About two weeks ago, The Dog Resort in South Seattle caught fire. Several dogs got out, and one was hit and killed by a car.
In February, The Dog Resort’s Lake City location also burned when a dryer caught fire.
Funtanilla says he worked for The Dog Resort for around five years, at the Lake City location and—after the fire—at the location in South Seattle.
King County Public Health Records show that both locations were investigated or inspected after complaints were sent in to the agency, involving The Dog Resort locations and owner Mona Elassiouti. We showed Funtanilla some of the complaints to get his response.
Many of the complaints centered around unsanitary conditions. One complaint filed in paperwork dated Nov. 21, 2023 was from a dog owner who stated that their pet, “would come back smelling of urine and feces, and just a dirty dog.”
“She would make sure we had to charge them for baths. We were stuck between a hard place, we wanted to give them a bath because it was ridiculous. They didn’t pay for a bath, and we’d get in trouble,” said Funtanilla.
“I remember when the dog got hit and killed, I think I was still definitely working there at the time,” said Funtanilla reflecting on that time period.
“She has everybody so exhausted, so tired. The facility isn’t necessary organized right. She doesn’t have people necessarily trained up right and accidents do happen,” said Funtanilla.
“I do remember there was a Christmas time, when we clocked in over 200 dogs,” said Funtanilla.
“Dogs getting wounded happened all the time. Unless one of our more dedicated people were on call to take care of it, she wouldn’t want anything done, and definitely we weren’t supposed to talk to dog parents. That was her job or one of the manger’s job,” said Funtanilla.
FOX 13 News went to Elassiouti’s listed address to try to talk to her. The person inside at the time didn’t answer the door. She did respond to FOX 13 with a message saying that she was considering an interview, but had no comment yet.
“I hope something can be done,” said Funtanilla.
A spokesperson for Public Health sent out a response to our questions about the role of officials there when inspecting the facility:
Public Health’s Pet Business Program conducts an annual inspection for each permitted facility, in addition to as-needed inspections to follow up on previous violations or complaint investigations. During these inspections, we share educational information and inspect the facility to verify that it is in good repair, that proper cleaning and sanitation is taking place, and that the facility is operating in compliance with code – for instance, that animals have enough space and have appropriate food and water. We also review the facility’s infection control plan and key records, such as rabies vaccines and bite logs. These are all requirements laid out in the Board of Health Code Chapter 8.03, which defines the scope of our authority.”
A spokesperson wrote:
We received a complaint Aug. 29, 2023, regarding inadequate staffing creating an unsafe environment. We followed up with an inspection Sept. 1, and found violations, including inadequate supervision (preventing the facility from operating in a safe and sanitary manner), gross unsanitary conditions due to lack of staffing to perform cleaning and disinfection, not keeping sick animals isolated from other animals, kennels not large enough to prevent overcrowding, not providing water, and insufficient record keeping for dog bites (dog to dog, and dog to human).
We remained in contact with the owner during their appeal to continue to seek improvement in their animal health and disease prevention practices. We conducted re-inspections Sept. 22, Oct. 3, and Oct. 12, observing and documenting progress towards compliance requirements. The last re-inspection was Nov. 8, and we found the facility had substantially met the compliance requirements. At that point, the last step to permit reinstatement was for the facility to send us requested documents, such as an employee handbook that outlined the infection control plan and operational procedures. As we were still waiting on that document, the permit suspension and appeal process continued.