Employee accuses District Dogs of negligence, unsafe conditions

A current manager at District Dogs is speaking out against what they say are "unacceptable and unsafe business practices" that put pets in danger.

The employee asked FOX 5 to hide their face on camera in order to keep their identity anonymous. They have worked at the doggy day care for four years and are now coming forward with disturbing allegations because they don't want anyone else's pet to get hurt. 

"I’m scared all the time," the manager said. "There’s this kind of undercurrent of anxiety, knowing more bad things that could happen at any time."

On Friday, May 3, the whistleblower sent a formal report to HR detailing the unsafe protocols happening behind closed doors. 

"The way District Dogs operates risks the injury and death of every dog," the document states. 


Lawsuit accuses District Dogs of negligence in tragic dog drownings

It’s a tragedy that a lawsuit states could have been prevented.

The employee claims this is due to understaffing, dogs being packed into playrooms without much oversight, and the company not following the proper "Fear Free Pets" guidelines. 

HR allegedly responded to the claims by saying no changes would be made.

"She told me point-blank that she didn’t agree with any of my assessments, and that the company had no money, and that if I went to the media, we were all going to lose our jobs," the manager said.

The employee also said that right now, they would not recommend anyone drop their pet at the day care. 

"It really bothers me that our clients are being given a false sense of safety when they leave their dogs in our care and not being able to meet that promise we’re making," the manager said. "Until those bigger issues of transparency and safety are resolved and parents can confirm their dogs are in safe environments at all times, I personally wouldn’t recommend it to people."

Back in August 2023, 10 dogs drowned as floodwater rushed into the District Dogs Northeast location.

"I think a lot of people failed all of those dogs and I don’t think that any one person is specifically responsible. But I think it was a really deadly combination of people who decided good enough was good enough, and it wasn’t their problem," the manager stated. "It was absolutely preventable and a lot of people messed up to allow this to happen."


Family mourns puppy kicked, killed by District Dogs employee

The owners of the puppy that died after being kicked by a District Dogs employee are still grieving their loss.

More recently, in February 2024, an adorable puppy named Bronny was kicked to death by a worker at the District Dogs location in Navy Yard.

"Everything is incredibly troublesome, and we’re also just being kept in the dark about all of it, so I think that the sum total of it is that things are bad and getting worse, and no one will explain how we’re going to make them better or when that’s going to happen," the employee said.

FOX 5 reached out to the District Dogs CEO Jacob Hensley for comment. Over the phone, he said, "I don’t respond to nameless and faceless accusations."