that way.

They should absolutely be checking for up to date vaccines!

I have worked at kennels for years, worked in a vets office for 1 year, Camp Bow Wow for a few months (worst job ever), and another local kennel here. We have had our experience with Best Friends Pet Care (There is a location up here. It reminds me much of the kennel on the movie Homeward Bound, it is disgusting, the people do not care.

Lots of the people employed in kennels are people who could care less about animals. When I worked at Camp Bow Wow, I noticed another employee who kicked my dog, but she was a senior employee. Had been there for years, it makes you wonder sometimes.

It takes a special kind of person to do that kind of work for sure!
I would only trust my animals (three cats, three dogs) with the care of my local vet who has boarding areas. I have friends who work there, so we know they're well taken care of. I personally would ask around next time you board your animals to family, friends, anyone and ask about their experiences with local kennels.
Originally Posted by kirrrby View Post
Most offsite kennels will include their walks, they don't require you to visit 2-3 times per day. They'll charge you for extra walks but they shouldnt be that expensive.
They should at least provide a place to potty.

We have indoor kennels with outdoor runs. The dogs potty outside(Hopefully ). We do charge extra for walks/playtimes, but it not expensive at all and the animals get their owner's money worth. We actually walk them around the property for about 20 minutes...Playtime is usually about a half an hour and we actually PLAY with the dogs.

Not to metion they get cuddles through the day. I know that if I am on kennel duty, when I open the kennels, they get cuddles. That's just how I am. If I have time, I'll even throw in a playtime at no charge...Happy dogs are healthy dogs.

Originally Posted by Ginger Rock View Post
Perhaps w/ a 14 year old dog...the vet is the best place to board him
I think that a senior dog can successfully be boarded in a non-medical facility as long as they have knowledgable employees.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:03 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by TandLMommy28 View Post
I think this is exactly why we don't have dogs. We travel quite a bit (just not nearly often enough to WDW) and I would be a basket case over trying to find someone trustworthy to care for my dogs--too many stories like this. I LOVE dogs, but the amount of time we spend away from home has always held me back from having them.

I have cats. Thankfully, they are super easy to leave home alone when we are on vacation. We just pay the neighbor kid to come by twice a day to feed and water them and play with them a little bit.
This is the first year for me to travel and have to pay for someone to pet sit for me. My first pet sitting service turned round and told me they wouldn't do the job a week before I went because my old collie isn't to good on her house training and (after telling me it would be ok) didn't like the chickens. I found another pet sitting service who sent me emails with pictures and left a daily report of what they had done with the pets. I will be using them next year.
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