ORLANDO, Fla. - Action 9 investigated serious allegations against a pet boarding facility near downtown Orlando after a local man claims his dog was attacked there and staff failed to have his pet properly treated.
Action 9's Todd Ulrich found two other owners claim their pets were injured, so he tracked down the company owner for answers and results.
Maximus looks fit and frisky, but part of the boxer's ear is gone. His owner, Jeff Mercado, said last month a veterinarian found a bad infection.
“He said the dog is in pretty bad shape," said Mercado.
Mercado blames Preppy Pet, a boarding kennel in South Orlando. He said another dog attacked Maximus there and ripped the animal's ear open. An employee then called him to report a “minor incident."
“They said it was not a life-threatening injury, and he didn't need any further medical attention,” said Mercado.
But when Mercado picked up Maximus, there was a lot of blood. He said an emergency vet clinic then had to amputate part of the dog's ear.
“They neglected the welfare of my dog,” said Mercado.
Mercado said the kennel only offered to pay $300 of the $900 vet bill.
When Action 9's investigation began, Preppy Pet had an F rating at the Better Business Bureau. Two complaints involved owners who said their pets were injured.
“We have complaints from customers who claim their dogs were injured, not fed or not given medication," said BBB Vice President Holly Salmons.
Ulrich went to Preppy Pet on Michigan Avenue.
“Jeffrey Mercado said his dog was injured but did not get medical care,” said Ulrich.
“I don't want to be filmed,” replied the Preppy Pet employee.
“Can I reach the owner?” asked Ulrich.
Later, company owner Melanie Gore said the boarding contract states it's not responsible for injuries and has sole discretion for medical treatment. She said her employees did nothing wrong and she has thousands of satisfied clients.
However, she decided the company would now pay all of Mercado's vet bills.
“I'm not going to bring my pet back. No way,” said Mercado.
The company owner also contacted the BBB to resolve several other complaints, so its rating is now under review.
Two other Preppy Pets in central Florida have different franchise owners.