Dog owners, workers demand accountability after ‘ticking timebomb’ doggy daycare goes up in flames

SEATTTLE — Monday’s fire at the Dog Resort in SODO has sparked a weekend protest.

Doggy daycare workers, former Dog Resort employees, and dog owners joined forces to call on the Dog Resort’s owner to own up to what they’re calling bad practices.

“We want Mona to take accountability for her negligence in owning this business and not treating the employees and the dogs well. She needs to be held accountable for her actions and so far she hasn’t taken any blame for anything,” said Johanna Gotz. She’s the founder of Pet Lovers Against Dog Resort.

Gotz said Monday’s fire is the latest in a slew of four incidents at the Dog Resort’s locations this year.

“I was upset. distraught. Really again? It isn’t even a full year yet,” said Isaac Walker, whose dog Nola was at the Dog Resort when the first incident happened this year, a fire at the Lake City location.  Then in April, a dog named Norie got out at the SODO location, she was the first dog to die this year while under the Dog Resort’s care.

“In April Norie got hit by a car. She got loose and got hit by a car and I knew Norie and she was the cutest dog,” said Gotz.

Gotz says another dog got out and was hit, but that dog lived. Then Monday, a fire broke out on the second floor of the SODO location. Over 40 dogs were corralled and shuttled to the Downtown Dog Lounge’s vacant space. That owner, Elise Vincintini, offered it up short term, to help out.

“We weren’t thinking beyond that night,” said Vincintini.  She added, “a lot of them are supposed to be staying for a while and that’s where we’re kind of like we’re - Mona is actively looking for a place for them to stay and we’d like for that to happen sooner rather than later.”

Three dogs, Remi, Georgie, and North were still missing after Monday. Tragically, cars would hit and kill Georgie and North. Remi was found badly injured after she fell about 50 feet from an on-ramp near Lumen Field.

Gotz and former employee Nicolas Funtanilla said even after the Lake City fire, an evacuation plan wasn’t put in place.

“We’ve never been discussed with any kind of plan per se, so us in Lake City we just happened to know what to do,” said Funtanilla.  He continued, “It definitely is a ticking timebomb. so much negligence.”

KIRO 7 called the owner Mona and left a message, but didn’t hear back.

While at the protest, former employees did share recent voicemails the owner left them.

In one voicemail, the owner is heard saying, “In accordance with your non-disclosure agreement, now I hear you’re going to speak to the news about our company in a negative way and that is going to cost you every penny that you earn for the next I don’t know how long because I have an attorney who’s on this who will sue the crap out of you.”

Non-disclosure agreements are not enforceable in Washington State after the Silenced No More Act (Bill 1795) was signed into law.

Seattle Fire says the cause of Monday’s fire at Dog Resort’s SODO location is undetermined.

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