An Ohio man on vacation in Mexico cut his trip short and flew home after seeing his dog kicked and dragged across the floor on a dog daycare webcam.
Mike La Salvia, of Cuyahoga Falls, left his dog, Leo, with Tails R Waggin’ Doggie Daycare in Tallmadge, and was shocked last week when he saw the pit bull mix being, in his view, mistreated when he checked the center’s webcam.
“Total pain, I mean there’s no words I can describe. Haven’t really slept since I’ve seen the video,” La Salvia said.
La Salvia immediately cut his vacation in Mexico short and got on a plane back to Ohio. Meanwhile, he had his sister, Nancy, pick Leo up from the daycare, Fox 8 reported.
The footage shows a worker placing her foot on Leo’s neck, dragging him by the collar, and kicking him in the rear as she puts him into a separate room.
It’s a reminder that, as much as they are touted by the companies offering them, webcams offer only minor reassurance to a dog owner. They’re not everywhere. They can be blocked. They can be turned off. And they don’t always keep staff from acting irresponsibly, under the assumption that few clients really have the time to watch all the footage.
Tails R Waggin’, which has locations across the country and three in the Akron area, said the worker pictured in the video was the operator of the Tallmadge and Macedonia locations.
Her franchise agreement has been revoked and she has been prohibited from returning to the daycare property, said Rebecca Brockmeyer, the founder and owner of the company.
Brockmeyer asked the public “to not group this entire company and all its amazing staff members in with one incident that none of them had any involvement in or participated in. We are working on a quick and effective resolution to ensure this never happens again at one of our facilities.”
La Salvia says he plans to file a police report against the person in the video.
He has also started a push for Leo’s Law, which would require that dog care facilities have cameras in every room that the dog can go into, WKYC reported.
A petition calling for a law requiring webcams in every room at dog day care centers had more than 800 signatures as of this morning.
Amy Beach, the woman in the video, released a statement Monday, saying she agrees the video is disturbing, but providing what she called some “context.”
“At the beginning of the video, as I let the pit bull out into the common area, it immediately approached another dog’s back. The pit bull’s hair was standing up and he was low-growling – three very distinct signs of an impending attack. It was at that very moment that I made a split-second decision to subdue the pit bull for the protection of myself and the two dogs. In the emotion of the moment, I was scared and reacted instinctively …
“I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for the heartache this has caused the pit bull’s owner and family, as well as our clients.”