EVANSTON, Ill. – For the second time this year, PetSmart has closed its PetsHotel and Doggie Day Camp in Evanston.
One dog there tested positive for the flu this week.
Owners of two sick dogs say they’re upset with the way the situation was handled.
Jennifer Picciuca says she put her 9-year-old Labrador Retriever at the store’s PetsHotel for one night and he hasn’t been the same since. Days later, she says he is lethargic, doesn’t want to eat and has as fever of 103°.
The Tarafa family left their Yorkshire Terrier at the hotel over the weekend. They say they asked the store before they left their dog if there had been any cases of the dog flu at the facility. “They said no and they’re just claiming that they never had a problem before we dropped him off, so they couldn’t tell us about it. We feel like there must have been something if we dropped our dog off and he did get sick at your hotel,” said Joshua Tarafa.
Employees at the Evanston PetSmart are contacting owners of dogs staying at their PetsHotel asking them to pick up their pets.
Staffers are monitoring those pets that remain, with a veterinarian checking them several times a day.
The Evanston store says,
“We are in the process of contacting pet parents with pets staying in this hotel to ask them to pick up their pets if possible, and are in the process of contacting pet parents who have had pets recently stay in the hotel. Once all pets have been safely removed from the hotel, we will begin a rigorous 72-hour disinfecting process. In the meantime, pets remaining in our care will be monitored around the clock by a PetSmart associate. In partnership with Banfield Pet Hospital, these pets will also receive multiple visits every day from a Banfield veterinarian.
The health and well-being of pets is our top priority, and we are going to do everything we can to help contain the spread of this virus and ensure the pets in our PetsHotel receive the best care possible. We are closely monitoring the virus and will continue to take precautionary action as appropriate.”
Owners say they think the grooming area and store should close for cleaning as well.
Until further notice, the PetsHotel and Doggie Day Care at the Evanston PetSmart will not be taking new reservations.
In April, the Cook County Department of Animal Control put out a warning about the dog flu. It’s a highly contagious respiratory disease. Chicago-area vets say they saw more than 1,000 cases of sick dogs, five died from the virus.