SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A popular pet-washing business has been closed for two months, leaving many dog owners wondering what happened to the Monarch Pet Spas.
The Hendry's Beach location was a convenient place to wash a dog after a sandy day at the beach.
"If you had a medium-sized dog, like a Lab, it would be five bucks," said Ed Bertling, the owner of Monarch Pet Spas.
For four years, dog owners would use the Pet Spa at Hendry's Beach, but the gates are now closed for business.
Bertling said he was forced to shut down.
The County of Santa Barbara said it had to pull the plug after Bertling was delinquent on rent payments.
"Basically, he's not providing adequate accounting, and he's not provided payment to the county for several months. He's been in default," said Herman Parker, the Community Services Director at the county.
"We don't have an issue on our side about payments," said Bertling.
Bertling admitted there was a problem with the accounting in June, but said he corrected it. Now he said the county owes him $10,000.
"They were charging me $500 a month on each location when the concession agreement called for $500 a month flat rate," he said.
"His accounting is such that we can't tell if he's paying us appropriately or not," he said.
One of the only things the county and Bertling agree on is that the Pet Spa is a popular service for the community.
Claire Moser used to take his dog to the pet-washing spot, but now has to wash her at home.
"I have been in the rental business in my life and I have always found that sometimes better to take a little less rent than no rent. A little bit is better than nothing. Now if they weren't making any payments period, well then that's another story," said Moser.
If an agreement can't be made between the two party's attorneys, the county said it could find another vendor and bring the dog wash back.Slideshow: No End In Sight For Dog Wash Dispute