Toms River: We want to warn you some users might find this article disturbing. We have received over forty allegations of animal abuse, illnesses, insurance fraud, and nonpayment of employees out of the Four Paws Hotel and Daycare in Toms River the last few days. Stories of seizures, bites, kennel cough, dogs not being fed, dogs smelling like pee, and covered in feces are just a small percentage of the horror stories we are hearing. These are their stories.
Karla Cohn messaged the page saying “Our Bernedoodle Auggie was there from 6/11-6/13. We paid extra for daily walks and camera access, which was very spotty. The dogs were not let out of their cages or checked on from 7pm until at the earliest 8am the next morning, the first night a dog was loose on the camera feed roaming the rooms all night. Auggie was never let out for walks, nor any of the other animals, they circled the indoor pen once for some of the animals and then locked right back up. Auggie was fed without being let out in the morning first to relieve himself, and at pick up was covered in his own poop and urine. The dogs were allowed to poop and urine in the play pen they had set up. A couple of days after picking up Auggie he developed a very bad cold and was given a round of Antibiotics, Kennel Cough.”
Kaitlin shared this story with us. “Hello, I thought it was strange that they didn’t ask for any type of vaccine records to be allowed. They didn’t ask for them or proof. Not even a week later, our puppy ended up with a horrible case of kennel cough that resulted in him being to be on antibiotics and opiates to help suppress his cough. We bought the camera access to watch him during play time while he was there and the employees were on their phones when they should have been watching the dogs. On multiple occasions throughout the day I saw my dog being attacked by other dogs in the play area and nothing was done. When we picked him up that day, he was so dehydrated that I had to go to the McDonald’s down the street and get him a large cup of water to drink in the backseat. I cried with guilt from seeing his condition after being there for his day and we had to spend hundreds on vet bills due to their negligence.”
Harmony shared with us In My dog was isolated from everything for a week because was just cruel and I was in tears. When we finally picked him up he was 10lbs lighter and we saw the bones in back showing and looked stressed and unwell. They swore he was eating but he most certainly was not. They never called to tell him he was not eating either and they never called to tell me he was isolated for days. If I didn’t log onto the camera I would have had no idea….I also never saw them take him for a walk.
Another person wrote I left my dog there for a week and she came home with an eye infection and a scratch on her nose. The staff never said anything to me about this. She also came home smelling terrible. I saw several dogs on camera pooping in the play area and never witnessed any of them being taken for walks. My dog is 100% house trained. She goes outside in all weather and I did see her poop in the play area. I also saw a young child running up and down the play area with the trays of food for the dogs. I made sure my dog was up to date on her vaccinations before boarding her but they didn’t even ask for proof. They also did not give me a report card as they claim on the website. I will not be using them again. Please keep my information anonymous.
Patty said “I took my 16 month old boxer to four paws in June for 5 days. She was seriously abused. She was choked or dragged with a rope leash, and we had to take her to the vet. She was having problems eating, and breathing she couldn’t even bark. The vet gave her antibiotic spray ..she lost weight, and when driving her home she was on my lap and my white shirt was completely yellow from urine. I had to give her a bath immediately. They never answered phone for me. She was in her cage the whole time.”
Alex shared with us “I wanted to provide my story in regards to Four Paws Doggie day care. When we first started going at the beginning of 2021, the place was ok. I thought it was weird they weren’t super strict about wanting to see the dog’s medical records and had no problem with them entering the main play area without any idea of how the dog plays.
After boarding several times, our dogs started to come back covered in urine. The smell was horrific and they immediately needed baths. The employees gave us their beds back soaked in urine. They weren’t even salvageable and had to be thrown away. Since going to a new boarding facility, this doesn’t happen anymore. (To prove its not our dog’s fault)
I noticed that during the day, our dogs were in the main play area and little dogs were in our dog’s private kennel/enclosure peeing all over their beds. Both of our dogs caught kennel cough that required medical attention and I’m still fighting an eye infection which has cost us hundreds in vet bills.
As soon as you walk in the building you are overwhelmed with the smell of urine. Additionally we saw from the cameras that they were back in their kennels for the night earlier and earlier and wouldn’t be taken outside the next morning until much later. It was about 4:20pm one afternoon that we saw them in their kennels for the night and they weren’t taken outside until after 8:00am the next day. About 16 hours in a kennel. I’m a pro-kennel proponent, however this many hours is absolutely unacceptable. That was the last time we boarded them there.
The dogs do not get walks ever during the day and they pee and poop inside of the main play area.
I’ve also noticed that the company does what I assume are money grabs: pay several hundred dollars right now and receive a bundle of daycare credits and get a few for free. I fell for this early on and now have several hundred dollars of unusable credits.”
Paige shares with us video footage of her dog getting their stuck in the cage. Paige says that her dogs mouth started to bleed after the incident and her dog had to be rushed to the vet.
Alba shares with us “My 7 month old Corgi has been Physically abused on August 3 around 1pm. An employee grabbed by the back of his neck and dragged/thrown,kicked multiple times and pushed. I couldn’t screen record or anything, I was furious with tears down my face and rushed to pick him up ! I asked the one girl why he was getting dragged and she thought it was a joke and NEVER apologized or anything.. ever since that day he hasn’t been the same.. hiding and wouldn’t leave the house!”
I am also a former employee of Four paws hotel and daycare. I want to be anonymous. I worked there for a short time. There was a dog who had a very bad seizure, turned purple in the tongue, peed and pooped himself, and vomited several times. I have been working with animals for 10 years and knew the immediate signs of a seizure. They refused to tell the owner and also did not acknowledge the dog being in rough shape and sent him home telling the owner “ he just threw up a little from being too excited”. Anytime my coworkers have tried to say anything about this situation, they told me I didn’t know anything and just kept denying it. Harvey’s dog had kennel cough, and he refused to isolate the dog or stop bringing it to work because “ the puppy just loved to socialize” so continued to bring his dog to work and infected dogs every day. When my coworker and I tried to shed light on the situation of the seizing dog or addressing any issues of how they ran the place and how it affected the animals, we were threatened by them and said they would contact lawyers and have a lawsuit for defamation of character. They have no experience with animals nor do they care.”
Another employee wrote “From the first day I was hired, although never trained, it became deliberately clear that the dogs were not being taken care of properly. This is coming from someone who has had a variety of different animals their whole life. Although it does not take a lot to recognize the poor treatment these dogs endure, I have quite a few stories and details to relay. To begin, the groomer they charge people at full price is an unlicensed minor. Secondly, there was one specific incident in which occurred multiple times where the owner repainted the floors with blue concrete floor paint, did not allow the floor enough time to dry before bringing dogs back into said area. This obviously resulted in the dogs being completely covered in blue paint. In the break room, where they would allow dogs to run wild, they left a tray of said paint on the floor. Multiple dogs were completely covered in paint. The dogs were then washed and the owners of each of the dogs were never informed of the incident. Third of all, when it would rain, dogs were not taken on walks and would be forced to urinate and defecate in their cage in which they ate and slept, some even overnight. And to make matters worse there was no drainage system to properly clean up after the animals to prevent disease from spreading. Solid feces would be picked up with a dog bag, and urine diarrhea and vomit would be mopped up. Next of all, the owner was extremely stingy when providing blankets and other comfort items for the animals, the website promises a comfortable bed for each dog who stays at the hotel, however the dogs were provided a rarely washed cot covered in previous dog’s feces, urine, vomit and even diarrhea. Next, a maximum of 2 staff members, usually one person, were inside of the ‘play area’ with up to 50 dogs for that one person to be in charge of. As animals naturally behave, many fights broke out and this became extremely difficult for staff members to control. As a staff member, I endured many bites, bruises, cuts, etc. For example, if one dog, who’s owner did pay extra for ‘Camera Access’ was picking fights/ attacking other dogs without said ‘Camera Access’ the dog without the ‘Camera Access’ would be taken out of the play area and put back in their kennel. This left the aggressor in the play area to harass and continue to attack other dogs. This allowed for dogs with camera access to be treated more humanely because their owners could see what was going on. With these being said, the staff was continually instructed by the owner, Harvey, that if a dog were to be bitten/ attacked and were not bleeding, it was not a good enough reason or threat to separate the animals. I have seen many dogs go home with lacerations, tooth marks, and bleeding, all without the dog owners being informed. Furthermore, the small dogs and big dogs were separated. And being that shifts were constantly understaffed, to put it frankly, the little dogs were always left unattended to run a muck in their collective pile of feces, puddles of urine and occasionally vomit. Also, for an overnight daycare they had absolutely no staff. This meant that dogs were left unattended in the facility from 7pm- 7am, with no staff to stop in and check if the dogs needed to go to the bathroom, or needed to be fed or watered. To add, when dogs were walked, they were walked on the side of the parking lot of the facility with a constant threat of being hit by cars passing. Also, when they had fans installed, the area of construction was not properly cleaned up and most dogs staying in that area had kennels with spray foam, and other hazardous materials, clearly putting the dogs in danger. To top it all off, these fans were only allowed, as instructed by the owner, Harvey, to circulate for a maximum of 4 consecutive hours. As this resulted in a horrendous stench all throughout the facility.
Christina messaged the page stating “My daughter got bit by a dog working for them. She was working alone with 7 dogs in a pen when they broke out all fighting. They put known aggressive dogs in with passive dogs for playtime. Obviously, they get more money for playtime. She was alone screaming for help and the manager was too busy in the front watching TV. They refused to give her the information she needed to go to the hospital to get medical treatment and kept telling her and me (mom) to use her own medical insurance… I am employed in workers comp so I knew the process. And using her own insurance would be fraud! They ended up firing her the day she was bitten-traumatized for demanding the information. She was an incredible employee always went in when they needed her. They treated her horribly when she was bitten. Even withheld her W2s to be spiteful.” The daughter went in to say that Harvey was so mean to her and told her to fight her own battles. They wouldn’t give up the insurance information and she was forced to go through private insurance. That is insurance fraud in the state of New Jersey. The next day she was fired.
One ex employee named Nicole sent us the following. I worked at Four Paws for about a year. I don’t think any of us realized how bad this place actually was until we left. We would have to bring dogs into the play area that are known to cause fights. We would have to lie to the dogs owners about their dogs causing fights, and or how their dog got hurt when you can clearly see puncture marks. There was one instance that had a massive dog fight break out with a black lab known to cause fights with smaller dogs, and I had to hop a six foot fence to get the dogs under control while the fight was taking place. Another instance an older dog attacked a mastiff puppy and I got bit in the process. They expect all employees to give medicine when we aren’t certified in giving insulin and other medications. None of the staff is certified in animal CPR. The place is a living nightmare. I pray that all the dogs I regularly saw there get out. I hope the dog owners realize how bad this place actually is. It got to a point where I was asked to have people put good reviews in and they would pay me for each good review I sent them. The fact that they’ve only been open for a year should say something. The owners sit in the office and watch Netflix, degrade underage employees, and scream at other employees for the littlest thing to the point where there would be walk outs. Harvey has also threatened us numerous times from Harvey the owner. .
4 employees who messaged us said they were owed hundreds of dollars from Harvey. They stated he didn’t give them their last check.