SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A Scottsdale couple is taking legal action against a Scottsdale pet resort after their 6-year old Bulldog drowned while in the resort’s care.
Matthew and DeAnna Spott said they never really let their 6-year old bulldog Matilda out of their sight. She went everywhere with them, but with the hot temperatures, they wanted to take Matilda somewhere fun to play. They had no idea it would be the place where she lost her life.
"We had thought it would’ve been a good idea for her to get some socialization with other dogs," DeAnna said. So they went online and found Always Unleashed, a Scottsdale pet resort, advertising its pool where dogs can play as a selling point.
"We thought it would have been a good idea, actually that they did have a pool, because we thought it would be supervised. They said it would be supervised," she said. "So I thought, ‘Oh they could dip her in, cool her off.’"
The night before they took Matilda to the pet resort, they even recorded a fun video with her, asking her if she was excited to go to camp.
The next morning, they dropped her off with an important warning for staff members.
"You have to be extra careful with her, because you know she cannot swim at all," Matthew said.
He says staff members reassured him, saying most of the time there’s what they call a “ref” in the pool.
"They said, don’t worry about it, like we have a lot of bulldogs that come here. We know bulldogs can’t swim," he said.
Less than two hours later, they got a call from the owner.
"Who basically said we just wanted to let you know Matilda drowned today," he said. "I actually thought it was somebody playing a cruel trick on me.”
"I just kept on screaming 'No,' because I was just in complete disbelief," DeAnna said. "It was like our worst nightmare had come true, because it was like the one thing that we stressed," she said.
When they got to the pet resort, they say the owner didn’t have much to say. In fact, at one point Matthew recorded a video on his phone, questioning how this could have happened when he explicitly warned the staff Matilda couldn’t swim.
"I remember yelling, ‘How could this happen?’" he said. "They just said, ‘We don’t have a reason. We don’t have an excuse.’”
They’re hoping security cameras on the property picked up what really happened and have since hired an attorney. They’ve also launched a Facebook page in honor of Matilda and say they’re putting donations toward creating stricter animal regulation and resort laws.
"Our goal is just so that no other family has to go through this, because this is our worst nightmare and we lost our best friend and our child," DeAnna said.
12 News reached out to the owner of Always Unleashed and spoke with her over the phone Saturday. She said she is not commenting at this time.