Thank you for taking the time to read this. There are always, always, 2 sides to a story. If someone decides to make something into a story. Especially when one person has caused a side to be taken. I would prefer not to defend this. However, it’s gone pretty far. A Facebook Album, with photos, publicly linked to on Yelp, accusing us of neglecting and abusing a dog. That is the last thing we would do to a dog. It’s gone even farther than that, if you have the time to scroll down and read everything.
The story is full of interesting twists and turns. Thank you for reading it!
Here is the timeline that I created in early December, for Gilroy Police Department, and a Gilroy Dispatch reporter:
– 8/15/14: Kiwi, a 10 year old boxer, brought in for severe dog aggression. They signed up for our Level 3 behavior modification package. There are only 4 levels. There are 2 separate owners, ex-spouses. One is Joyce. One is David. Reported that a new family member of David’s is afraid Kiwi will attack her dogs. Joyce drops off Kiwi at facility for approximately 3 weeks for aggression rehabilitation. Our FAQ document that we send home at drop off states that this time frame may change due to the needs of the dog. We are happy to provide you, if you email us at info at doghouseinn.com with copies of all contracts, Veterinarian reports, and this FAQ page.
– 8/15/14: in contract, Joyce states that Kiwi should only be fed once a day (1/2 dry kibble and 1/2 can of wet). She also states this at drop off, and has prepared Kiwi’s food in this manner. The Manager, who checks Kiwi in, asks if she wants us to feed her more food, maybe 2x/day because of the increase in exercise she will be getting. Joyce says no. Copies of contracts with feeding amount outlined by Joyce can be provided. Joyce also puts photo of Kiwi’s pre-packaged food on her Facebook page. Note that she also writes that the stay will be about 3 weeks.
– 8/15/14: At drop off, Joyce makes a comment to a young child in our lobby, who is in tears that she is leaving her dog for the weekend. Joyce says something like “how do you think I feel, my dog will be here for weeks!” 3 staff members overheard this, and were shocked. They are now under the direction that if any client ever berates a child, or another client, in our lobby, that they will be asked to leave, with their dog.
– 8/15/14 – 9/18/14: There are several communications between our training manager at the time, and both David and Joyce. These communications are via email and text. We are happy to provide these. Kiwi has no sores and eats normally at nightly meal.
– 9/18: Kiwi is picked up by Joyce and David after 4 weeks and three days, at the scheduled go-home appointment. This appointment had to be scheduled around a time when Joyce could come back to the Bay Area from Henderson, NV, and David and his new wife could also attend. Joyce and David refuse to engage in the one-hour go-home training session, ending the session after only 10 minutes and taking Kiwi away. There is conflicting information as to why this session was ended so quickly, from the 2 owners. This is the first time in 9 ½ years of dog training that a dog’s go home lesson ended so quickly.
– 9/18/14: Kiwi gets into a fight with Joyce’s mother’s dogs. We do not know if this happened prior to taking Kiwi to get her weighed at a local veterinarian, or not. Sherry first learned of this in her first and only phone conversation with Joyce on 9/23/14. She said “The dog didn’t even get trained, because she attacked my mom’s dogs when I took her there.”
– 9/18/14: Joyce brings Kiwi to a local vet. Joyce states to the vet tech that does the intake that Kiwi had lost weight and had a pressure sore, but vet does not prescribe any medications, treatments, tests, or follow-up. Vet notes that the owner said “attitude seems normal since arriving home.” These notes were finally sent to us on 10/6/14. We are happy to provide a copy of these notes as well. Here is a photo that Joyce posted on her Facebook page of Kiwi at the vet that day (Note that there are no sores. And she is not skeletal):
– 9/23/14: On phone conversation with Sherry, The Dog House Inn, Inc. owner, Joyce, irate, yells: “If you don’t refund my money, I will slander you and ruin your business.” She also calls Sherry every name in the bad words book, including the C word. Yes, you read that correctly. She claims that Kiwi had bad diarrhea over the weekend but was fine as of the date of the call. She also claims that Kiwi does not respond to any commands, including the command to sit. See photo below of contradiction (10/2/14 on the timeline.)
– 9/23/14: during irate phone call, Joyce says that she has Kiwi in Henderson, NV, her new home. Sherry Boyer asks for photos of what Joyce is saying happened, and Joyce says that she will be happy to provide them. She also says that Sherry should speak with her ex-husband instead of her.
– 9/23-25: Sherry investigates the legality of speaking with ex-husband. Since contract states that he was co-owner, it is decided, by text with Joyce, that Sherry would speak with David instead.
– 9/18-10/6/14: No photos yet to arrive
– 10/1/14: In person meeting between Sherry, our training manager at the time, and David to discuss the situation. During this conversation that David allowed us to record, he admitted that they had not expressed their dissatisfaction with any communication with us prior to Kiwi being picked up. He also, once Sherry showed him the FAQ sheet that goes home with all owners, said that he now understood that we had made it clear that the pick-up time frame might be longer than the first proposal.
At this meeting, we express our concern that the weight loss could mean underlying health problems, which should be investigated. Sherry requests, for the second time, photographs of what Joyce is claiming happened. We are now at almost 2 weeks out from Kiwi being picked up from our facility. At this point all we have are verbal accusations.
– 10/2/14: Here is a photo of Kiwi, sitting, off leash at Arroyo Grande Sports Complex, in Henderson, NV. This photo was available on Joyce’s Facebook page publicly, until Sherry mentioned it to her in a communication that they had on Yelp via private messaging. This photo was then made private.
– 10/2/14: Photo of Kiwi with Joyce in a park in Henderson, NV. This photo was also available publicly until Joyce made it private after Yelp messaging with Sherry.
– 10/6/14: Photographs are finally sent, along with a copy of notes from the first veterinary visit on 9/18/14. There are no time stamps on these photos, other than the date of 10/6/14.
– 10/8/14: Sherry tells David she would cover any vet costs or costs of treatment or testing to see if underlying conditions exist, as soon as possible, in an email. She specifically recommends a CBC, and is willing to pay for whatever the vet recommends. This is a 10 year old Boxer we are talking about. David argued at one point that she was a 9 year old Boxer. Her intake paperwork said she was 10. The owners, at the evaluation, said she was 10. Only when Sherry said that, as a 10 year old Boxer, there was a propensity for an underlying condition to be present, that David brought up that she was actually 9 at the time we had her. Sherry felt it within her rights to know if, by any chance, there was an underlying condition present.
– 10/10/14: (First veterinary visit since the day Kiwi was picked up from our facility): Joyce takes Kiwi to her usual vet, Evergreen Vet Hospital in San Jose. Joyce refuses to do any further testing, saying she “prefers to wait.” Vet prescribes antibiotics to treat infected sores. Note, there were 3 weeks between Kiwi leaving our care, and her next veterinary visit, where it was determined that medication was needed. When Sherry asked why there was a wait for her to be seen again by a veterinarian, David said that Joyce preferred to wait to see their regular vet in San Jose, rather than going to an unknown vet in Henderson. This is a case where the owners were sooooo worried about the state of their dog that many many conversations and accusations ensued, YET waited for 3 weeks for her to be seen by a vet? We are happy to provide a copy of this veterinary record as well.
– 10/11/14: Joyce posts this photo on her Facebook wall. She later made this photo private, after Sherry’s and her Yelp messaging on 11/15/14:
– 10/6/14 – 10/22/14: There were several communications between David and Sherry. Last communication with David was by email on 10/22/14. There was much conflicting information as to what was happening. He wrote in one email that they had decided to not do testing for underlying conditions, because they did not want to traumatize their dog further. In another email, he stated that no, that wasn’t the case, but that they did not know what Sherry was willing to pay for. However, nobody contacted us about this. We would have authorized further testing, and in fact did so in an email prior to this. David also stated in one email that they had planned to not continue training even prior to picking Kiwi up, which was one of the reasons they refused to do the training go home lesson when they picked her up. We can provide a copy of this email string.
– 11/15/14: Joyce posts photos on her Facebook page, calling for friends to write low reviews on Yelp, which are rejected.
– 11/15/14: Joyce leaves one-star Yelp review, with a link to her Facebook Album, alleging pure abuse and neglect. We reply via Yelp private messaging to address the review. This is what Yelp requests that businesses do first, before replying publicly.
Below are screenshots of the Joyce B. and Sherry messaging on Yelp:
– 11/15-12/1/14: Nothing further happens. Prior to this, and the reason we believe (although cannot corroborate this) that Joyce posted that review, is that they asked for a full refund in an email, and we did not give it. She had threatened to slander us, over the phone, and in an email, if we did not refund their money. I don’t do blackmail. I do fact finding. The rendering of services, and the post-training care (which amounted to a total of $200, according to Joyce) are 2 different issues.
– 12/1/14: The Plot Thickens!!! As if it could thicken any further…. if you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize! Sooooo…..
Someone named Joan, who is not Kiwi’s owner, attends the Gilroy City Council meeting, and shows photos of Kiwi during the public comments time. Basically saying she was just a concerned citizen, and not lodging a formal complaint.
Which begs the question. Who is Joan? Well, she’s a private citizen, and a past planning commissioner for the City of Gilroy. One of the planning commissioners who was in favor of our permit in 2007. And…. the roommate of one of our ex dog trainers, who also happens to be Sherry’s sister-in-law. The dog trainer who resigned from being an independent contractor with us in October 2013.
So yes, the plot has thickened. It’s ridiculous, and really would be nice if it would just all stop.
AND, what does Joan have to do with Joyce? We have no idea. But there she was. Presenting photos of a dog she does not know, and of a scenario that she did not investigate thoroughly.
– 12/2/14: A Gilroy Police Department Officer investigates, at our facility. He told us it would take 2 weeks for the report to become public. So we waited the 2 weeks, and requested a copy of the report. No evidence of neglect was discovered. Here is the report, minus private details.
– 12/2/14: A reporter from the Gilroy Dispatch, calls and says they are thinking of writing a report on this issue, as he had been at the City Council meeting, and spoke to the person presenting. I do believe that the reporter thought that person was the dog’s owner, however I will have to check on that. Sherry sent him what you have just read, minus the 12/1/14 part (at the time, we thought it was Joyce who was at the City Council meeting. We did not know, until reading the police report, that it was Joan.) He called 2 days later, and said they had decided not to run a story.
– 12/30/14: Sherry finally posts a public comment on Yelp, after having private messaged with Joyce, and after receiving the results of official investigations.
– 12/30/14: Joyce posts on her Facebook page, publicly:
And again, on 12/31/14, after the ex-husband, David also posted a review on Yelp:
– 2/21/15: I updated my comment to Joyce B.’s Yelp review, based on some feedback from someone. Apparently my original response from December sounded condescending to them. Certainly not my intention, at all. So I re-read it, and understood why that could have been interpreted that way, and I changed my response. I wondered if my doing that would be seen as a poke by Joyce B. It was. It’s not why I did it.
Pretty much immediately, I received the following communication from Joyce B.:
okey dokey….. can someone explain to me why the complaint now is one of not training a dog and fulfilling a contractual obligation?
I don’t know that it is possible to create an atmosphere of cooperation at this point. I am truly sorry for any part that my staff and I may have played in not creating a better outcome for this communication. I am happy that Kiwi is doing so well.
We believe strongly in protecting the animals in our care. Our mission is to be better every day, and we live and breathe constant and never ending improvement. We thoroughly investigate any reports of problems, and when needed, always go through the proper channels with any government officials (although this has never been needed until now), as well as immediately address any concerns/complaints/poor reviews from customers. We want what is best for the dog(s), always. Our mission is to take impeccable care of our client’s precious companions.
We have been rehabilitating aggressive dogs since 2005, and opened our boarding, daycare and training facility in 2007. We have trained over 2500 dogs for over 2400 families, and have never had any situation similar to this. The reality of rehabilitating an aggressive dog is that it can take time, especially with an older dog that has been acting a certain way for many years, and most importantly, that the owners be on the same page with the training and the follow-ups. Unfortunately, this necessary collaboration did not happen for Kiwi.
Of course, we wish Kiwi the best. And actually have to say thank you to Joyce. Thank you, for calling this to the attention of someone who called it to the attention of the police, and the media. Thank you for this, because they found nothing wrong. Because we have absolutely nothing to hide.
Come by for a tour. The dogs bark, it’s a big warehouse, it’s not a ritzy palace. It is clean. And our staff are amazing. And most importantly, our devotion to our client’s dogs is paramount. Any questions, please do email us at info at doghouseinn.com.
Many Blessings to you,
Sherry Boyer, Founder and CEO
The Dog House Inn, Inc.