July in Tampa, Florida brings temperatures over one hundred degrees. Lucky Dog Day Care and Resort supposedly requires the dogs in their care to be brought inside by 11 AM. But that did not happen this past Saturday during the busy Fourth of July weekend. As a result, a four-year-old French Bulldog named Porscia passed away after being found in the facility’s outdoor area around 12:15 PM. The cause of death: heat stroke. Porscia’s body temperature was 109 degrees.
When Mia Norton received a call from Jack Hamilton, co-owner of the boarding facility, she knew that something was terribly wrong. She choked back tears as she spoke to ABC Action News about her beloved family pet and the heartbreak over her loss.
“Porscia and my son were very very close and they did everything together,” Norton said. “Porscia was always part of our family she was part of everything we did.”
Hamilton said that the protocol of the business is to start bringing all of their dogs inside at 10:30 AM, with everyone inside by 11:00. According to him, the employees working on Saturday did not follow procedure and Porscia died because of it.
Surveillance video from Saturday captured an employee running through the facility with a lifeless Poscia at 12:18 PM. According to Hamilton, the rest of the dogs were still outside at the time. The general manager, assistant manager, dog trainer, and kennel manager were fired as a result of the incident, and a handful of other staff quit.
Porscia is not the first dog to pass away from heat stroke while under the care of Lucky Dog this summer. Hamilton held a staff meeting to discuss company protocols after an English Bulldog succumbed to heat stroke. He says that his staff still failed to follow set procedures.
The incident has left Norton heartbroken, baffled, and full of questions.
“What protocols? What is being done? What could have been done? If I had known another dog died there there is no way I would’ve put my dog in there,” Norton said. “Why did no one see my dog? If a dog is panting is anyone seeing her? Are there too many dogs? Are there not enough people? They told me one person was there, one person for how many dogs? 40-50 dogs? You can’t do that.”
A former Lucky Dog employee told ABC Action News:
“I’m seeing that all they care about is the profit, the revenue. If they cared about the dogs’ safety they wouldn’t put 40 dogs with one person.”
Both dogs were bully breeds which are known for being especially susceptible to heat stroke. Norton believes that too many dogs and not enough staff led to Porscia’s tragic death and that of the dog who passed before her.
“I just think they got too big,” Norton said “We noticed a huge change. They remodeled everything and we noticed there was a lot more dogs. This shouldn’t happen. You take the extra precautions, you get the extra staff to ensure that this doesn’t happen, there is nothing anyone can say or do to bring my dog back.”
H/T & Featured Images via ABC Action News
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