Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

South Tampa pet center where two dogs died gets another new owner

TAMPA — A dog day-care and boarding center where two pets died from heat exhaustion in July has changed hands a second time since the deaths.

Lucky Dog at 1116 W Fig St. became Love My Dog Resort after the two deaths drove off two-thirds of the customers there, Love My Dog owner Natalie Conner said at the time.

But Conner announced on the company’s website Jan. 1 that Love My Dog Tampa would be closing because of "financial constraints" on Jan. 6 and reopening Jan. 8 under new owners.

The new owners are the people who originally opened Lucky Dog and operated it for seven years, said spokeswoman Brittany Hill. They are not the people who owned the business when the two dogs died.

"The transition in ownership was abrupt, but has already resulted in very positive outcomes, such as the original Lucky Dog team being reassembled," Hill said. "We are very excited to have our family back on board."

The team had operated Lucky Dog for seven years, she said.

Conner took over the week after Lucky Dog closed in July, redesigning the center, re-training staff members who hadn’t been fired, and implementing new safety procedures.

"Things happened here," Conner said then.

In the letter posted on the Love My Dog website Jan. 6, Conner said, "I have put my heart, my soul, and my money into doing everything I know to do in this industry to rebuild and ensure Tampa that they had a safe, clean, well-managed and caring facility for the most unconditional loves of our lives, our dogs."

The letter says any fees paid for future boarding would be returned or pet owners could redeem them at the other two Love My Dog locations, both in Pinellas county.

Pam Carollo of Tampa, a Love My Dog customer, said she intends to drive her dogs to one of Conner’s Pinellas locations.

"I am heartbroken by the closing of Love My Dog Tampa," Carollo said. "Natalie and her staff were dedicated to the safety and well-being of every dog that came through the doors."

It was business as usual at the Fig Street location during Love My Dog’s final day Jan. 6, with a full parking lot and the sound of barking dogs. Manager Briana Platt said Conner is moving employees to the Pinellas locations.

Platt added, "All we can really say is that we did our best; we love the dogs, we’re here for them, and we will miss them and Tampa."

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported incorrectly the timeline of ownership for Lucky Dog.

Contact Libby Baldwin at lbaldwin@tampabay.com. Follow her at @LibBaldwin.

Comments
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 20

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 15, Central 0
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 6 hours ago