(WSVN) - Two South Florida families are suffering from the death of their pets after staying at two different dog day cares. The Nightteam’s Karen Hensel investigates.
For a parent, one of the hardest things is being unable to comfort your child.
Bob Hartmann’s daughter Lindsey still can’t talk about her dog’s death without crying.
Bob Hartmann: “We also have two grandkids that loved Henry, and they miss him, too, don’t know where he is.”
Lindsey was working 12-hour days, and she didn’t want Henry to be lonely, so when her groomer offered doggie day care, she jumped at the idea.
Bob Hartmann: “We thought they were licensed and had done this for a long time.”
Surveillance video shows Lindsey dropping off Henry at Lollipaws in Fort Lauderdale the morning of July 7.
Then, at the end of the day, the groomer carrying Henry into an emergency animal hospital. Lindsey says no one even called her to let her know there was a problem.
Bob Hartmann: “It continues to be very hard.”
Five-year-old Glocky died after being dropped off at a different day care.
Zachary Del Vecchio, dog died: “We went to the — sorry — to the Broward Humane Society, and we looked around, and we fell in love with this puppy.”
Zachary Del Vecchio and his wife are registered nurses.
Zachary Del Vecchio: “It’s been a rough year dealing with the pandemic. We went to take a break.”
They hired a dog sitter, who had a day care in this Davie home, so they could go to the Keys overnight.
Zachary Del Vecchio: “About 6 o’clock that night, 6, 7 o’clock they called me, and they told me that she had passed out, and she had bloody diarrhea.”
They called Davie Police believing their dog died of heat stroke.
The pet sitter, Luz Angela Maria Rios Ossa told the officer she was watching 10 dogs that day, and they were outside for five hours.
She said they “… had free access to water and the air conditioned shed.” The officer noted it was 91 degrees that day.
Police found violations, including for the use of a residential property as an animal kennel facility, and this is not the first time Rios Ossa has dealt with Davie Police.
In 2013, she was arrested for running an illegal dental office out of the same home.
Rios Ossa agreed to speak with us by phone.
Luz Angela Maria Rios Ossa, dog sitter (translation): “I’ve taken care of many dogs, and I feel very sorry about what happened to Zachary’s dog, Glocky, but it’s not my fault.”
She says when she took Glocky to the emergency animal hospital, the dog was still alive.
Luz Angela Maria Rios Ossa (translation): “She was playing with the other dogs, running around all over, but nothing happened to the other dogs. All the other dogs were fine. They can always come in and out whenever they are hot. They can enter into the air conditioning.”
As for Henry, vet records show hot weather could have caused his death.
The family’s attorney sent Lollipaws this letter stating they intend to sue.
We reached out to the business and their attorney but have yet to hear back.
Bob Hartmann: “We were, we were very upset.”
Pet sitters charge anywhere from $35 to $200 a day. In Florida, they do not have to be licensed or professionally trained, and they operate with no government oversight. These pet parents say that needs to change.
Bob Hartmann: “We have lots of ordinances for lots of different things here in the county, and pets are such a part of the family that they should be protected, as well.”
But these pet parents say Henry and Glocky were not protected.
Zachary Del Vecchio: “We loved her like our daughter. I mean, we don’t have kids, so that was our baby.”
Now, they’re hoping to let others pet owners know about the possible doggie day care dangers.
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