Santa Clara’s Wag Hotel has implemented new policies after a dog attacked four employees, sending three of them to the hospital.
“While no one can predict animal behavior with 100 percent certainty, we have reviewed this situation closely and taken several new actions that go over and above the industry-standard procedures we always follow,” said Kristen Rau, Director of Marketing for Wag Hotel.
Rau says Santa Clara’s Wag Hotel has added additional intake questions for dog owners. It has also requested a current list of Santa Clara County’s ‘vicious dogs’ and has asked the county for regular list updates.
Company-wide, Wag Hotel has created a working group to develop and implement additional safety-related procedures.
Santa Clara police were called to the Wag Hotel at 2000 Duane Ave. around 4:30 p.m. on June 13.
“When we arrived we did have multiple people with injuries,” said Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) Captain Wahid Kazem. “The dog was not properly secured at that time. Our officers assisted with the securing of the dog as well as ensuring that the injured parties received medical transport to the hospital.”
Wag Hotel says all four employees are recovering and two of them have already returned to work.
Officials say the dog was a pit bull, though it might have been a mix. The Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) took the dog. Officials at SVACA say the dog was euthanized soon after at the request of the owner.
Rau said the dog had stayed at the hotel once before. During this stay, the dog was isolated in the company’s “special care” program and it was not a part of the hotel’s general dog population.
Police are now investigating whether criminal charges can or should be filed. Captain Kazem says while officers are very familiar with the penal code, they are now working with the Department of Fish and Game and the SVACA to see if other sections of code or law were violated.
“If this was a situation where the dog ran out in public and bit several people, we would have a different lens with which we would be looking at that incident,” said Kazem. “Versus one that the owner turns the dog in, this business willingly accepts the dog understanding what…some of the behavioral challenges may be with the dog and an incident like this unfolds with numerous victims.”
Some media outlets are reporting another employee at the same location was injured by a dog on June 15. Captain Kazem says there were no calls to dispatch or any police response to that location on that day.
Cal/OSHA also says it only received a report from the pet hotel regarding the June 13 incident.
“Employers must notify Cal/OSHA of serious injuries which are those that result in hospitalization,” said Cal/OSHA Public Information Officer Frank Polizzi. “It should be recorded in the employer’s injury log and Cal/OSHA would look into any recent incident as part of the current investigation.”
Cal/OSHA is investigating to see what caused the incident and to see if there were any safety violations. The department has six months to issue any and all citations. The facility will be allowed to operate while the investigation takes place.
If a violation is found, the Wag Hotel must correct the issue and may be required to pay a penalty fee.