It is with a very heavy heart that we write this. Ocean Dog Club has closed. Our vision of a premier Dog Day Care has been cut short. After months of negotiations, the landlord of our building has not agreed to enter into a new lease with reasonable terms.
As many of you know, for the past few years we have put up with a leaking roof, causing much damage to our interiors. Despite the lease requirements the landlord would neither properly fix nor replace the roof. Bob and I have continued to maintain the facility to our standards. This meant taking money out of our pocket to repair interior damages. When he finally did replace the roof, he used an unlicensed, uninsured siding contractor from Massachusetts. We now know, his contractor did not know what he was doing, as we had leaks during the roof replacement and still have some minor leaks today.
The legal system in Rhode Island is backed up for years. We had attempted legal action against him previously, only to be taken advantage of by an attorney and the system. After the torrential downpours of water in the lobby and other areas last Spring, our new attorney advised us to withhold paying rent. The legal system (as it is) forced our hand here; the only way to get before a judge without waiting up to ten years or more for a trial is to stop paying rent...wait for an eviction notice..and then get a hearing. We went thru this process...the case was settled without us owing any back rent. The terms of a new lease were agreed upon by both parties and were read into the court record. A new lease based on these terms was drafted; Ocean Dog Club signed the lease and paid the first months rent. Even into October we thought we'd put the matter to rest & looked forward to at least five more years in this location. However, the landlord refused to sign the agreed upon lease; he did cash the rent check. A few days later he came into the lobby, ranting and raving and physically assaulted Sue! He is not only untrustworthy , but a bully as well.
In our business, building & maintaining trust is crucial. We take our responsibility seriously to care for your dog... Unfortunately not everyone has a conscience, especially our landlord, AMCO, Inc / Mr Mazo. The legally binding lease that was signed by both parties 5 years ago, meant little or nothing to him, as he did not meet his obligations under that lease. Five years later in negotiating for the new lease, it appears that he has never negotiated in good faith.
He has, effectively, put us out of business. We have spent many thousands of dollars maintaining our standards, because of damages. All of which the landlord should have done. Ocean Dog Club is in a no win situation. We cannot operate without a signed lease remaining vulnerable to the whims of such a volatile landlord. We have looked around for another location to reopen in, but we could not find an appropriate location and the capital required for a move is not there anymore. We have looked at many options, but at this time we have none.
You have been the reason we have kept going. We love each and everyone of the dogs that play here. Because of our screening process, employee training program and on going maintenance, we've been able to maintain a safe facility. We have dozens of clients that have been with us since we opened in October 2010. We have been there thru weddings, new babies, new dogs, movings and so many other life events that we feel a part of your extended families.
We will never regret opening Ocean Dog Club! We will always regret doing business with Mr. Mazo.
Bob and I both take great pride in what we do. We have continued to strive to be the best, which judging by our loyal clientele, we are. We have you to thank for that. We both are dreading the closing of Ocean Dog Club and can not tell you how much we will miss seeing all the wagging tails, and their families!
Bob, Sue, Astro and Charcoal !
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