DANVILLE, Va. – A pet boarding business is struggling to keep its doors open after an out-of-state woman abandoned several dozen dogs.
Rachael Peters and her family have been in the dog lovin’ business for many years, running the Danville Pet Resort.
“I was 10 years old since I’ve been doing this,” said Peters.
It was last summer the 20-year-old decided to uproot her life and move back to Danville to carry on the family tradition.
She now runs the business all on her own.
“It’s been hard trying to get this business back up,” she says.
The pandemic didn’t make things any easier for the rural pet boarding business already struggling to stay afloat.
So when Peters got a call in the winter from R & T Loving Paws, a Maryland-based animal rescue owned by Cindy Coulter, looking for a place to board, Peters thought her prayers had been answered.
“Cindy came to us saying, ‘Hey, I have 38 dogs and I will pay for the boarding,’ it was something that was amazing to us,” said Peters.
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Peters said it’s been more than eight months and the Danville Pet Resort hasn’t seen a dime of the more than $50,000 Coulter owes them.
“Since they were ours, we needed to figure out where they were going to go and how they were going to get adopted,” explained Peters. “We couldn’t keep them here. We were personally paying for everything.”
10 News reached out to Coulter.
In a message, she told us that it was her manager who not only brought the dogs to Danville but signed an agreement that she would have never accepted.
The contract stated that if Coulter didn’t pay for or pick up the dogs at the end of the 60 days, they became Peters’.
Coulter said she’s facing many hardships right now and doesn’t have the money.
“We refuse to give these dogs up until the bill is paid,” said Peters. “We sent out a certified letter saying she has 10 days to pay for them or come get them, we didn’t hear from her.”
Peters said with the help of local shelters and donations from the community, nearly 30 of the 38 dogs have been adopted.
She’s optimistic the Danville Pet Resort can stay in business.