When you go away on vacation, who takes care of your dog? And when you sign up for dog training, who is at the other end of the leash? If you take your dog to a kennel, this video may make you think twice. A PETA observer worked at Inghram’s Sit ‘N Stay Dog Academy, a training and boarding kennel in Tampa, Florida, after PETA received a disturbing tip from a distraught former customer.
What our observer documented may be shocking to all who have ever left their dog at a facility that they thought was run by “expert, professional trainers who … love dogs” and used “humane and caring methods,” as Sit ‘N Stay claims to do on its website.
Dogs Confined to Cages Without Water for Hours on End
Dogs at Sit ‘N Stay were confined to cramped, sometimes broken crates—without a drop of water to drink—for up to 19 hours straight as part of their “training,” according to a supervisor. They weren’t even allowed out of the crates when bleach and other noxious chemicals were sprayed nearby.
Unsurprisingly, some of the dogs objected to such intensive confinement by barking. Workers attempted to silence them by throwing metal bowls against the cages or, in one instance caught on video, by jabbing a caged dog with a broom handle. Workers also banged bowls, trashcans, and trashcan lids against the cages and sinks in an apparent attempt to frighten and intimidate the dogs into silence.
PETA’s observer saw that some dogs were crated for nearly two hours outside in the blazing sun without shade or water, even as the temperature rose into the mid-90s and the heat index reached 105°F. When offered water, the dogs drank continuously for up to two minutes.
Leashes Used to Crudely Muzzle Dogs
Dogs sometimes escaped from the cages and got into fights. Instead of comforting a dog who was bleeding from a serious wound sustained in an attack by another dog, a manager repeatedly yanked on her collar and roughly attempted to tie her mouth shut with a leash.
PETA’s observer documented that on several occasions, workers tightly bound dogs’ snouts with leashes—stressing them and dangerously inhibiting their ability to pant and cool themselves—instead of, if worker safety was a concern, using proper muzzles. They were visibly terrified.
Our observer also documented that staffers failed to dispense prescription medication and food that dogs’ guardians had provided, while a supervisor gave several dogs believed to have hookworms a prescription antibiotic—which does not treat hookworms—without a veterinarian’s or the owner’s knowledge or authorization.
A History of Concerns
Facility owner Clarke Inghram has been repeatedly accused of abusing and neglecting dogs. Hillsborough County Animal Services has lodged several complaints against him, including for “helicoptering” dogs—spinning them in the air by a leash attached to a choke collar—as a way to “establish dominance.” He has been repeatedly fined for leaving dogs outside without shelter or water, including one case in which a dog died of heatstroke. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers reportedly revoked Inghram’s membership.
What You Can Do
Did you board your dog here? Can you spot your dog? Is this what you expected and paid for? PETA hopes to hear from those who entrusted their beloved dogs to this kennel. Please contact us.
Warn others about the dangers of boarding facilities by sharing this video on social media.
Whenever you are searching for a trainer or going out of town and can’t take your dog with you, the safest and least stressful option is to leave your dog at home with a trusted caregiver. If that’s not an option, always carefully screen boarding facilities by touring them in person, asking detailed questions about animal care policies, getting references from other customers, and checking with the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and animal protection organizations to see if any complaints have been lodged. See more tips on finding a reputable pet sitter and boarding kennel here.