Family: Our dog suffered heat stroke at boarding facility

Brevard County Animal Services orders surprise inspections in wake of incident

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – A dog boarding facility must now allow Brevard County Animal Services to inspect their premises once a month for one year under an agreement reached in court.

News 6 first reported about Paws and Claws Country Club Resort last year when a golden doodle named Molly was mauled to death while her owners were on vacation.

Now, News 6 has learned the facility was cited again for leaving another dog out in a play yard on a warm day in August, resulting in the dog suffering heat stroke.

According to court records, the 4-year-old Schnauzer named Bogie was left out in the hot weather for several hours.

Veterinary records show the dog had a body temperature of 107.6-degrees.

Bogie's owners, Stephen and Ruth Ann Vlasak, say the staff at the boarding facility claimed Bogie had a seizure, but their veterinarian determined it was heat stroke.

"When they brought him in he had three feet in the grave and one on a slippery slope," said Ruth Ann.

"He couldn't move. He wouldn't bark. He wouldn't look at you," said Stephen. "He was in real bad shape."

According to veterinary records, it took the doctor and his staff 45 minutes to reduce Bogie's body temperature to 100-degrees.

The Vlasaks say they spent more than $3,000 to save their dog's life.

Brevard County Animal Services cited Paws and Claws with cruel and inhumane treatment of an animal for leaving Bogie out in the heat.

"I trusted her so much," said Ruth Ann. "I told everybody about her."

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News 6 went to Paws and Claws to ask owner Kelli Jo Strabley what happened that August day and to see if protocols had changed.

Staff members locked the front door of the boarding facility, and in a telephone call, they said Strabley was on vacation. A man identifying himself as Strabley's husband called News 6 to say she had no comment.

Stephen Vlasak had a message for Strabley.

"She ought to close the front door and get out of the business. She has no business taking care of dogs," he said.

As part of her agreement settling her case with Brevard County, Strabley agreed to allow surprise inspections at her facility once-a-month for one year. She was not ordered to pay the Vlasak’s for their vet bills.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.