MARIETTA, Georgia — A family’s dog died in the care of a pet hotel, and they want to know what happened.
“Leni was an affenpinscher, she was about 2 years old. He was the nicest dog, probably the nicest dog we have ever owned. We miss her. I think about how she died. It makes me sad,” said Chad Benton, the dog’s owner.
Benton can’t stop thinking about the call he got from the Best Friends Pet Hotel, located in Marietta on Johnson Ferry Road.
“We were about three days into our vacation and got a call from the manager. She explained that no one saw exactly what happened, but the dog was found lying there, still responsive,” Benton said.
Benton says staff members rushed Leni to the vet, but she didn’t survive.
Benton says Best Friends Pet Hotel offered to pay for Leni’s autopsy report.
According to the autopsy report, Leni died of a severe bite wound to her thorax, which is the area between the dog’s neck and abdomen.
Benton says Leni had a broken spine, broken ribs and internal bleeding, and was playing in a group with other dogs the day she died.
“She told us she was playing in a group with bigger dogs, which we didn’t even know was a possibility. The responses we got were that the staff were in the room but didn’t seen or heard the incident,” Benton said.
Ben has signed a contract stipulating that group play activities take place in a group environment with close pet interaction and injury may result. The contract says the company’s pet health plan does not cover any injuries.
The Bentons hired a lawyer.
“We asked them for compensation for the replacement of the animal, which is really based on Georgian law. (That’s) all we can ask for in damages since a pet is considered property staff,” Benton said.
Best Friends Pet Hotel released this statement on Leni’s death:
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Leni Benton, and we are saddened by her loss. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of the animals in our care. Unfortunately, due to litigation imminent, we are unable to comment at this time,” said Chastity Black, Best Friends Pet Hotel Center Manager.
The Bentons have another affenpincher who was at the pet hotel with Leni while the family was on vacation but did not participate in group games.
Benton says her family has used Best Friends Pet Hotel for the past year and had no problems before Leni’s death.
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