NJ facility returns dog covered in feces and severely injured, woman says
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Nicole Glidden was happy she had found someone to train and board her 3-year-old miniature Pinscher. But she was shocked following his most recent stay that he came home covered in feces and with an alarming eye sore.
Without getting answers from the company, Glidden said she turned to social media and called the local police department to ask them to do a wellness check on the other dogs at the Sit Means Sit facility in the Waretown section of Ocean Township.
She said that as far as the police were concerned, Otto was not a member of her family — just property.
"I don't see this any different than me dropping off a child and them coming home injured and soiled," she said. "I don't see it any differently, but the law sees it differently."
Glidden says the company has denied any wrongdoing and reneged on a promise to cover Otto's veterinarian bills.
The shop owner on Wednesday declined to discuss the case with New Jersey 101.5 but said that he planned to sue Glidden for defamation.
A call seeking comment from the Ocean Township Police Department was not returned.
Glidden said her relationship with Sit Means Sit began when Otto was an active puppy with "fear-based aggression." She said she was pleased with the results of three weeks of boarding training, and even happier that they would board Otto when they went away.
Before leaving for a road trip to Florida, Glidden said she dropped the dog at the location on Dec. 27 and went back to pick him up Jan. 6.
Once Otto was in the car, Glidden said her daughter started to complain that the dog smelled bad.
Once they were in the house, she could see that he had a brown crust on the fur of his head and back. She said she texted local owner Bob Campanile to ask if there was anything she should know. Glidden said the owner was defensive and suggested that the dog had probably pooped in the car and rolled in it.
"I feel like he was already trying to cover his ass from the beginning," she said.
After she got Otto cleaned up in the shower, Glidden said she noticed a lack of his normal high energy and a difference in his eyes. She said the pupils were different sizes and one eye looked "pretty messed up." She said she sent a picture of the eye to the trainer, who did not respond.
Glidden said they took him to an emergency veterinarian, who told her that Otto had "one of the biggest abrasions she's ever seen," and that while she could not confirm it because she did not witness anything, Otto's injuries were consistent with physical injury.
After the Facebook post with pictures of Otto and the vet's Jan. 7 written report went viral, she said the owner of the company reached out to her.
"It was just all denials," she said.
Eventually, she said she spoke with someone who identified themselves as the owner of the Sit Means Sit franchise who told her that they would pay for Otto's vet bill.
She says the offer was withdrawn after Campanile complained that her Facebook post resulted in threats against him and his family.
"I don't want to take this guy to civil court and have him pay a $300 vet bill," she said. "It doesn't change what happened to my animal. It doesn't change that no one there has acknowledged any wrongdoing whatsoever."
Glidden said she has seen steady improvement in his condition.
When reached by New Jersey 101.5 Campanile said he could not comment until a pending lawsuit against Glidden was settled. Glidden said she was unaware of a potential lawsuit, and was not concerned.
"At the very least, if I can keep someone from bringing their dog there and them coming home the way that I got my dog, at least I can put my head on my pillow and sleep," she said.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com