WASHINGTON — Surveillance video screenshots obtained by employee sources at District Dogs in Northeast D.C. shows a wall of water rushing into a room described as the employee break room.
The photos are timestamped 5:01 p.m. Aug. 14 – the day 10 dogs drown when a flash flood hit the neighborhood.
According to DC Office of Unified Communications (OUC), at 5:06 p.m., the first call is made from a District Dogs manager who was watching everything through a camera from Montgomery County.
In an account written by a current employee to a former employee: "The fridge blocked the boarding room so no one could get the dogs in the bottom suites freed when the water poured in. It was ungodly fast how it happened."
To the left, cages, with debris all around. According to employee sources, the cages are double-deckers. The top levels still above water. The bottom cages are underneath water.
According to an employee, dogs were inside those lower cages. And a fellow employee can be seen at the top of the picture, waist deep in water, trying to get to those dogs.
In a statement, District Dogs writes WUSA9: "The photos demonstrate the extent of the emergency our staff faced during the devastating flooding on August 14. We are grateful for their heroism and commitment to the safety of the dogs. We continue to grieve for the loss and pain that resulted from last week’s tragedy."
District Dogs described a deluge of water coming into the kennel after a wall gave way, pressured by the storm waters outside.
Video provided by a former District Dogs employee shows water coming through the wall during outside flooding August 2022. That employee, Kore McDougall, talked about multiple floods she experienced last summer: “While you're watching the water build up in the street, we were seeing it bubble up through the floor and eventually once it got bad enough, it was coming out of the toilets and the sinks like geysers.”
McDougall provided an email she wrote to management in July 2022 saying she had "growing concerns over the safety of this facility" regarding interior pipe leaks. Video she shot shows water coming up from a sink basin during floods last year.
District Dogs says last week's flood happened not due to underground pipe failure, but due to the wall collapse, so powerful forced that refrigerator down.
"To get into the boarding room, you did have to go through the kitchen where there was a large, metal refrigerator, near the door to the boarding room and it was quite large, very heavy," explained McDougall.
DC's Department of Building Director Brian Hamlin said this about District Dogs last week: "After last year's event, the building was re-inspected and deemed safe in accordance with the current code.
McDougall added, "Nobody could imagine... well, those of us who really had gone through it multiple times, we knew, that eventually it would lead to this. "