The owner of an Orlando, Florida dog day care said dog muzzles won’t be used anymore after concerns were raised over how dogs are treated.
The move came a day after a local television news reporter first spoke to an employee who claimed that the owner of Orlando Canine Country Club put muzzles on dogs to keep them from barking.
Orlando Canine Country Club released a statement saying:
Workers told local news that dogs would sit muzzled for hours, often alone and overnight.
Video taken at the doggie day care shows a worker putting a muzzle on a dog, then leaving it in a room alone.
“They would stay in their rooms for hours at a time,” said former employee Amy Marflak, who worked at the Orlando Canine Country Club for two months.
“The amount of dogs that were muzzled just for barking — it felt cruel and inhumane to me,” Marflak said.
The owner told stated she would muzzle dogs for excessive barking to protect them and to prevent them from stressing out other dogs.
“This type of muzzle should never be used to prevent barking,” said Dr. Kyla Garrels. “The purpose of a type of muzzle like this, the only purpose, is to prevent bites.”
According to Garrels dogs should never muzzled simply for barking, they should never be muzzled and left alone and should never be muzzled after eating.
Signs posted in the doggie day care instruct workers that the dogs must remained muzzled, clearly stating it is mandatory, referring to muzzles as “party hats.” The sign reads: “Party hat at all times! It needs to go on immediately after I eat too!”
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Orlando Canine Country Club’s owner, Tomi Mac, said one time a dog was muzzled overnight but the owner was aware of it. She insisted dogs were only occasionally muzzled and said the former employee did not work at the facility long enough to be able to draw her own conclusions.
“The issue is exaggerated,” said Sara Brady, of Sara Brady Public Relations. “Sometimes employees don’t leave on the best of terms.”
Maybe a public relations song and dance is not the best solution at this point.
Katheryn Goulfine, who said she is a past customer of Orlando Canine Country Club, said she took her dog Zoe to the facility last year and found out through the facility’s Web cameras that Zoe had been muzzled.
“I see in the camera that she’s depressed and upset and I zoom in and I noticed she has something black around her mouth,” said Goulfine. “I was appalled.”
“When I picked her up, she threw up all over my car,” said Goulfine. “So the vet said it was due to her being stressed and dehydrated.”
Goulfine said that when she called the facility to ask why Zoe was muzzled, she was told her dog’s barking was disturbing other dogs.
Monday night, the facility’s owner posted a complete statement on the Orlando Canine Country Club Website. Click here for the link.