Mix-up at doggie hotel leaves two black labs confused




Posted on December 28, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 29 at 10:21 AM

ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Bella and LaiLa had a confusing Christmas. Bella belongs to Stacey Peterson. LaiLa belongs to Anne Galasso.

Bella runs to the wrong owner, and so does LaiLa.

"There's alot of confusion here," said Anne. "I call my dog Bella, LaiLa, because she doesn't answer to LaiLa anymore."

"They're trying to make sense of it all because they lived as the other dog for three weeks," said Stacey.

The mix-up began at the PetSmart hotel. Both dogs were checked in nearly three weeks ago.

Stacey's parents picked up the dog for her, and once at home they sensed that something was wrong.

"We immediately noticed, her ears look different and her tail looked different, the way she walks is different," said Stacey.

Anne had no idea that LaiL wasn't LaiLa.

"Looking back, I feel like a fool. I can't believe it. I had this dog for three weeks," said Anne.

Finally, knowing her dog has a missing lower tooth, Stacey checked the dog's mouth.

"And we were like wooo, this is not our dog. This is not Bella," she said.

Stacey took the dog to a vet, who scanned its microchip.

That's how they found Anne and made the switch.

PetSmart is making amends, paying all the hotel and vet bills.

But the dog owners say the company should not remove dog collars when they're checked in.

"At one time I said why are you taking off her collar. because I was concerned, they said corporate policy," said Anne.

PetSmart agrees. A company spokesperson says the collars are replaced with paper collars. They might have torn off and that's why the dogs were given to the wrong owners. The company is reviewing that policy. 

Both owners said they would go back to PetSmart.