Best Friends Pet Care Informative - New Disney Kennel - Pet Care

Review by Steve-Oh on 2010-10-04
LAKE BUENA VISAT, FLORIDA -- I have used the kennels at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios a number of times and found them to be a reasonably good and clean habitat for a loved pet. Best Friends, who have been operating the kennels in a well manner for several years, have shut them all down in favor of a new, large, fancy dog “prison”. Why a prison?

1) The only material thing dogs have with them at all times to connect them to their owner both logically and emotionally is their collar. This is immediately removed from the dog when they are processed in (substitute a plastic collar, aka Orange Jumpsuit).

2) The dogs’ own leash, over which the owners have the ability to maintain sanitation, is replaced with a shared leather leash over which neither the owner nor the facility has any control of the sanitation. (no belts in this prison!)

3) Unlike the older kennels where the known and trusted owners take the animals to and from their kennels, the new facility does not allow owners past the front processing desk. So the animals get no reassurance when they are put into their kennel and probably even worse, are fetched out of their kennel by some stranger.

So if the animal is nervous about being in the kennel, imagine what it must be like to have some stranger come an try to get you to go somewhere else. We teach our children not to go off with strangers and we expect the same of our pets. Of course, in prison all those rules go out the window. 4) There are more people working at this location than the prior kennels. Pets do not have the ability to get to know any particular staffer (guard). 5) Even with more staff at the larger location there are not enough. Long waits to retrieve your pet for personal time or to return them afterwards are typical (I imagine just like visiting a prison inmate). The facility, itself is impressive (to humans) and it is probably reasonably good for the pets but the processes around treatment of the pets from their arrival to their departure is more focused on humans’ and lawyers’ interests than the best interests of the pets. Needless to say I will NEVER take my dog back to this prison.
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-10-04
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-04:
Do you HAVE to use the kennels? Surely, there are other alternatives.
Posted by T on 2010-10-04:
There are many other sanitation concerns at such a place. Are you certain there is a emotional attachment to a dog's collar? As far as the owner and pet being separated at the desk, this separation is going to take place at some point, whether desk of cage. Compare this to a trip to the vet. For many procedures, an assistant takes the pet at the counter, and walks it back. My dog dutifully follows whomever. I guess some may not.
Posted by Inat on 2010-10-04:
i understand the concerns of the OP. Most kennels will allow the owner to walk teh dog back to the kennel. it is a trust thing. i too would never use such a facility
Posted by Skye on 2010-10-04:
The best thing to do, is to leave your dog home when you go on vacation, even for a day trip. Do you have a family member, or a friend who you would trust and feel comfortable leaving your beloved dog with? Going on vacation is for people, unless you are going to dog friendly places which are few, but rare. It's less stress on the dog and yourself. Even if you left your dog at a boarding facility at home while on vacation, does not guarantee they won't be kenneled the entire time. Of course there are dog lodging places that give your dog their own room. The choice is up to you. It will give you peace of mind.

This site has lots of fantastic information on it, including things for your dog while traveling, if you do take them along:

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-04:
Not to belittle anyone and Skye makes a few good points regarding pets and vacations.
When we would go on vacation for weeks sometimes, we had the neighbor's kids feed and give the dog water and it worked out fine since they were trusted and were fond of the dog as well.

Posted by Skye on 2010-10-04:
Great advice kish. When we were kids, and our parents took us on vacations, I remember asking but whey can't we bring Maxi, and my mother would say, because it won't be fair to Maxi. She can't go on rides, visit museums, etc. We always had a relative come house sit for us. Maxi loved my cousin Lily and Lily got a break from living with her parents. It worked out all the way around.

These places are not prisons, but the dogs usually do end up most of the 24 hour day kenneled. Unless you use one of the boarding facilities where each dog has their own little room and bed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-04:
Skye: Exactly.

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