Lawsuit accuses District Dogs of negligence in tragic dog drownings

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

Several families have filed a suit against District Dogs after their beloved pets drowned due to flooding at the business last summer. 

Eight dogs died that day and the Northeast location remains closed. 

It's a heartbreaking memory for the families who are now seeking justice after their dogs drowned while in District Dogs' care. 

The suit was filed in the Superior Court of D.C. against District Dogs, and its founder and CEO Jacob Hensley.

In an email sent to FOX 5, Hensley said, "We believe that this action is without merit and intend to vigorously defend this suit, complete with a full recitation of all efforts undertaken to ensure the safety of this facility, our staff, customers, and the dogs in our care."


Timeline reveals delay in response to deadly District Dogs flood

D.C. leaders are just now responding to demands for answers about what happened when District Dogs flooded last week.

The company blames the flooding and tragedy on the magnitude and duration of the storm that happened on August 14, 2023.

However, the families note in the court documents that D.C. leaders and the city’s emergency management agency completed an after-action report regarding the incident and determined District Dogs's facility was in compliance with code and inspections.

Lawsuit accuses District Dogs of negligence in tragic dog drownings

The lawsuit also alleges District Dogs violated statutes related to unfair or deceptive trade practices, including repeated flooding of the business.

The drowned dogs are named in the suit and their families say District Dogs needs to be held accountable for "gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and more." 


Bowser meets with owners who lost pets in District Dogs flood; families of gun violence victims want the same

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Thursday met with the families impacted by the fatal District Dogs flooding nearly three weeks ago. Ten dogs drowned while locked in cages at the facility.

"I think our biggest goal with this lawsuit is to try to prevent something like this," said dog owner Austin Quinn. "It was a really, really tough experience for myself and my family, and I know the other families of people who lost dogs."

More than six feet of water flooded the District Dogs Northeast location that day. The families filing the lawsuit say it happened because the company’s owner failed to take any preventative actions.