Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Beware budget dog care! update posted re Court Outcome

Before this worrying Blog, if you have come to Perfect Pet Sitter and are looking for the very finest 24/7 dog care anywhere - be sure to head on over to my new website - Hound Dog Hotel www.hounddoghotel.net



Recently Facebook was buzzing with a horror story of a dog ‘Carer’ a Mr John Walsh, who not only didn’t care – but has been reported to the RSPCA and will be prosecuted for cruelty if there is any justice.

What happened to a Pug he was supposed to be looking after in the owner’s absence was so shocking it was published in the national press & You Tube  (lots of links at the end of this blog), but here is the story:

Poor Otis looks really unhappy. No surprise when he was ill with
a large wound -  at this point already so bad it was life threatening.

Going away to Brazil for 6 weeks, Jackson Millan, of Sydney, Australia, left his Pug & Boxer with a man he found  on Mad Paws - an on-line company that puts owners in touch with those willing to look after their dogs. Yet within a few weeks the mans monstrous treatment of Jackson's Pug, Otis, means the dog was left with a life threatening six-inch wound.

Mad Paws has a varied mix of people offering their services. There are a few professionals such as my Hound Dog Hotel www.hounddoghotel.net – However, the majority of those offering to take dogs do so in their spare time so fees vary as you would expect. 

My Hound Dog Hotel is professional, my service unique, and my clients come back again and again because although my fees are not the cheapest, they know they can totally rely on the very best holiday for their dog - and peace of mind for themselves.

Caring for a dog properly and meeting all its needs takes effort and devotion and is much more than just a walk in the park! If someone is asking just a few dollars you have to ask what time they intend to devote to your dog. Is your dog going to be one of many staying? Will s/he get taken for proper exercise? Will there be any ‘care’ at all?

In this case the owner had thought the guy was well recommended but became worried as after a few days he no longer received any updates or pictures - just excuses. Eventually he received ONE photo of his Pug from a side view (with harness on) yet even from so far away Jackson Millan could see something was seriously wrong (the first photograph shows this as a bulge under Otis harness).

It turns out the ‘Carer’ had left the harness on the Pug continuously for three weeks. During that time it had sawed into the Pug’s skin causing a truly horrific 6” gaping wound right across the chest from left to right. The wound was so hideous it looked as if the poor dog had been slashed open with a carving knife.

The ‘Carer’ was forced to take the Pug to the vet who remarked that the dog’s wound was so infected he could smell it from across the room.

This case does not mean every non-professional (which I have to assume the ‘Carer’ was) is cruel and unfeeling.

But before you consider leaving your dog with anyone it is vital to find out all about them. What are their standards of care – do they even have any?!

When prospective clients visit my Hound Dog Hotel I am proud to show off everything - inside and out - relating to the stay of their VIP (Very Important Pooch!)

We do a tour of the outside area and the inside. The client sees everything -  the air conditioned TV room where the dogs live with me, the garden and outside doggie shower. We agree where their dog will sleep, they get debriefed on how security works, learn where we go walking (and we can go on a walk together if they wish). They are given a very detailed Checklist in which everything I need to know about their dog is recorded. 

But first and foremost – at the Hound Dog Hotel I don’t take dogs then leave them! My motto is 'Your Dog is My Job' and my care is 24/7.  

I believe round the clock company is so important when I need to go out for anything more than an hour or two I bring in one of my sitters to ‘Pup Sit’ my doggie guests so they are not left alone.

Make sure you visit the the place where you propose to leave your dog. Ask questions! Don’t be embarrassed to quiz people! Anyone not forthcoming with answers to all of your questions (or willing to show you everything) should be given a wide birth. 

Here are the essential questions you should ask anyone offering to take care of your VIP: 

Experience what experience do they have? Have they been a dog owner or worked with dogs (fyi the man called John Walsh who was caring for the Otis advertised by saying he had bred dogs - sounded OK didn't it?)

Company:  Are they going to be with your dog day and night? - or do they leave them alone as they go out all day to employed work elsewhere?

Other dogs:  How many guest dogs do they take? Do they have dogs of their own? 

Who else is in the house:  Do they have young children around? (Not all dogs like children and their play can be too intense for your dog to relax).

Exercise:  Will your dog be exercised every day without fail? Where will they take your dog to be walked? How long will they we out? E.g. will it be a 10 minute stroll around block or will your dog be taken to a leash free beach or grass walk and able to run unrestricted? (My clients get daily reports plus GPS data showing a Map which recorded the exercise session).

References:  What references do they have? Ask to see evidence of them having looked after other peoples dogs. Ask to see references - which should match with texts or emails they have sent to clients whilst looking after their dogs.

Living arrangements:  Where will your dog live and exactly what sort of area is for your dog? e.g. are they allowed in the house, if so where?

Sleeping:  Where will your dog sleep? 

Air con:  Do they have aircon to cope with our hot weather?

Outside Access:  Does your dog have access to the outside

Safety & security:  How secure are their premises? Are their any dangers in the outside area?

Their own dog tags:  Do they have dog tags to identify them as the carer whilst you are away.

Inoculations:  Do they ask you about proof of innoculations and flea treatments? You don’t want your dog coming back with fleas as they have not been selective about dogs they have previously taken on. Proof of innoculations from each dog is imperative so as not to spread diseases.


I am rightly proud of my My Hound Dog Hotel service - but it is an Elite Option – not a cheap option. My fees are not within everyone’s budget,  but taken in its totality my service is extraordinarily good value.

You must be sure the person you choose will have expertise. This means skill and experience, having a genuine interest in dogs, and above all willing to devote time and give care and affection to meet your dog’s individual needs.

I subsequently got in touch with the owner of Otis (Jackson Millan) and discovered he had paid $30 per night for both his dogs. My charge is double that for one dog let alone two! The fact is whilst I love what I do, caring for a dog's welfare and safety 24 hours a day and ensuring they are happy is a huge responsibility and you need to be completely dedicated to your doggie guests needs. 

SO BEWARE BOOKING YOUR DOG ACCOMMODATION BASED ON WHAT SEEMS A CHEAP COST. Cheap dog care is going to be cheap for a reason - and you are almost certainly going to get what you pay for. 

Ultimately it could cost you - and your dog - so much more if they end up like poor Otis.

Poor Otis. He must have been neglected and deprived not just of basic care but of any kindness. A terrible trauma for him. 




Just a few pics of some of my recent happy guests.....
Below, Asha (Pointer x) regular guest Leo (Labradoodle) and staying for six weeks Miss Coconut (Cavoodle)

Leo loves trying out all the beds (go see a video of Leo by clicking here

Soli 2 year old Border Collie, amazing reference by his owner click here


65-year-old Sydney North Shore resident Mr John Walsh appeared in Manly Local Court on Tuesday 14 November 2017, and pleaded guilty to failing to provide veterinary treatment for a large open wound in Otis the pug’s neck for a period of two weeks. 

Taken into account on a Form One schedule on sentence was a charge of committing an act of cruelty in relation to failing to take off Otis’ synthetic travel harness for a period of three weeks. 

Otis, the six year old pug, was left in the care of Mr Walsh through the pet minding service ‘Madpaws’ for three weeks while his owner was overseas. During this time Mr Walsh failed to remove the harness, inflicting a large, deep and malodourous wound across Otis’ neck and ulcerated lesions on his tongue from attempting to chew the harness off. 

Magistrate Longley convicted Mr Walsh of Sequence One, with a fingerprinting order, and an $800 fine with moiety to RSPCA NSW. RSPCA NSW Prosecution requested a prohibition order to stop Mr Walsh from being able to work with animals, but it was denied. At the time of sentence, Mr Walsh was still working under Madpaws pet minding service.  
Magistrate Longley commented that “the dog can’t talk to tell whoever is in care of that animal that something is wrong. When you put yourself in the public arena to look after dogs, there is an expectation that care will be exercised by that person.” 

“The RSPCA reiterates that those persons profiting from the care of animals need to be held accountable and to a higher standard,” comments RSPCA NSW Deputy Chief Inspector Scott Meyers.

“It’s disappointing that someone has abused the trust placed in them to look after a vulnerable animal.”

The agreed facts tendered outline that Otis’ owner contracted Mr Walsh through the pet sitting website Madpaws to look after his two dogs Otis and Dobby a 7 year old Boxer while on an overseas holiday from 3 July 2017 and 15 August 2017 for $36 per night per dog. 

On Saturday 1 July 2017 Otis was taken to a veterinary hospital by his owner to have vaccinations and a health check and was found to be healthy. On Monday 3 July 2017 Otis and Dobby were dropped to Mr Walsh’s Elanora Heights residence on Sydney’s North Shore. Otis was wearing a travel harness and dog coat at the time.
On 14 July 2017 the owner first requested photos of the dogs be sent via email. He requested again on 20 July 2017 and on 23 July 2017. 

On 24 July 2017 Mr Walsh sent a photo of Otis to the owner, immediately the owner noticed the discolouration around the pug’s chest area and requested the harness be removed. Mr Walsh removed the harness at request and asked the owner if he would like him to take him to the veterinarian. 
On 25 July 2017 Otis was presented to a veterinarian who found that he had an open wound 15cm x 3 cm and 20-30mm deep, a strong malodorous smell, had lost weight, there was a pressure sore on his chest, matted exudate around the wound, and ulcerated lesions on his tongue. 

The veterinary report outlines that the wound was deep and relatively large given the dog’s small stature, extending the full width of his chest and curving around his shoulders. The report concluded that the pain inflicted to Otis was unreasonable and caused by the failure to remove the harness. 

The owner’s mother picked up Otis and transported him to her local veterinary clinic where he underwent surgery on the wound inflicted by the embedded harness and has since made a full recovery. 

RSPCA NSW inspectors were alerted to the matter and attended Mr Walsh’s residence and conducted a recorded interview, during which time he admitted that Otis was healthy when he was dropped off and he hadn’t taken off the harness the whole time. He said he hadn’t noticed the injury because the dog was not at a high enough level for him to look at the chest. Mr Walsh claimed that he had fulfilled his duty of care looking after both dogs. 

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