Digging Deeper into pet boarding regulations after Henderson dog dies in sitter's care

Digging Deeper into pet boarding regulations after Henderson dog dies in sitter’s care

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There are many apps and services out there that allow us to leave our pets in the care of a sitter, but it is often hard to tell if someone is licensed to do so. 

8 News Now reporter, Victoria Saha, dug deeper into the rules and regulations for pet boarding in the Las Vegas area after a Henderson family said their dog died in the care of a sitter. 

Teddy, a 12-year-old Shitzu was a big lover of a man’s best friend. 

Teddy a 12-year-old Shitzu.

“He got big dog energy in a little dog body,” Teddy’s owner, Christopher Melendez said. 

Melendez thought his best friend would be in the best care with a sitter he found online. It is someone his family used a few times before.

“They were happy it didn’t seem like an issue,” Melendez said. 

On Monday morning Melendez got a call. 

“The sitter said Teddy escaped with a few of the other dogs, the other dogs were found but Teddy wasn’t,” Melendez said. “I know Teddy, he’s not one to stray far. She had mentioned she had gone to some of the neighbors to ask around.” 

Teddy a 12-year-old Shitzu.

Melendez told 8 News Now he put up fliers and went door to door asking neighbors if they saw Teddy. However, when the neighbors told him the sitter never went to them that’s when he knew something was wrong and confronted the sitter again.

“She explained to me that another dog she was taking care of must have gotten into a fight with him, they come home to find Teddy allegedly gasping for breath,” Melendez said. 

Melendez said the sitter claimed she was going to take Teddy to the vet when he died on the way. Instead of still taking him to the vet, Melendez said they did the unthinkable.

“They decided to take him out to Lake Mead parkway in the desert and try to bury him,” he said. 

Melendez made the sitter’s husband take him to where they buried Teddy and confirmed it was him. 

Teddy a 12-year-old Shitzu.

“It really sucked to see my dog like that he was covered in dirt,” Melendez said. 

On Thursday, 8 News Now went to the sitter’s house in Henderson, however, her name or business cannot be disclosed because no charges were filed. 

Saha: “Did Teddy die under your care?”

Sitter: “Yes he did die under my care.”

Saha:  “Ok can you tell us what happened?”

Sitter: “And it was an accident”

Saha: “So why not tell the family right away what happened?”

Sitter: “He had told me the mother would had an embolism if she found out about it and that’s why I didn’t want to say anything so I didn’t want to kill a person.”

Saha: “Did you have a business license to run out of this house?”

Sitter: “Ok you have to speak to my lawyer.”

Saha: “Ok can I get his information?”

The sitter procceed to shut the door. 

8 News Now checked with the City of Henderson and found out the business license number the sitter advertised on social media was invalid. 

They also say in a statement ” The City of Henderson does not issue animal establishment licenses and/or permits to residential addresses.”

As for Melendez, it is hard for him to imagine the suffering Teddy went through. 

“It just kills me thinking maybe teddy was alive and he could have been helped,” Melendez said. 

8 News Now checked with Clark County regarding pet boarding regulations and they responded with the following statement.

“As for the County, it is unlikely this kind of business would be approved. This is akin to a kennel, which is something you would find in a place zoned commercial, not a residential area. In the County, if you operate an approved business in a residential area, clients would not be allowed to visit in-person (problematic for a house-based pet-sitting service). Additionally, the County restricts the number of pets in residences. So to operate a house-based pet-sitter service, a waiver would be required as well as a use permit to exceed the number of allowable pets. These would not likely be approved.”

Clark County

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