An Olathe family never thought the day they dropped their dog off at a doggy daycare would be the last time they saw him alive.
Douglas, a 70-pound Goldendoodle, died while at doggy daycare while his owners were working.
He joined his family last May. From sharing hamburgers to car rides to having his own couch, the family admits Doug was their spoiled sidekick that went everywhere with them.
"He's became our child," the wife said.
“There is a fine line between having a pet and having a companion," the husband of the family said. "We don't have pets. They are a part of our family."
Doug’s owners wanted him to socialize with other dogs. They toured several doggy daycare facilities before choosing Fetchers Play and Stay in Olathe.
“We were very picky," he said. "It is kind of like finding a daycare for your children. You want to get the best one."
Doug was dropped off just like he had been many times before, but when it came time to pick him up, the doggy daycare couldn't find him. Doug was discovered dead underneath the pool.
“They couldn't find him," the husband said. "They looked all over for him. Someone decided to lift up the pool and when they lifted up the pool, unfortunately, he was underneath of it dead. He laid there undetected for four to four and a half hours."
It was later determined a plastic pool was knocked on top of the dog and other dogs piled on top of the pool.
“I saw one of the workers pick him up and carry him towards the camera," the wife said. "I was like is that my dog. Is that my dog? i saw it was my dog? I lost it."
The family hopes to raise awareness to change policies and regulations so a dog cannot go unaccounted for at a facility.
“There should be a dog checklist, head count during shift change where every dog is laid eyes on and accounted for," she said. "There should be a certain number of dogs per worker that can be safely monitored."
The family continues to struggle following Doug's loss. They cannot clean Doug's nose prints off their back door.
KCTV5 reached out to the doggy daycare owners who were emotional when we called. They said they take full responsibly and are grieving and heartbroken.
They said they are working with their staff and focusing on training to make sure something like this can’t happen again.
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