EXCLUSIVE: Pet Spot owner speaks out following local dog deaths

NORWOOD, OH (FOX19) - The owner of the pet care facility where three local dogs stayed and later died spoke out for the first time Tuesday.

Veterinarians recently announced that final tests reveal The Pet Spot in Norwood is not at fault.

The Pet Spot staff says was a challenging two weeks not knowing if anything they did resulted in the deaths of the dogs. After closing their daycare facility for just over a week, they just re-opened Monday.

Earlier this month, over the course of just a few days three dogs died and another became ill, all suffering from similar symptoms of what doctors called a "rare sickness" while staying at The Pet Spot.

It was something the staff says has never happened in the eight years they've been open.

"We believe this to be the loss of three of our family members. We'll always continue to ensure that we do things the right way and make sure we've taken every step to ensure a clean, safe environment," Pet Spot owner Jeff Voelpel told FOX19.

Voelpel says experts have taken more than 100 test swabs of the facility, and doctors at Ohio State University and the MedVet animal hospital can confirm all the results so far have come back negative. Voelpel says there is one more test outstanding for something called the circovirus.

"A school in California has been tasked with the job of basically running one final test for this circovirus, which is again something that they don't think will provide any answers but they want to leave no stone unturned," he said.

Voelpel says he didn't agree to do any interviews before Tuesday because he wanted to wait for more clarity on the test results.

"Until we were able to get these facts, we really kind of had to sit back and wait until the appropriate time to share that information with people," he explained.

Moving forward, The Pet Spot does have a few changes to the way they run the facility, including not serving dogs their food unless they sign a waiver.

Voelpel says changing a dog's diet can sometimes upset their stomach.

"We're going to demand that you bring your own food and then that way, we're not going to shock your dogs system on your request and then having to consequently deal with these kinds of issues," said Voelpel.

He says it's great to find out that their facility isn't linked to the deaths of the three dogs, but he as much as anyone else wants to find out what caused these animals to die.

Vets are continuing to undergo studies to find a cause. The Pet Spot hopes to hear back on the test results of the final circovirus in the next couple weeks.

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