NEWBURG, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Kate Ottenberg took her dog Sally nearly everywhere with her, but a recent trip to a doggie day care ended with the three-year-old Coton de Tulear's untimely death.
Ottenberg says on November 11, when Sally was boarded at K-9 Divine Dog Ranch in Newburg, Md., an employee left a door to the outside open which allowed Sally to escape.
"They just left her there and I think she saw an opening and to avoid the dreaded car trip she ran out the door on to the road and was hit and killed by a car," said Ottenberg.
"She was not a dog to me. She was my entire life. I brought her everywhere. My friends and I, we wouldn’t even go out to dinner because we just wanted to be with her all the time," Ottenberg said.
K-9 Divine's owner Rachel Jones told FOX 5 over the phone that a staff member made the error that resulted in the tragedy. Jones said the business is devastated and that it is moving to a new facility which is entirely enclosed.
Jones described the facility as having very strict safety protocols.
K-9 Divine serves the District and the surrounding area in Southern Maryland.
Ottenberg says she chose the doggie day care because she wanted Sally to have a cage-free option, but she is warning other dog owners to make informed decisions about where to leave their pets.
"I want other dog owners to put safety first and to make sure that they ask the facilities all the right questions and make sure that they know what the process is when their dogs are going out, coming in and all of that," she said.
A spokeswoman for Charles County confirmed to FOX 5 that K-9 Divine is licensed and says the facility has not had any other reported problems in the past.