Video shows pets kept inside cages in 5 Paw Pets daycare

Kennel assistant's video shows reality is far from what's advertised

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. - Video taken inside a doggy daycare shows caged animals inside what is supposed to be a facility that promises never to cage an animal.

5 Paw Pets is advertised as a cage-free facility -- a sprawling Southwest Ranches Estate where dogs run free during daycare and boarding.

Last year, Local 10 was invited inside and given a tour.

"Why pay to put your dog in a cage?" 5 Paw Pets owner Ely Lucca told Local 10 in May of 2012.

Pet parents were promised that Five Paw Pets was a cage-free establishment.

"It's a full-time service that we offer. Pets are supervised 24/7," Lucca said in 2012.

But now a different story is coming out as a result of a video taken at 5 Paw Pets.

"24/7 supervision -- that's absolutely not true," said Jacob Arman. "They have the kennel that's hidden in their backyard and the dogs are kept in there."

Three months ago, Arman was hired as a kennel assistant.

"It's all kind of just a facade," he said. "The clients don't really know what's happening and they (5 Paw Pets) do a good job of making sure they don't figure it out. "

They fooled you really well and they fooled everyone," he said when asked if he'd seen Local 10's previous report.

Arman, who contacted Local 10 after seeing our story posted on 5 Paw Pets' website, the false advertising runs deep.

"The five walks a day from your news report, that's completely not true," he said.

When asked if he was responsible for walking all the dogs, he replied, "Yeah, and I can't walk them all five times a day."=

But possibly the most disturbing allegation of all, are claims that this cage-free facility is keeping dogs in cages for 15 hours a day.

"The dogs that make a mess all over themselves, I wash those dogs," Arman said.

He says he starts his day just washing cages and washing dogs who were left in filth overnight.

"It's not just about loving animals or even liking animals," he said. "It's just inhumane. No living thing should be kept like that in the cage of feces."

Local 10 showed video with their dog to the Gay and Rudy Cachuela, the pet parents of a Maltese name Mailie.

"That makes me mad to see her in the cages, totally not what we thought, totally not what we thought," Gay said. "We chose 5 Paws because of the appeal of having her in cage-free daycare. She got even less freedom than when she's at home with me."

The Cachuelas didn't know about a hidden house where the cages are kept, calling the practice totally deceitful.

Local 10 made repeated attempts to contact Lucca at her business and on the phone. Two different interviews were scheduled, then cancelled, after Lucca said she was in the hospital.

We paid a visit to the facility, but were not allowed in, even though it was during business hours.

The owners who welcomed us with open arms last May refused to answer any questions.

The facility is still operating, but Arman never went back to work after our interview.

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