Dog boarding kennels for Thanksgiving..finding ways to rip us off

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I called many kennels before somebody didn't tell me:

    "We are closed on Thanksgiving, so you have to bring them in Wednesday and pay for an extra day. Then, because it's a holiday weekend, we will be closed all weekend so you can't pick your dogs up until Monday. That's six days. Six days will cost you____"

    I don't own a kennel myself, but I thought kennels would be especially accommoding on holiday weekends. The economy around here is just plain horrible and they are lucky to have customers at all. We finally found a place that said, "Sure, bring the dogs in Thursday and pick them up Saturday." The owner lives on the premises.

    We almost had to cut our little vacation to Illinois short in order to accommodate our dogs...all because the boarding kennels around here aren't open on holidays or holiday weekends.

    So who walks the dogs who are already boarding there? Who feeds them? Nobody is there? Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Anyhoooo, just a vent. All's well that ends well (I guess) :tongue:
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    This happens here in canada as well.

    My neighbor has a gorgeous older (13 years old) dog. She is a widow and her dog is her life companion. She hates travelling without her but she can't always take her. Kennels keep telling her the same thing. Sometimes she needs just a Saturday of a holiday weekend, from early morning until evening, but if its a holiday weekend, it can grow to 5 days forced kennel. It is crazy. It is expensive, and your dog can end up being captive for days and days when you are available to pick them up. I feel its nearly extortion!

    I always watch her dog now. She's an easy lovable old girl who is slowing down and deserves her own surroundings. Its simple enough to walk across the street and take care of her. My neighbor doesn't mind if I stick around and watch t.v. for a few hours so that it isn't me running in and back out, her dog isn't lonely as badly that way. I do stick around to watch some t.v. simply to help the dog feel safe and content.

    I really wish I had funds to open my own kennel. Just by virtue of changing this policy, a business would fly from opening day!
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Don't even get me started...
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I've never had this problem with kennels in both IL and WI. Most dog kennels are family run businesses and in a lot of cases the owners live on the premises.

    Our only hassle is booking well in advance to avoid the holiday rush.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I am soooo lucky when I have to board my dogs! One of the techs at our vets office does boarding in her home and she's kept them the last several times that I've had to go out of town. She's the one that I got two of my Bostons from and all four dogs are very familiar with her and comfortable with her. The vet does boarding at his clinic too but she charges about half of what they charge at the office! I bring their own crates and their bedding and toys, and I always bring their regular food. They take such good care of them and they get tons of attention - her kids spend a lot of time playing with them too. I never worry about them (much) when she's taking care of them.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    So far so good when it comes to kenneling Sally. I just haven't run into those problems.

    My biggest problem over the last couple of years has been booking in July for November &/or December. Otherwise Sally ends up in a "luxury suite" with web cam so I can check in on her, a tv of her own & a canopy doggy bed. Ick - don't have that kind of disposable income.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If they're telling you that they're closed all weekend and you can't get your dog and will have to pay extra - they're price gouging, pure and simple! They can't just lock up a kennel full of dogs on Wednesday and come back on Monday! "Somebody" has to be there every day to feed and water them, clean up, and let them exercise. And that 'somebody' could let you pick up your dog when you wanted to! I would be very leery of letting my dog stay with anyone who would do that! They're just in it for the money!
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The kennel that Diva has watch our diva puppy is family owned. They have teenagers come in and walk the dogs. I would suspect that in light of that, the following may be an issue for them:

    1. People coming in and claiming dogs that are not theirs. Most teenagers could easily be fooled into handing over a wrong dog, "The owner asked me to pick up their dog since they are running late!" (We get lots of dog theft in the area) The best place for a dog thief to get a dog they have had their eye on is over holiday vacations if they know the kennel that dog will be in.

    2. Owners do not want the teenagers to be responsible for the money collected if there are people who pay cash. Another easy target for thieves who figure out that only a teenager is on duty. Our kennels are not near areas of easy help for the teenager. Collecting in advance would be one way around this - I would think the owner better be there the day the most dogs are left for a holiday.

    These COULD be a reason why there is a set pick up time. Especially if the owners have holiday plans and their employees are running the kennels in their absences.

    Those kennels not open on holidays are really missing out on a good income.

    I do agree there are most likely kennels out there going out of their way to take advantage of people's needs over the holidays. I am sure prices rise over the holidays with more customers looking. My first concern would be that you KNOW there are reliable staff to come in daily to feed, water, and exercise each pet. Ask your friends and neighbors for any experiences they have had with that kennel. I know Diva's kennel walks the dogs atleast twice a day and I think it may even be three times a day?

    Diva's friend works at the kennel so we know that they do take good care of the dogs.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I found a family close by that will come to our house 3 or 4 times a day, let the dogs out, play with them (the family has 3 small girls that LOVE our boxers) and feed them.

    I pay them the "going" rate for dog sitters here. But feel more confident because they spoil the boys rotten!!

    Instead of a "kennel" you may want to look at doggie daycare. Most of these places also board dogs, and are open 7 days a week. NL is working his last day at one today - he's getting a job a bit closer to our house.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I live in!!!

    From now on, I will stick to this one kennel where the lady lives on the premises. Beyond the money, why should my babies be in jail even one day longer than necessary when I can spring them? I would leave them home and get a dog sitter to come and feed and walk them, BUT my cocker spaniel can be nippy and I'm afraid she'll bite somebody who she doesn't know if I'm not there. Kids walking our dogs or nice people coming over is not an option with Rufus the Doofus. He is terriotorial about our house and anyone walking in is at risk. I usually put him in his crate when a non-pack-member comes in. That takes out the "dog walker" option for us.

    I was appalled at the different sneaky ways these kennels try to rip off consumers. The sad thing is, the economy in our town is extremely poor, worse than most places. If they want to stay in business, they'll have to flex a little. This is a papermill town and the papermills are quickly going under. Anyway, at least we did find out place that understands...
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Of course they are. They all said a version of, "Well, the lady who walks and feeds the dogs on Saturday and Sunday may not want to wait around for you to come and get your dogs."

    Me: "If she calls us and tells us she's there we'll come right down. We're five minutes away."

    Them: "Well, I can't speak for her and she's not here. The point is, we're closed and you'd have to wait until Monday."

    It was really incredible. Thank God (and I truly mean it) for the last kennel we called. I've been there for grooming and I like the owner. The only reason we called them last is because they are a bit further away, but the little drive will be worth it. So there! :tongue:
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    If someone is there to feed them and let them out or walk them, they should be able to be there for a pickup or drop off. They should have set times,at least. Say from 6 to 7 at night or earlier in the day. You should not be forced to leave a dog for a six day stay. To me, that's bad business. It's not good for a lot of dogs and God forbid you have a dog that has special needs or needs medication, they charge for all those extras too. I'm grateful that my in-laws are able to take my dog while we are away.
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    MWM, I wish you lived closer to me. I think you are more in the middle of the state? We are a mill town as well, plus being heavily dependent on tourism. We are really hard hit with the bad economy.

    The kennel I use is amazing. The first time I used them was quite by accident. It was when I had my surgery. I panicked about the dog being in the house alone and no one to take care of him.

    Not only that, no way was he letting anyone in the house. I was truly afraid that if the police came, they'd wind up shooting him.

    The kennel owner, who was friends with the K-9 handler, came out to the house, managed to walk and talk Gryphon down until she could get a leash on him and drag him out the door.

    She put him in the back of her car and instead of taking him to the pound, took him back to her facility.

    He was there for SIX WEEKS until I was well enough to take care of him. Amazing stuff to do for a person you didn't know.

    To make it really amazing? She refused to charge me a dime for a boarding bill of over a grand!

    needless to say, she's got a customer for life and I recommend her to anyone I can find in the area who has dogs or cats.

    She has her clients bring in their own food, but will handle raw foods, special medications, etc., for no extra fee.

    She also refused to raise her rates a couple of years back when everyone else in the area did so.

    She's still doing a bang-up business despite that, and is in business where a couple of other kennels have gone under.

    She'll even pick up and deliver pets for a 20.00 round trip fee. I had to use her once to take Gryphon to the vet when his back first went bad. She refused to charge me for the trip!
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow! She sounds great!

    I'm near Wausau, about an hour away. I'm fine with the last kennel that we called. The babies will only be "jailed" for 2 1/2 days. Considering that they have the entire house most of the time and are treated like royalty in our house, they can handle that. I'm sure they will be puzzled and sad, but, hey, they're dogs. As soon as we come get them, they'll be fine. I would never leave them for six days if not necessary, even if I was a billionaire.
  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yep. You are slightly less than an hour away from me. If you should want the contact info for this kennel, feel free to PM me and I'll give you directions and phone number.
  16. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I am so thankful that my sister in law lives on the next block from us. Her adult daughter lives there too and we just have her come take care of the dogs when we are gone. We pay her a fee that is no where near what the kennels charge and the dogs and cats get to stay in the comfort of their own home.

    I hope yours have good luck at the kennel you found.