Trying to find a place to board a dog or cat for a trip or for the work day that is clean, within budget, and keeps pets happy can leave owners scratching their heads.
"It's sad that it takes something bad to happen for you to realize that place was not right for me or my dog," Jordanne Skid said.
Skid was heading back to school and needed a place for Ralph, her 2-year-old Labrador to go during the day. At one Kansas City area doggie daycare, Ralph came back smelling pretty bad.
"When your dog leaves there ... smells of urine and then the doggy power is put over them," said Skid, upset at the condition Ralph returned home in from a pet care place.
Skid finally found a place that she and Ralph like, but the search cost her a lot of time, worry and money.
Finding out if a boarding kennel, doggie daycare, pet sitter has a state license or if there are complaints or even violations can be complicated.
Missouri and Kansas departments of agriculture regulate them, but they don't make it easy for pet owners to get access to that information.
Before owners leave their pet with strangers, there is a list of state documents that KCTV5 News obtained through public record requests that shows, at the time the records were provided in May and June, licensed pet care facilities in Missouri and Kansas.
"Certainly do your homework and see best facility is going to meet the needs of your pet," said Courtney Thomas, of the Great Plains SPCA.
Thomas' big tip for pet owners looking for someone to watch their pet is to just drop by the facility to see the conditions for themselves.
"To sense how you feel when you walk in and the reaction of your pet," said Thomas. "I encourage you to take your pet along with you."
The ASPA recommends a ratio of one employee per 10 to 15 dogs at a facility.
When it comes to the safest number of dogs in a play group, they recommend between six and 10. Click here for more info.
"One of the other things that I think is so important, is to make sure that facility has a backup plan for emergency medical care," Thomas said.
To see more advice from the Great Plains SPCA, click here.
To obtain inspection, complaints and violations on pet care places through a public records request, click on the following links.
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