How can you trust your dog walker?

Happy Tails has many happy clients in Hoboken

2/17/2012 Update:

Hoboken residents Kristen Pierce (known for publishing the photo book entitled “Hoboken Dogs”) and her friend Jill Wehler chime in about the previous letter concerning Happy Tails dog walking service:

“As clients of Happy Tails dog walking service, we feel compelled to respond to the recent Letter to the Editor about Hoboken dog walkers giving your money’s worth.

We have been clients of Happy Tails for the past three years and in that time our dogs have thrived under the supervision and special care of Terry, her son and her sister. We each hired this service because of the wonderful work they do socializing the animals in the pack and we cannot be more pleased with the care and attention they have given our pets. It is infuriating to see a local family business being hurt by the experience of one individual whose stories about the company are riddled with inaccuracies and misleading information. It is important to us that Happy Tails receive the credit for a service that has made our lives easier and our dogs happier.”

Yorkshire was a problem to begin with, “gash” was over-exaggerated

“The Yorkshire terrier in the aforementioned article is the ONLY dog that Happy Tails has had to take to the vet. Not only that, but Terry took the dog to the vet herself and paid the bill. And the “bloody gash” warranted no stitches or shots of any kind. It was a surface scratch, not the result of a vicious attack but of a nip from a dog that didn’t enjoy the hyper dog jumping in its face. In fact, some of the responsibility for the incident lies with the irresponsibility of the owner of the terrier, who encourages poor dog etiquette and training by keeping her dog on a flexi leash around the neighborhood and allowing it to run up to other dogs without a proper meeting. In fact, without proper socialization from Happy Tails, the terrier may have received a worse blow from any bigger dog while out on a walk on the flexi leash, a terrible walking tool especially in an urban community with a large dog population.

Furthermore, the owner of the terrier REQUESTED that the dog be taken at 7am every morning and kept with Happy Tails for the entire day because of neighbors’ complaints about the dog barking. Not only did Terry agree to start her day earlier specifically to meet this client’s needs, she only charged her $15, the standard rate for a half hour walk. Certainly the owner didn’t expect her dog to be the only dog walked by the service the entire day. And if this owner was so concerned about the care of her dog, why did she continue to employ Happy Tails for a month after the “bloody gash” incident?”

Terry goes the extra mile

Terry is an amazing caregiver for dogs and to claim that her business is all about the money is appalling. During both of our pregnancies and now that we have small children, even though we pay only for the standard thirty minute walk, Terry and crew often take the dogs for several hours during the day, exercising them and making sure that they return with empty bladders and happy temperaments. We are aware that part of that time may include being in the van while Terry drops off and picks up other dogs, or grabs a much needed coffee at Starbucks on a cold day when she is outside from 7am until 8pm walking dogs of Hoboken residents. The van is also used to transport groups of dogs to a larger dog park outside of Hoboken where they have even more time and room to play. Again, all of this is done at the standard rate of $15. Never has Terry asked to be paid on a certain day or given us a bill, even though we may go weeks without paying her. In fact, against provocation, she offered a lower rate to walk our dogs when our babies were born because she knew that we were now living on a single income budget. But we pay the full rate because we trust her implicitly, respect her business and know how loyal she is to her patrons and animals.

We have never known Terry to take a single day off, including on the weekends and holidays. Often we have boarded our dogs in her home, with her own dogs, while we are away on vacation or even if an emergency situation arises. And she does this for a fraction of the price of what local boarding companies charge. We have seen her cry when one of her client’s dogs had to be put down due to illness; she texted hourly when one of our dogs had surgery for an obstruction; she gave each dog a beautifully wrapped toy and owner a free walk card at the Holidays; she will not return a dog to a home until the dog has emptied its system, no matter how long it takes. Although it goes against what many cynics would like to believe, we believe that Terry would work with these animals free of charge if she did not have to support herself through the business. She loves our animals that much.

The bottom line is that Happy Tails is an exceptional dog walking service that takes on the challenge of many dogs that other dog walking services refuse, such as the large Great Danes and Saint Bernards. They have used the pack to train our dogs to be social and more submissive with us and anyone else who may walk them. Our dogs are happier, more well behaved and more social thanks to the Happy Tails service. We are appalled by the attempted defamation of their name by an anonymous writer and we enthusiastically recommend this service without hesitation.

Kristen Pierce and Jill Wehler

Letter: Hoboken dog walkers giving your money’s worth?

2/15/2012 Update:

A Hoboken411 reader is concerned that some dog walkers may take on too much work, and might endanger the dogs they’re paid to care after.

“One of your recent articles about irresponsible dog walkers has struck a chord with me.

About 3 months ago one of my friend’s Yorkshire Terrier was left at her condo by her dog walker with a large bloody gash in it’s head. She was furious at this gross negligence. The dog walker denied any wrong doing but when taken to the vet he said the dog was bitten by a bigger dog. He healed but the incident traumatized him and he isn’t the same dog.”

Negligence or just the way it is with dog walking?

“Before firing them, my friend did her investigating and found out that the walkers pick up anywhere from 15-20 dogs at a time in a van, let them go at the dog parks by Maxwell Place, and just talk on their cellphones. Some dogs wildly attack others and others just lay in the dirty gravel. I know another person who stopped using them after discovering that his dog was being walked with another six dogs at a time when he asked for solo walks. He actually did some detective work too and found out that sometimes the walkers leave dogs in the parked van for up to half an hour while they go to the Starbucks on Hudson. Unbelievable!

I know this isn’t normally the business of Hoboken411 to do an expose on a specific business, but animal negligence and cruelty should always be exposed.

This business goes by the name of Happy Tails and they mostly work the Maxwell Place/Shipyard area. They are ALL about the money and clearly don’t care about the animals they care for. My friend’s Yorkie has never been the same since that incident and I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else’s pup.”

Do your dogs get walked every day in Hoboken?

2/6/2012 Update:

One Hoboken411 reader shares some interesting experiences with certain dog walkers in town – and makes you wonder whether all of them can be trusted.

“I adopted a dog in this past Fall who requires a midday walk to relieve herself and to get a bit of exercise, which is why we hired a dog walker.

I turned to the internet to find the perfect walker at the perfect price. It didn’t take long to find someone – after all, Hoboken IS the doggie mecca. After about a month or so of walking I was becoming suspicious that she was not being walked everyday, so I installed a camera to check up on her.

Camera nabs inept dog walkers again!

“Unfortunately my suspicions were right. Some days the walker wouldn’t come at all and other days the walker would come and move the leash to make it look like she was walked. Needless to say we needed a new walker. I did my research, contacted current customers and found another walker within a day or so.

I already had the camera set up so I figured I might as well continue to make sure she was being walked. It didn’t take long for this new walker to do the same thing!

We are now on our third walker and I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only one who has been through something like this. The only reason why I’m trying to bring some attention to this issue is because I fear that other dogs are going through the same thing — it’s cruel to not show up and for my dog to be alone and hold her pee in for 10+ hours but it’s cruelty on another level to come in to my apartment, tease my dog and then leave without her. Both of these walkers are pretty big names in Hoboken.”

Hoboken dog walker supposedly caught on camera

…helping himself to free beers!

6/4/2011 Update:

Website Methodshop had a post recently about a Hoboken dog walker apparently making himself at home, and raiding a client’s refrigerator of beer. Makes you wonder how many people you’re supposed to not only trust with your four-legged friends – but also your personal belongings!

Now I have no independent way of verifying this actually took place in Hoboken – but read on anyway…

Dog Walker Busted by Internet Video Camera

Ever open up your refrigerator and feel like some of your beer is missing? Maybe it was a roommate. Maybe you lost track of exactly how many bottles were left in the fridge. But when bottles start disappearing on a regular basis and you live alone, then you have a major problem. But how do you catch the culprit red handed? How about a hidden camera with a built-in motion sensor that you can operate from your iPhone?

The image above is a dog walker named “James” in Hoboken, NJ who was busted drinking beer when he was supposed to be picking up dog poop. He tried to deny it, but it’s hard to argue with footage of yourself drinking beer for 10 minutes when you were being paid to walk a dog. We won’t even go into the anger of knowing that a drunk person was responsible for the health and safety of your pet.

Besides drunk dog walkers, there are a tons of reasons to install a hidden camera at your home or office.

Surveillance systems have traditionally been both expensive and difficult to setup, but not anymore. The Panasonic BL-C131A wireless network camera sells for under $300 and will do everything from email you a photo when the motion sensor is triggered to to let you watch and control the camera angle live over the Internet. You can even operate the camera from your iPhone!

The Panasonic BL-C131A wireless network camera is about the size of a coffee mug and is easily hidden on a bookshelf. It’s also very easy to setup with a simple web browser interface.

Read more.

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67 Comments on "How can you trust your dog walker?"

Briard
Member
Briard

I recently lived in maxwell and just moved to the ship yard and have been using happy tails for over a year. I am the owner of a tawny briard that is 95lbs and is very energetic. I work from home and only use them from time to time which allows me to walk him and see the walkers from happy tails in action on a daily basis. They have been nothing but professional with the way they have treated my dog as well as my wife and me. If anything they are extremly personal when it comes to the dogs and become very attached to the dogs as most dog lovers do.

Chandra Cadogan
Member
Chandra Cadogan
We have been using Terry and the Happytails family for almost a year now. I am absolutely blown away by these accusations! As someone who has spent most of their life working in the Veterinary field and a life long dog owner, I have never, ever before found a more caring, conscientious and professional dog care business. Terry takes our dog several times a week, all day long and for over night boarding whenever we go away. I am sent updates at such times and even pictures of him throughout these periods that we are away. I will not even broach the subject of the ignorance of some of the comments I have read in regards to “responsibility” and “negligence”. I will however state that I am and have always been incredibly pleased with the services that HT provides and will always be grateful that we were fortunate enough to find a group of people who so obviously love not only my dog, but all of their charges. I often will see Terry and Isa out walking during the day and no matter how desperate my pup is to go over and say hello to them, if either of them is walking an unsocialized dog they quickly put a stop to the encounter. They are incredibly aware of their clients needs and are as careful and responsible as anyone could be. We are talking about living things, we don’t always have complete control. Has no one ever picked up their… Read more »
ohnoivotedforher
Member
ohnoivotedforher
How can you be surprised? Spend a day in the neighborhood on a Monday through Friday. As I understand it she stole another mans dog business to get started. Just ask any Applied Properties employee, they will tell you.[quote comment=”214004″]We have been using Terry and the Happytails family for almost a year now. I am absolutely blown away by these accusations! As someone who has spent most of their life working in the Veterinary field and a life long dog owner, I have never, ever before found a more caring, conscientious and professional dog care business. Terry takes our dog several times a week, all day long and for over night boarding whenever we go away. I am sent updates at such times and even pictures of him throughout these periods that we are away. I will not even broach the subject of the ignorance of some of the comments I have read in regards to “responsibility” and “negligence”. I will however state that I am and have always been incredibly pleased with the services that HT provides and will always be grateful that we were fortunate enough to find a group of people who so obviously love not only my dog, but all of their charges. I often will see Terry and Isa out walking during the day and no matter how desperate my pup is to go over and say hello to them, if either of them is walking an unsocialized dog they quickly put a stop to… Read more »
trueblue11
Member
trueblue11

allow me to be the first person to rip “Happy Tails” a new asshole. First, the writer of the letter said the dog was “dropped off” with a gash. If protocol would have been followed, the walker should have CONTACTED, let me fucking say it again, CONTACTED the owner about the incident. This alone shows me unprofessionalism and slip-shod organization. Second, I am putting this SCAM dog-walking company on alert…I will be PHOTOGRAPHING and VIDEOING your LAZY scam walkers DUMPING dogs at the run by Maxwell Place. I’ll bet most of their clients are rich, clue-less residents of the North-East corner of Hoboken who couldn’t give 2 shits about their dogs well being as long as their out of their faces for the afternoon and they come back in 1 piece. The whole thing boils down to 1 thing…RESPONSIBILITY, a DOG IS A RESPONSIBILITY. If you can’t care for a dog, DO NOT GET ONE, no matter what your friends say or what is the hottest FAD-DOG right now… I’ll also bet NONE, again NONE of the clients dogs that this scam company “walks” are dogs from shelters or rescues. So get into damage-control mode write all the letters you want, but remember, you are now on the radar.

funattherun
Member
funattherun

I’m just wondering if you are so tough and articulate in person[quote comment=”213998″]allow me to be the first person to rip “Happy Tails” a new asshole. First, the writer of the letter said the dog was “dropped off” with a gash. If protocol would have been followed, the walker should have CONTACTED, let me fucking say it again, CONTACTED the owner about the incident. This alone shows me unprofessionalism and slip-shod organization. Second, I am putting this SCAM dog-walking company on alert…I will be PHOTOGRAPHING and VIDEOING your LAZY scam walkers DUMPING dogs at the run by Maxwell Place. I’ll bet most of their clients are rich, clue-less residents of the North-East corner of Hoboken who couldn’t give 2 shits about their dogs well being as long as their out of their faces for the afternoon and they come back in 1 piece. The whole thing boils down to 1 thing…RESPONSIBILITY, a DOG IS A RESPONSIBILITY. If you can’t care for a dog, DO NOT GET ONE, no matter what your friends say or what is the hottest FAD-DOG right now… I’ll also bet NONE, again NONE of the clients dogs that this scam company “walks” are dogs from shelters or rescues. So get into damage-control mode write all the letters you want, but remember, you are now on the radar.[/quote]

trueblue11
Member
trueblue11

I’m not tough, just passionate about what I believe when it comes to animals. as for articulate, thank you, I don’t believe i’ve ever been called that.[quote comment=”214007″]I’m just wondering if you are so tough and articulate in person[/quote]

mooshu
Member
mooshu
Radar. That’s nice. I imagine you consider this a productive extension of your energy. I’m assuming as well that you’re a retired officer with too much time on their hands. Listen, partner, I don’t work for HT or know anyone who works for them. I keep to myself, a good way to live. But the story just doesn’t add up. Wouldn’t you, if your dog had been so viciously injured while under the supervision of whomever was on staff that day, have ceased any and all relationships with this company? If they were so irresponsible? Yeah, you would. And if the injury were super duper serious, you’d have sued. No doubt about that. Let’s face it. This company is not a band of trainers. They’re pretty much dog care providers, distinct from dog trainers. And the dog owners know it. It sounds to me, based on both letters, that the Yorkie was untrained and unruly, and that another dog showed him/her that a certain dominant behavior was unacceptable. If you know anything about dogs, you’d understand that when they’re all at a dog run and one of them starts to act up, there will always be a dog that will put a misbehaving dog in its place because boundaries NEED to be established. This doesn’t just happen to companies like Happy Tails. Stuff like this happens in a regular ol’ pack of dogs that visits the dog park on any given day. It’s the way it is. Either way, in… Read more »
DMFan101
Member
DMFan101

Since moving to Hoboken in May 2011, I have been using Happy Tails Nanny to take care of our 5 1/2 year old Bulldog, Clyde. We received glowing recommendations from fellow neighbors and other Hobokenites about the services provided by Happy Tails.

From the very first time we used Happy Tails, we LOVED them! Our dog has such fun when he is being taken care of by them and it is evident how much everyone at Happy Tails loves our dog! They take such wonderful care of him and send us pictures of him throughout the day, clearly having a good time and they always keep us updated on how he is doing!

I could not imagine using anyone else to care for my dog! I would highly recommend Happy Tails to anyone who is in need of a dog walker/sitter for their dog.

Animal Lover
Member
Animal Lover

Hello, I’m very sorry that your friend’s dog had gotten hurt. But I just have to say that I’ve been a client of Happy Tails for some time now and I have had nothing but
positive results.

My dog is always happy to see them, he gets along well with all of the dogs, they make sure he gets a lot of exercise and he comes home exhausted.

He has had a couple scrapes here and there but that comes with the territory, they are dogs. I never had to take him to the vet to fix his cuts.

And I’ve been to the Maxwell dog run many times to watch him play and I have never seen the dogs “wildly attack others”. I still trust and feel comfortable leaving my dog with Happy Tails.

ohnoivotedforher
Member
ohnoivotedforher

I am sorry Animal Lover, if the ASPCA watched Happy Tails, a prosecutor would be knocking at your door. Happy Tails = Corral them drive them to the nearest Hoboken dog walk and let them go! [quote comment=”213983″]Hello, I’m very sorry that your friend’s dog had gotten hurt. But I just have to say that I’ve been a client of Happy Tails for some time now and I have had nothing but positive results.My dog is always happy to see them, he gets along well with all of the dogs, they make sure he gets a lot of exercise and he comes home exhausted.He has had a couple scrapes here and there but that comes with the territory, they are dogs. I never had to take him to the vet to fix his cuts.And I’ve been to the Maxwell dog run many times to watch him play and I have never seen the dogs “wildly attack others”. I still trust and feel comfortable leaving my dog with Happy Tails.[/quote]

mooshu
Member
mooshu

Sounds like what they do to all the toddlers at certain preschools and nurseries except the kids are released into jungle gyms. They fall, get hurt, scream and yell (usually for no reason), and some of their moms are nasty (but that’s another story).

Anyway, my question is: had the pet care worker notified the dog owner about the incident involving the Yorkie (wound)? [quote comment=”213989″]I am sorry Animal Lover, if the ASPCA watched Happy Tails, a prosecutor would be knocking at your door. Happy Tails = Corral them drive them to the nearest Hoboken dog walk and let them go![/quote]

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