Learn From the GREEN ACRES Dog Boarding Tragedy

by on July 3, 2014

in consumer

Dog - Mans Best Friend - A Black Labrador Retreiver

After reading about this Green Acres tragedy where 20+ dogs died from heat exhaustion, I got to thinking about how you can protect yourself and your beloved furry family member from possible situations like this.

To be honest, it can be pretty hard to ascertain what or who is a good boarder for your pet. Something like the tragedy at Green Acres is near impossible to predict. But not completely impossible. If folks have good or nothing bad to say about a facility, then how can you tell you’re putting your animals in danger?

And when I mean in danger, I am suggesting both a facility that might appear to be a business or even a friend or neighbor.

After the fact, during a 21-minute interview of the wife/business operator and seeing how the facts are slowly spilling out, you can see that the Green Acres facility is NOT the place to take your pets any time in the near or far future.

During the video interview with the business owner (MaLeisa Hughes), it reeks of warning signs when she is getting incredibly defensive and tries to redirect any question lobbed at her.

I would think there would be more remorse than attitude and not accusatory statements about the media perpetuating sensationalism. It’s not her best day. Ever.

Hindsight Warning Sign points about this facility include

1 – They apparently were continuing to take on boarding clients, even while and after they were stockpiling the dead bodies in a shed. << allegedly.

2 – The owner saying “It’s not a business, it’s dog boarding.” (17:38)

3 – In reply to if they’re registered with the state of Arizona, “We couldn’t, we tried.” (17:55)

4 – The owner says to reporters “Stop asking me questions.” (20-min mark or so)

5 – The owner calls the reporters various names, such as trespassers and jerks.

6 – Pointing out that you are holding a foster child in your arms while taking defensive and argumentative stances with reporters. (Maybe the foster system should take another look at these folks?)

7 – Any or most moments in the video interview.

In my mind, after seeing the various and developing press reports, something foul seems to (or allegedly) have taken place that caused these dogs to die, and I’m not sure it was due to the original issue that was reported, that being that a dog chewed through power lines that killed the A/C, or something else.

As one comment under the YouTube interview video put it:

“17 (or 20) dogs don’t die between 11:30 PM and 5:30 AM with temps in the 75-85 degree range during that time because the AC went out. It is obvious they were left there during the heat of the day without being checked on.”

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How Do You Judge an Animal Boarding Facility?

From looking back at some statements associated with this situation, I have to consider some of the following points to be strong indicators or warning signs that a pet boarding facility is not the right place to take your animal:

1 – Inquire or research their business license. Period. Then, moving on from there, here are more checkpoints or warning signs to ponder:

2 – A boarding facility that places all their business in a single, seven by ten foot room.

In my mind, a serious boarding facility would have kennels to keep animals. Or that boarded animals run free in the person’s home, where they take care of them as their own.

A facility that has only one room, suggests lack of planning or severely limited capacity.

3 – Clients reported that their dogs smelled extra good or horrible after their stays at the facility.

In my mind, what’s being covered up when you get your animal back either spruced up to smell extra special or completely ignored to the point that they abnormally stink?

4 – Clients reporting that upon getting their dogs back from boarding, they exhibited excessive thirst.

In my mind, where’s the damn water and why would my dog be parched after staying at a boarding facility?

Even if this turned out to be an honest mistake, after watching this, I believe I would never be comfortable bringing my business to the place. And situations like this make the small business owner who is trying to get their business off the ground are hampered by crap like this. I don’t mean to bash on small boarding facilities, but I urge caution and due diligence in choosing one. That’s all.


tpnn.com: disturbing-video-arizona-senator-jeff-flakes-son-responsible-for-death-of-20-dogs

youtube.com (20-minute interview)

azcentral.com: green-acre-kennel-kept-taking-dogs

azcentral.com: green-acre-kennel-deaths

Hidden Camera in facility:


(a 12-minute vid, with mostly dialog, but I skipped to the 9:35 mark where we get to watch the owner become defensive and evasive.
As one comment put it: “”D”isposed of of humanely” You mean left to rot in the shed, MaLesia?“)

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