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Finding A Safe Boarding Facility

Spurred by the recent tragic events of two kennel fires, Emily Friedman wrote a good article on what to look for in a boarding facility....

Horst Hoefinger  |  Mar 11th 2009


Spurred by the recent tragic events of two kennel fires, Emily Friedman wrote a good article on what to look for in a boarding facility.

It’s so important for dog owners to inspect any facility they may board their dog, here are some things to keep in mind.

Joseph Lyman , the CEO of the Pet Care Services Association, shared some tips.

“The biggest point that pet owners should think about when boarding their pets is safety,” Lyman said. “Does the facility have an adequate number of individuals in position to be able to overcome some of the obstacles that could arise at a kennel?”

While the degree to which kennels must be inspected in order to receive licenses varies from state to state, Lyman said Pet Care Services Association offers Voluntary Facilities Accreditations for those kennels that want to be certified under the organization’s standards.

Emily Weiss, the ASPCA’s senior director of shelter research and development, and a certified applied animal behaviorist, emphasized how important it is to go visit a facility in person.

“Walk through the facility and do your own safety check,” Weiss said.

“Look at what the kennels and the suites are like and look for signs that say that safety is on the mind of the employees,” Weiss said. “Fire extinguishers should be present and there should be clearly marked fire exits.”

Weiss said that asking employees what their plan is in the case of an emergency evacuation is also a good idea.

“It’s always good to put your own eyes on the facility,” Weiss said. “Whoever owns the facility might be well-respected, but they’re probably not the ones taking care of your dogs every day. Meet the employees.”

Another thing to keep in mind, checking to see if the facility has someone who is there 24 hours a day. Many places close in the evening and everyone goes home, leaving the dogs unattended overnight. Which is fine, as long as you’re made aware of this.

Lisa and I board the dogs at our vets when we’re out of town. One of the things that we like is they can be boarded in the same ‘condo’, and the employees are all dog lovers. However, after reading this I realized we have never looked into their emergency plan, and how important it is to do so.

Go over to the ABC News site to read all the tips and things to know before you schedule your pup’s next visit to ‘doggy camp’, at least that’s what we call it in front of the kids.

* Duke playing with some pals