OLNEY, Md. - An Olney family is mourning the loss of one of their dogs while celebrating the incredible survival story of another — and they say it all happened because they put their trust in the wrong doggy daycare provider.
Three-year-old Copeland and five-month-old Blue were supposed to be at a doggy daycare in Rockville, but on Monday night, their family got a call saying Copeland was found dead on the ICC and blue was missing.
"I dropped two happy dogs off there, and I got one dead dog and a dog that laid there in a trench for 15 hours and is still somewhat in shock,” said Ted Saunders.
Saunders didn't want to make the name of the doggy daycare public but says he later found out they were unlicensed, and even now, days later, he still doesn't know how the dogs got loose.
“Copeland and I were, we were buds. I'm probably gonna get upset talking about him, but he went everywhere with me,” said Saunders. "It's like dropping your dog off at child daycare and somebody shakes your child to death. I mean, the same thing. The same feeling of loss is, it's tremendous."
Saunders family is taking solace in having Blue back, which they say is a miracle.
"It was raining so hard, it was hard to see but we were still out there. We couldn't go to bed not knowing where he was,” said Tori Lucas.
Lucas, 16, her mom, their friends, and police spent a whole night searching for Blue.
In the end, just as Saunders predicted, they found him in the same spot where Copeland had passed.
“We just wanted closure. Even if there was just a body we wanted to do justice for Copeland by finding his best friend, and finding him alive was just crazy,” said Lucas.
Now, they hope it serves as a cautionary tale for other pet owners saying if they'd dropped the dogs off elsewhere both of the best friends may still be alive.
“I dropped somebody off perfectly healthy and I got a dead dog when I came back from a business trip. I don't think anybody wants to feel that pain,” said Saunders.
FOX 5 did reach out to the doggy daycare Thursday night. The operator said no comment and hung up the phone.