One local woman's TikTok video about her dog Miso's recent stay at a Wag Hotel in San Francisco has sparked a round of expected online outrage from the dog-owning community.
The woman's name is Michelle, and the TikTok video was posted August 8. In it she describes not being able to access the in-room camera she had paid $120 per night for to monitor her dog's stay, and she describes seeing her dog looking "dirty" in the crowded all-day play area for all the dogs staying at the Wag Hotel location. But it was when she picked him up, Michelle says, that she was most disturbed. She describes Miso arriving home in a "very poor mental state," with his legs "caked" with urine.
Pictures show the golden doodle's legs and underbelly indeed looking urine-y.
@_mitchiemitchie DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET WITH WAG HOTELS // pls tag fellow california per owners. im physically ill and horrified thinking how @Wag Hotels | Pet Resort treated miso during his stay last weekend. our pets are our family and i trusted wag to provide him a high level of care which obviously did not happen. i cannot fathom how a clean, healthy, well trained dog would willingly roll in urine all weekend when he has NEVER done so. what did you do to my dog and why did you refuse to send the camera feed i paid for during his “deluxe suite” stay? #dogsoftiktok #waghotels #pethotel #goldendoodle ♬ original sound - michelle
To be clear, Michelle, whose TikTok is @_mitchiemitchie, has a relatively popular account where she posts content about working in "Big Tech" and about her dog — and she has one video about the ultra VIP experience at Disneyland that has 4 million views. The Miso video now has over 2 million views.
Griggs said the camera in Miso's room was malfunctioning, and further confirmed, "He enjoyed three solid days of supervised play, slept in a private deluxe suite on a memory foam raised bed, had a large appetite, and became a staff favorite."
The Yelp page for the SF Wag Hotel has one of those warnings that come after viral uproars like this about some reviews being unreliable. But if you scroll back through the "not recommended reviews," you can find many positive and negative reviews going back over a decade at this location, long before the recent pile-on. And a number of reviews confirm Michelle's account of the crowded conditions in the all-day play area. One review, from a customer who had 24-hour camera access to their dog, reported seeing him howling and distressed and not receiving dinner until 11 p.m.
"I don't think sticking 40 dogs in a room together with one person is okay in any doggie daycare," writes one reviewer from 2013.
Another reviewer from 2012 wrote, "My good friend worked for this daycare for 3 years and she said they would put 60+ large dogs in a room together with one person overseeing all of them."
Other reviews spoke of dirty conditions, and also had dogs coming home in dirty or agitated states.
Granted these are all first-world problems, and maybe there's only so much you can expect from a corporate dog hotel. But if you're paying what many humans pay for an overnight stay somewhere in order to pamper your fur baby, you probably would be similarly upset with what Michelle describes.
Wag Hotels has now had to lock its Twitter account and limit comments on its Instagram as a result of the dustup, as SFGate notes.