Residents are Barking Mad at Doggie Daycare; ‘Essentially We Are Living Over a Dog Farm’

By Lisa Kava

Dogs are barking, people are yelling and neighbors are complaining in an ongoing battle between residents and SPOT Canine Club, a doggy daycare facility that leases space on the first floor of 105 West 72nd Street.

The situation has become heated over the past few weeks since the dog care center began a renovation project. Prior to the renovation, neighbors had complained about excessive barking in the courtyard. But those complaints have accelerated since the renovation started, because the dogs have been relocated outside in a courtyard.

The residents of 105 West 72nd Street say they are fed up. “Essentially we are living over a dog farm” one said. “We hear dogs barking and howling all of the time, it is just unbelievable. I don’t even know how to describe it. This is like a dog hotel.”

A nearby resident sent the video below of the courtyard where the dogs have been.

The resident of 105 West 72nd, who lives on a low floor facing the courtyard, told West Side Rag that the problem has been ongoing for years, but has gotten much worse in recent weeks. He said he believes there are 50 or more dogs in the courtyard for about 12 hours each day. “We have called 311 many times. They give a complaint number and then they do not follow up. We have complained to the store staff and manager. Nothing helps,” said the resident. “There is always yelling and screaming at the poor creatures attempting to keep them under control.”

Nichole Patterson, the General Manager of SPOT Canine Club, told West Side Rag that only 12-15 dogs are rotated outside at once during a regular day and that during the flooring renovation part of the construction project there had been a maximum of 40 dogs kept outside. She did not respond to questions about whether employees are yelling at the dogs.

There is some confusion as to whether the renovation is now complete. West Side Rag called SPOT Canine Club and was told by the employee who answered the phone that the construction had ended as of Friday May 25th. But Patterson told us the renovation is ongoing. “We are aware of the noise complaints of the residents in surrounding buildings,” she said. “Construction to improve the facility began this month and largely focused on the flooring which would prove hazardous for the dogs. As a result, we had to move regular daycare activities outdoors and under tents which has increased the number of dogs in the outdoor space at one time. To attempt to minimize the noise, we significantly reduced the number of daily dogs we had in daycare and we have been in contact with the buildings Board and Superintendent. Construction on the flooring is complete and dogs have resumed their regular outdoor schedule in smaller groups between 9 am 5 pm. We understand that barking is inconvenient and apologize to residents. Dogs are always supervised and our trained handlers actively discourage barking.”

Patterson said the facility will be transitioning to AKC Canine Retreat at the end of the summer.

Residents of other buildings in the neighborhood also said they have found the situation upsetting. Matt Paiton, a freelancer who works from home and lives on West 73rd Street facing South to the courtyard has found the barking a nuisance but said he is also particularly concerned about the welfare of the dogs. “While I haven’t seen anything, I have heard the staff shouting very aggressively at the dogs, on at least one occasion shouting “bad dog” at the pets at the top of their voices.” Paiton has filed two 311 complaints within the past few weeks.

He posted the video below on Twitter.

Other neighbors have complained about the noise and left negative reviews on Google.

Anya Stiglitz, who owns an apartment which faces North towards the courtyard at 105 West 72nd is currently renting it out. Stiglitz recently received a note from her tenant saying “They usually have around 50 dogs outside and the barking is absolutely incessant right outside my line. I have already placed a 311 complaint but it did not help. I work from home and am having to apologize to everyone I speak with on the phone, it’s that loud. Sadly I am going to start looking at other options this weekend for when my lease is up at the end of July.”

West Side Rag asked Patterson if we could take a look at the facility specifically asking to see the outdoor courtyard. Patterson denied this request: “due to ongoing renovations, we have postponed all tours of the facility for the next two weeks.” She offered the opportunity to view the 57th Street location instead. Residents of the building sent us the following photos of the courtyard with tents where the dogs are kept.

“The noise from the barking became impossible when the renovation began,” said another resident of 105 West 72nd Street. Board members of that building met with SPOT management in March. “We were surprised that so many dogs can be kept in a residential building and yard but they told us the zoning is OK.”

NEWS | 62 comments | permalink
    1. Tommy says:

      I used to work at this location. The “trained staff” is teenagers with a very high turnover rate due to the unsafe conditions in which they work. There are way too many dogs here, which leads to fights and general confusion. Residents are not mistaken when they say they hear the staff speaking harshly to the dogs, it happens on the regular.

      • SJ says:

        agreed. our dog used to go here when he was a puppy, but we got sick of seeing staff yell at him for playing. (not barking, just playing with other dogs). there are WAY too many dogs for the way this facility is set up. The only place less safe is biscuits and bath – i wouldn’t recommend either to dog owners. However, we do use the AKC Canine Retreat on 11th now, and the difference is night and day. Once this construction is done and AKC takes over, not only with the neighbors bc happy with the reduced noise, but dog owners who bring their dogs to this facility should be able breath a sigh of relief. In the meantime…i would make other arrangements.

      • jezbel@cox.net says:

        Channel 2 News (WCBS) is going to do a story on this doggy day care. They’ve been running promos all afternoon for the 5:00 News tonight (Monday).

    2. GrumpyOldMan says:

      Looking forward to hearing from readers what experience(s) they have had in resolving or addressing an issue by calling 311? I find it as useless as teat on a boar hog.

    3. WhatsUpDuck says:

      Those videos were heartbreaking (unless a veterinarian, trainer, etc. convinces us that this is just play time for the dogs and is normative). I think I’d put up with awful construction over this any day.

      I give this entire situation TWO PAWS DOWN.

    4. Scott says:

      Thanks for letting me know staff are screaming at their canine guests. I know where I will not be bringing my dog.

    5. NYYgirl says:

      OMG 😲 that first video!! I wish that the people who dropped their dogs off at this place could see it! 😱

    6. Pj says:

      It cost money to have a decent staff. This is a a a problem all over including child day care. Businesses don’t want to pay staff good money, so they get sub standard help. Renovations are temporary….

    7. NYC10023 says:

      Tell ya what, if I found out someone yelled at my dogs like that, they’d be giving me a refund pronto.

      • Dana Desjardins says:

        They can keep the money, but they’d be taking home an @$$ whooping! That’s for sure. Yell at a defenseless animal in front of me and you’re next!

    8. Jesse says:

      I think the article is almost too KIND. The staff is rude, I have called numerous times and they hang up – then I went downstairs and they told me there were no rules against this (not true). We have 2 young kids, not fun putting them to sleep. Poor planning by the business and I have no clue why people would still take their dogs there!

    9. NYCUW1002 says:

      I’ve been bringing my dog here for years. Nicole and her staff really care about the dogs and have been providing me with pictures and videos of my dog happily playing with others throughout renovation process. My dog pulls me to their door ands is happier to see the handlers than he is to see me when I pick up at night. I’m sorry that you deal with it constantly, but dogs bark and my dog is one of them which is why he needs daycare, as I would get kicked out of my apartment otherwise. Renovations are temporary…

      • jezbel says:

        Have you tried listening to the video? You can hear not only the dogs, as soon as a human appears, but you can hear the people screaming at the poor dogs. One especially loud “Knock it off!!!”
        I’d never let my dog stay at a place like this. I’d rather keep her at home alone all day.

        • Spence says:

          We see what we want to see.

        • Bonnie Rice says:

          I am a dog lover but that doesn’t mean I want to hear one dog bark when I’m in my apt.
          That place needs to use “bark collars” on those dogs and on their employees also!
          You bring your dog there so you don’t get kicked out of your building but think it is not a problem for the neighbors of this place? Very thoughtful. NOT!!!!!

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        So your dog barks so much that leaving it at home would get you kicked out of your apartment? But it’s okay to leave it at a facility where it may be one of those making other people miserable? Dogs bark, but they can be trained not to spend the day yapping. Google “no-bark training.”

      • Pedestrian says:

        With all due respect, you should be concerned about the havoc your dogs cause to the neighbors. I’ll better you wouldn’t want 50 dogs barking on the floor below you all day.

      • allie says:

        Not seeing any similarity here??
        The reason the neighbors of SPOT are complaining is the same reason as why you would get kicked out of your apartment.

    10. RobRoy says:

      Insane. Our apartments are our homes. We are entitled to some peace and quiet (in one of the noisiest cities in the world). Those tenants have every right to be upset over this.

    11. Jose Habib says:

      Having all those dogs in a yard is insane. If they’re renovating the space, they should close down until the renovation is done.

    12. David says:

      Made my complaint to 311. Barking yelling yelping more barking growling and fighting. Tents hide view from above. 10s of canines in there at once. Vicious. Went in and spoke to staff a couple of weeks ago. Told story about renovation to be complete on 25th. They said they are not breaking any ordinances so be on your way. Uh animal cruelty. Concern for neighbors? Why would you house your pet there? THANK YOU FOR THE ARTICLE

      • Rikitikitok says:

        311 wont do much. What about an animal rights group? Who gives them the permit to care for animals? ASPCA and PETA might be helpful, DOH could also be helpful as the animals are likely peeing and pooping out there in large numbers.
        This seems absurd. I live on 73rd but not that block. If all of you do a bit of organizing and focus your efforts together you should be able to get something – at least an inspector to come out. Theres no way it is ok to have 50 dogs out there. Zoning or not, there are regulations about the size of enclosures per # of ananimal’s, at least in zoos.

        Press could help too…what about 7 on your side or help me Howard?

    13. nativenyer says:

      This is terrible. I live a half block away but was unaware of the issue. Now that the problem is receiving some press, I hope they resolve it very soon. The videos provide indisputable evidence.

      I am wondering if anyone living near Le Pain Quotidien (also on W72nd) has been awakened every night at approximately 2am, then again at 4am and then again at 6am with their three delivery trucks. These three separate trucks arrive on a nightly basis and the guys bang the panel of the truck so loud several times per delivery that it would be impossible not to nearly fall out of the bed from this sound. They also run the extremely loud motors for nearly 45 minutes on some of the larger trucks. It’s ludicrous. I’ve contacted corporate headquarters over the years but the issues always return. Now I need to stand outside or lean out my window to take videos to provide the evidence because, just like the dog videos above, this would also provide indisputable evidence of the extreme noise resulting from these deliveries three times overnight, every night. Any of my neighbors care to help me get this resolved?

      • 72nd St, Gal says:

        Sorry to tell you that I live directly across the street and almost never hear the trucks. Was awakened maybe once or twice. If you’re such a light sleeper you should wear earplugs.

    14. DIANA KASSIR says:

      I’d NEVER put my girl in ‘doggie daycare’ …especially with all the Pit bulls coming around lately. …I’ve already had 1 sweet Pit-type murder my shy leashed 12-yr-old dog in Riverside Park, and twice since then had to ward off Pit attacks that I luck with, & saw before they got there.

      • Jessica says:

        Sounds like you just dont like pitbulls ! A rotweller or a husky even golden retrievers attack more dogs then pitbulls so dont be a pitbull hater without getting famliar with the breed. You just sound ignorant.
        As far as noise. Do you not know this is the city that never sleeps??? If you dont like noise move to Staten Island. Manhattan is the busiest borough and you’re complaining about “noise” lol that’s a joke.

    15. Anon says:

      That restaurant must be suffering. I can’t imagine tolerating the barking while trying to eat, and doubtless a nauseating dog urine smell.

    16. UWS_lifer says:

      Again, I have the very simple solution to this problem, especially for the guy angry about all the deliveries at Le Pain Quotidien, etc.

      I got one of those white noise machines with like 20 different sounds (rain, waterfalls, fireplace, etc.). This thing is the greatest thing I have ever purchased.

      Living in the city there is always going to be noise..barking dogs, kids running around, honking, sirens from the street, and so on and so forth.

      Invest in one of these little machines and you will never go back. I sleep like a baby now…and the kids and yapping dog next door don’t even bother me. Can’t even hear’em.

      White noise machine. Worth every penny. And no, I’m not a shill for the white noise machine industry…just a friendly neighbor.:)

    17. Terri says:

      Need to post it to social media so people can see how their dogs are being treated and yelled at

    18. Gina says:

      I feel bad for all involved! These poor dogs don’t deserve to be screamed at though. What is expected of them exactly? Someone needs to fire the screaming person.

    19. R. Premisler says:

      Suck it up & get a life! If you all want peace & quiet, go back to the suburbs where you came from. You want to establish country club lifestyles in the inner city. Personally, I’d rather listen to dogs barking non-stop than listening to the rants of the rich & famous or listening to their wild, crazy, and drunken bashes over the weekends, that THEY find perfectly acceptable, because they’re entitled!

      • Harvey’s Daddy says:

        Amen!!

      • Carlos says:

        This is why apartments over retail establishments cost less than those on non-retail streets. You are always at risk of noise from a neighboring building but this is nothing compared to constant delivery trucks, customers coming and going, or whatever other sounds businesses make.

    20. Oona says:

      Has anyone tried calling the ASPCA for animal cruelty, the NYC Dept of Health and Linda Rosenthal’s office?

    21. Jerry says:

      Thanks to Westside Rag for bringing this issue to light. Well done!

      I was quite amazed that there were no barking dogs on Friday morning…. peace and quiet at last?! As I had been previously complaining to Canine Spot almost daily with no result, I called to thank them for keeping the dogs quiet that morning. Surprisingly, even then I was put on music hold! The above article explains it all.

      Like everyone else, I had called 311 to complain. I had also reached out to Rosenthal’s office for help; zoning as well. But the West Side Rag article/inquiry seems to have done the job… for now.

      However, if the noise continues, those of us who are affected should band together, petition the city/zoning authority (is the tent area legal?) and make this a quiet neighborhood as it used to be. There is a neighborhood community forum -‘Nextdoor UWS’ where I posted this issue/concern a few days earlier. May be a good forum for communicating should the need arise.

    22. Dylan says:

      I use to work over at Chelsea and I could agree I was never really trained and the manager Ana is just god awful at her job.

    23. Stan says:

      What kind of owner would even allow their dogs to spend any time there!!!!! I would be furious if someone screamed at my dogs like I heard on the first video! Also, it looks as if the dogs have minimal room to expend their energy. Anyone with common sense knows that dogs will behave like this if pent up for too long. Dear God there better be AC or the place should be cited, fined & even shut down until the renovations are finished! For the love of dogs, please make sure your staff are well-trained and a background check has been done. Animals deserve the best! They are already stressed when they are away from home. I expect my dogs will receive the utmost care when I take them somewhere to travel for business! PLEASE someone look into this. I certainly would if I lived in that area!

    24. Good Boy says:

      Is it any surprise that a facility who would be so utterly inconsiderate of the neighbors, would ALSO be neglectful and potentially abusive toward the animals in its charge?

      And why are these animals cooped up in an interior courtyard all day? Dogs need to be walked and exercised. It would seem that being caged all day would create behavioral problems.

      Would it not be possible to stand outside the entrance to the building and show clients evidence what goes on during the day where they leave their pets?

      Would it not be possible to sue both the building owner/landlord/co-op board, as well as the business owner?

      If it is correct that zoning allows this, would it not be possible to bring a kennelful of barking dogs to the next city council meeting in protest?

      • dannyboy says:

        Yes

        Yes

        No. Please do not bring a kennel full of barking dogs to the next city council meeting in protest.

    25. Mary Moreno says:

      Happy to know I am not the only one complaining. My building is next door to 105 and my apt. faces the rear. The dog noise has always been bad, but for the past two weeks, unbearable. I have called 311 several times since May 17 to register complaints about both excessive noise and animal abuse. I have also called Linda Rosenthal’s office (212) 873-6368 and Helen Rosenthal’s office (212) 873-0282. Both of these offices deal with neighborhood issues and have been on the EPA to be more responsive. It would be good if everyone else would register their complaints with these elected representatives.

      The bigger issue is this: How is it that The Spot was able to obtain a permit/license to operate an outdoor dog run in a residential neighborhood??? Their website brags that they are the only privately owned outdoor dog run in the city. Is it just me, or does this smell bad?

    26. Fluffy says:

      A cat kennel would not cause such problems.

    27. Oona says:

      Has anyone called NYC Health Department, notified the ASPCA 4 animal abuse (hust played the videob + it sounds horrible for the dogs and the neighbors) or notified assembly person Linda rRosenthal’s office of this issue?

      • GM says:

        I deal with a similar issue. My building is next door to the Childrens Museum and my apt. faces the rear. The outdoor water exhibit, which should be for learning, has turned into a 6 Flags Adventure Park, the YELLING and SCREAMING is nonstop. I’ve reached out to the staff and management, and have offered a few amicable solutions but to no avail. They too claim they have a permit for an outdoor space, but are they allowed this type of exhibit? It’s certainly not about learning. The Washington Post just ran an article on Noise Exposure; it’s the ‘new second hand smoke’…ugh.

        • Leon says:

          I have been bringing my kids there for years (though not this year and very little last year) and never noticed an issue. And most of the time there is a staff member there maintaining some order. Plus it is only open a few months a year for limited hours. Cheer up!

          • GM says:

            Sadly it’s now open 5 months a year from 10:00am to 7:00pm. I wish it was that easy.
            But thank you for sharing. It’s a lot different when you have to listen to it all day.

    28. BillyNYC says:

      I already contacted CBS TV news and New York 1 news and sent emails to CB7 and will call the ASPCA Humane Society animal abuse center first thing Monday morning as well as the mayors office and the buildings department is on my list as well as the department of health I will also call our community service Director detective at The 20th precinct.
      This store must be shut down immediately…
      I strongly recommend that we group together and protest animal abuse in front of this establishment on W. 72nd St.

    29. David says:

      As a longtime dog owner and dog lover, I take no back seat to anyone in my love for them. That being said, it must surely be annoying……..maddening, I dare say…….to have to live and work in surroundings where the barking and yelling are the order of the day for up to 12 hours! Clearly, SPOT Canine Club has a responsibility to either cease its renovations, or find a way to rectify the problem, to the satisfaction of its neighbors.

    30. Catherine Corona says:

      That’s awful and would drive me nuts if I had to listen to that all day. And I am a dog lover. I hope it gets resolved for the sake of the building residents AND the poor dogs.

    31. Canada Choate says:

      Someone call into the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC 92.9, 10 AM) on Friday morning and complain to Bill de Blasio! His office often follows up with callers—the treatment of the dogs is ridiculous.

    32. John says:

      I never cease to be appalled by the “sometime”
      selfishness of dog people. In my own building, a ground floor tenant left their two large and constantly-barking dogs in their garden behind the building all day while they went to work — or until surrounding peoples on all sides were told who the owner is, contacted him, and put it stop to it. Contact SPOT landlord and make sure their lease is not renewed.

      • allie says:

        They don’t have to wait for the lease to expire. It’s a condo….the Board can terminate SPOT’s lease now for cause.

        • Woody says:

          Cause what? Do you actually know the legal aspects of this situation or are you just assuming they’re in violation of their lease? Unless they sold the retail space as a condo, the condo is the landlord and is bound by the terms of the lease as would any other landlord.

    33. allie says:

      I think there’s info missing from this story.
      To the best of my knowledge, 105 W 72ST is a coop.

      Unexplained is how SPOT is doing any renovation work without the Board’s prior approval???
      The coop Board has the power to stop the reno, revoke the lease for cause and have them evicted if they don’t leave voluntarily.
      Why haven’t they?

    34. Jill Sears says:

      It’s just during the day though, right?

    35. Pedestrian says:

      This facility is keeping dogs for a profit. They should have to sound proof their facility or stop housing dogs. Their neighbors should not have to bear the burden of a profit making dog minding faculty. Talk about quality of life issue not to mention health issues.

    36. why? says:

      Astonishing to me that people feel it their privilidge to own dogs while living in Manhattan? This is a totally new phenomanum and one that never existed before the privilidged from the suburbs moved in here. No sense of social awarness or consideration for neighbors whatsoever. Are they mad? What do they need f—ing dogs for anyway? The streets are saturated with the stink of dog urine.. after it rains and the stuff gets spread all over, you want to throw up. Buildings, trees, sidewalks covered in gallons of piss. I dont get it. .. And then to not even have the comittment or time to look after the poor things. The world’s gone mad.

      • EagleEye says:

        Why? the below if from the US Government’s Center for Disease Control:

        Most households in the United States have at least one pet. Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

        Decreased blood pressure
        Decreased cholesterol levels
        Decreased triglyceride levels
        Decreased feelings of loneliness
        Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
        Increased opportunities for socialization

        Additionally, owning a dog in NYC was common well before you were born. My grandmother’s poodle was honored on the wall of the original The Palm steak house.

      • NotImpressed says:

        why – your sense of drama and capacity for hyperbole are impressive.

    37. train the owners says:

      I listened to those videos and can’t imagine that anyone thinks that business is acceptable in a residential neighborhood, no matter how many dogs are outside at once. I love dogs, but dog owners have become barbarians, taking their pets into every venue (restaurants, food stores, even the opera!), failing to train them not to bark, jump on people or lunge at other animals, letting them pee anywhere, and giving them the entire sidewalk on long leashes, not to mention paying to torture neighbors by leaving them in places like this. It’s time for some basic courtesy and serious pet regulation. Community means responsibility for our common environment.

    38. Bored Neighbor says:

      CBS’s story added that the location is not zoned for a kennels and is instead only zoned / permitted for a pet store.

      Any one know how to find out more about this?

      http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/06/04/spot-canine-club-renovation-noise-complaints/

    39. Oona says:

      from what I see here the doggie daycare appears to be a cement room, all the dogs kept in there all day other than maybe being walked so they can pee. There is a Doggy Daycare on West 87th Street and Amsterdam Avenue which is monitored by cameras the entire time the dogs are there so all the people paying for dog care can see their animals on the cameras at all times as well as hear the dogs. So far there have been no noise complaints. I know of another Doggy Day Care on West 93rd and Amsterdam Avenue and yet another in the basement of a building off of Columbus Avenue on West 83rd Street. As far as I know none of the neighbors have been disturbed for these doggie daycares. seems something must be amiss at the 72nd Street as well as wrong with their business model. These other day care seem to test out the dogs to make sure they all get along and do not take too many dogs of any one size. I know the doggy day care I considered insists on a test run 4 day before deciding if the dog mixes well with the dogs currently enrolled.