KATY – A family in Katy is devastated and hoping for changes after their dog died in the care of supposed experts.
“He was our baby, and we literally just dropped him off there, never having another worry. I just don’t want anyone to ever do that again,” said dog owner Julie Aasmyr.
When Harry and Julie Aasmyr went on vacation on July 17, they thought they’d found the perfect place to board Duke, their 4-year-old English-cream golden retriever, after hearing about Katy Dog Suites from a friend.
“It looked like a very good, large place. You could see individual buildings, you could see fenced-in grassy areas for each dog individually,” Harry said.
But just eight hours after dropping their beloved pet off, they learned he had died.
“He was found unresponsive on the outside portion of his kennel, and they tried to get his attention, and that’s when they discovered that he had passed,” Harry said.
Katy Dog Suites manager Robert Sherlock says they had a necropsy report done, and while it came back inconclusive, it’s suspected Duke’s cause of death may have been heat-related since he was found with a bloody nose.
“We were quite shocked because we obviously have a lot of dogs that like being outside on the grass and we really advertise that the dogs can go in and out 24-hours a day,” Sherlock said.
The Aasmyrs said Duke wasn’t familiar with doggy doors and was not the type to act on impulse, but rather only do as he’s told.
“Maybe they were doing their rounds and Duke heard voices and he thought that was his cue to go outside. And then I pictured Duke waiting for somebody to call him back inside,” Julie said.
“If you have a new dog that isn’t used to this and is out in the heat, if that dog shows distress, how do you know?” Harry said.
The Aasmyrs had Duke cremated. In his honor, the family hopes Katy Dog Suites changes its policy to include more frequent checks, and an in-depth questionnaire about the dog’s personality and behavior so this never happens again.
Management says they are looking into making changes.