RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!
We hadn't been there in a while, but had very pleasant experiences in the past - in fact, we'd come to think of Animal Resorts as one of those hidden gems we'd been so lucky to find. Our cat is both older and diabetic, needing insulin shots twice daily, and the former owner, Jason, had always been caring and enthusiastic about the animals under his care (as had the staff).
Our experience under the new management could not possibly have been further from our earlier memories.
Initially, everything seemed okay. Making the reservation appeared to go smoothly.
On the morning of my departure I had a 9:20 train to catch, so I went as arranged to drop the cat off at 7:30. To my complete surprise, there was nobody at the kennel, despite both the arranged drop-off and the posted 7:00 opening time. No answer on the phone. A handwritten note on the door listed an emergency contact number, but that too went unanswered. After leaving several messages, and waiting outside for 90 minutes - long enough that there was no way I'd be able to make my train - I had to bring my cat back home, about a half-hour away. I finally got a call at 10:00 a.m. from the manager (curiously enough also named Jason), who claimed one of his people hadn't come in that morning, but he d be happy to take the cat now, unless I d made other arrangements. I explained there was no way I could make other arrangements on such short notice, and furthermore, I had to change my train at a not-insignificant change fee - not to mention missing a half-day of my vacation. The extent of the response was a sorry. Having no alternative, I had to go ahead and leave my cat.
Flash ahead to pickup time - I'm at work, so my wife goes to pick up the cat, as arranged. Guess what? NOBODY AT THE KENNEL. Again, despite the arranged pickup and posted hours. Since she had to get to work herself, she left the cat carrier and a note indicating I d come to pick up the cat as soon as I could after work, probably around 7:00 - still well within their hours of operation. Both my wife and I received nasty voicemail messages from manager Jason complaining they d had to go out on a supply run, she shouldn't have left the pet carrier outside their door, and they were going to have a staff meeting starting at 4:00, so we absolutely had to pick her up before then. Furthermore, Jason claimed we were scheduled to pick up our cat on the 16th, not the 14th (as we had actually arranged from the start), so we shouldn't have expected anyone to be there. In other words, it was our fault.
At this point, I had to take off from work so I could go pick up our cat. The manager didn't even come out to the front, but had crated up my cat and left her in the lobby. I hoped she had been treated well, but the overpowering stink of urine dashed any hopes there. I have no confidence that she received her required insulin injections, and will have to monitor her very carefully for the next several days (not to mention giving her a thorough bath). One of the employees checked me out - not providing an itemized bill until after I had signed the credit card slip. I quickly saw why - they'd charged me up until the 16th, not the 14th. Yes, that's right: Not only did they refuse any accommodation for the costs I incurred because of their negligence, but they were fraudulently charging me for services not performed.
I will be contacting the credit card company immediately to dispute the charge, and will be filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and contacting the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria to ensure the facility s adequately licensed and that inspections are up-to-date. While a bad individual experience may not be sufficient for license revocation, and there is certainly room for leeway in the level of care provided from facility to facility, I want to be sure any animals in their care are at least safe - something which right now I seriously doubt.
Phone: (703) 823-3647
Address: 3208 Colvin St, Alexandria, VA 22314
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