"We could tell she had a wound on her ear and dried blood down in her ear," says Robbins.
What's worse? The Hendersonville dog lover says doggie daycare workers never called to tell her about Stella's torn ear.
"We were both so angry we were shaking and we weren't getting any acceptable answers," says Robbins.
Tao Tao didn't get an injury at his daycaare, but the Franklin lab did get sick.
"Went to my vet, took him and he said it was mouth warts," says owner Brett Walker.
Luckily, mouth warts are treatable, but Carother's Parkway Veterinarian William Rye says they're also preventable.
"The viral warts in the mouth," says Rye. "I attribute that to cleanliness."
The problem is the state has no regulatory control. Anyone can open up a pup palace. Jenna Krabacher, who worked at A Bark Above, which closed for business this spring, raised concerns about the East Nashville daycare.
"I stopped bringing my own dogs there because I didn't feel like it was safe or sanitary for them," says Krabacher.
Animal Control visited the doggie daycare back in May, but the owner told officials they'd have to wait a day to inspect.
"Um," says the owner. "My insurance doesn't let me with all the dogs right now. I apologize or I can set up a tour with you."
Officer Billy Biggs did get a tour the next day and tells FOX17 technically, the owner wasn't breaking any city ordinances, but...
"You kind of assume if they don't let you in that something is awry in there somewhere," says Biggs.
The owner says he closed for family reasons, and denies his former employee's accusations.
"The allegations are ridiculous," says former owner of A Bark Above Charles Johns.
Since your dog can't talk, spotting a good doggie daycare from a bad one starts with openness.
"If you drop your dog off and never see the environment and it's some magical place back in the back," says Biggs. "Probably not the place for you."
Dr. Rye says the owner will be accessible at a good one, and they should always give you a tour without notice. In the interest of total transparency, some doggie daycares offer all day video surveillance where you can log on your computer or your smart phone.
"It's definitely a sense of security to know their dogs are out playing and they're being watched," says Camp Bow Wow's Nancy Purvis.
At Camp Bow Wow, they also believe in separating dogs by size for safety. To prevent the spread of kennel cough, mouth warts and other diseases, proper cleaning is paramount at Oliver's in Nolensville.
"So pretty much what you want to do is hose down everywhere the dogs can touch with the foam," says Oliver's owner Brian Cooley.
The key is to let this specialized antiviral, antibacterial foam sit for a full 10 minutes. Antibacterial turf also cuts down on sickness. Once again, Tao Tao's owner is shopping for a good doggie daycare. Now he knows what to look for. The owner of A Bark Above contacted FOX17 tonight with further comment, in part saying:
"The negative accusations about A Bark Above, initiated by Jenna Krabacher, a disgruntled employee who was fired, are false...
"A Bark Above's good reputation was overwhelmingly supported by hundreds of its many dog owners and clients through their patronage prior to the false accusations."
A Bark Above told inspectors back in May it was already closing because of personal reasons, not because of the allegations. You can find more on ways to spot a good doggie daycare by clicking on FOX LINKS.
Friday, July 8 2011, 12:51 AM CDT
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