Last week in a Nashville courtroom, The Dog Spot was ordered to pay $5,924.00 in a lawsuit over the death of a dog in its care. During the testimony, Chad Baker admitted it was never the practice to separate dogs by size in play areas, despite the claim on their website – which he says he copied and pasted from other websites, without reading the details.
The case arose when Rachel Waldrop took her two Chihuahuas, Hall & Oates, to be boarded with The Dog Spot in March of 2016. During boarding, Hall, who weighed 5 pounds, was placed in the same play area with Baby Girl, a 55 pound pit bull mix. For an undetermined reason, Baby Girl bit Hall. Staff took Hall to a veterinarian, but was unable to be saved.
One of the reasons that Waldrop chose The Dog Spot for her small Chihuahuas was the claims on their website, which stated:
- “we separate dogs by size”
- “small dogs and puppies have a special area all to themselves”
- “Do you separate giant dogs from little dogs? YES!”
In court, Gary “Chad” Baker testified he copied portions of other doggy day care websites, including portions about separating large dogs from smaller dogs, “without fully reading them”. Chad Baker testified that:
“it has never been the practice of The Dog Spot to strictly separate large dogs from small dogs in play areas.”
Baker continued “the practice since opening The Dog Spot was to place dogs in separate play areas based upon the dogs temperament”.
The court found that the placement of dogs of different sizes together is a material fact to a dog owner in deciding where to board dogs, and that The Dog Spot misrepresented itself by advertising otherwise on its website, despite the policy.
When it was all done, The Dog Spot was found in violation of breach of contract, and of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), resulting in a $5,924 judgement.