An indoor dog park in Missoula closed its doors on Monday, three months after the owners said the business had been sold, and after a supervisor was sentenced for reportedly assaulting an employee there.
"Out of Business" was handwritten on Wagg'n Indoor Dog Park's front window Tuesday afternoon, while paper taped on the windows blocked the view inside. On Monday, Wagg'n's Facebook page announced the closure.
"Thank you for your patronage. Wishing you good fortune, Wendy T., The Brokerage."
The business was embattled for much of the last year, during which time Jason Overmier, owner Rachele Clark's boyfriend, was charged with assaulting one of the female employees there. The woman told law enforcement Overmier had pushed her up against the wall in a sexual manner until she pushed him away.
Overmier, who was also the subject of four reports to either law enforcement or the Montana Human Rights Bureau alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, pleaded no contest to the charge and in January was given a six-month suspended sentence.
Earlier in January, Wagg'n announced a small business investor from Denver was purchasing the business "with hopes of franchising the concept."
The Montana Secretary of State's Office told the Missoulian on Tuesday that Wagg'n owners had filed nothing indicating a change in ownership, although the business has yet to file its 2019 annual report.
In December, the Missoulian reported on accusations that Clark had stifled reports from employees in person and online regarding Overmier's alleged behavior. While the Missoulian is still seeking the Human Rights Bureau documents containing unreported allegations, it's so far unclear how the business's closure will effect the request process; Human Rights Bureau staff were not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.
At least one customer on Tuesday was concerned about losing money paid up front for services. Cheryl Allovio told the Missoulian Tuesday that her daughter was given no notice on Sunday while at Wagg'n that the business would be closing the next day. When Allovio reached out to the business, she got a response telling her a "financial trustee" would be in touch regarding a refund, she said, possibly signaling a bankruptcy filing.
No such filing was found in federal court records on Tuesday.
Clark has previously asked the Missoulian not to contact her.