Family wants answers after dog injured while boarded

Boarding owner claims wounds were flea "hot spots"

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

MOUNT DORA, Fla. - A local family wants an investigation after they boarded their dog, Sweetie, while they were out of town. When they got her back, she was all chewed up, and appeared to be the victim of a dog attack.

"I'm devastated. I'm heart broken. I feel like I let my dog down," said Janise Ellixson, who said she thought something was wrong when she called to pick up her dogs from her regular sitter, The Pet Chalet in Mount Dora.

"She asked if we could wait an extra night and come get her Monday instead because they had fleas," Ellixson said. "She wanted to bathe them."

When they got home on Monday, the wounds described as "hot spots" left by the fleas got worse.

"As soon as I looked at it with open wounds, I knew it was much more than fleas," Ellixson said.

"It was a circle of black, and hidden was a pool of blood and puss," said her daughter Ashely.

Ellixson's veterinarian said what the owner of Pet Chalet had passed off as "hot spots" from fleas turned out to be puncture wounds - a bite from another dog.

The bites were about two to three days old, and the skin around them had already died. Sweetie was very sick.

Surgeons had to cut away a lot of skin to help Sweetie come out of it.

Pet Chalet's owner, Rhonda Brown, refused to talk with Local 6 on camera, but said Sweetie wasn't attacked while she was taking care of her. She said there were those spots on the dog where fleas had gotten to her, but no dog bites.

"It makes me feel sad because I feel like I let down my grandpa," Ashley said. "I said I promise to take care of his dog, and it makes me feel very sad."

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