The place we have boarded at (3 times when we couldn't arrange something else- we used to live somewhere that we didn't know/trust out neighbors) does look like a pound. But I was very happy with the people there. Our dog doesn't socialize well except with a small subset of dogs, so the first time, she was always put out in the yard to play with just the caretaker, and no dogs. The second time, the caretaker brought her OWN dog from home so Elsa could play with him, since no dogs being boarded met the profile she does well with (only boy dogs smaller than her. She is terrified of bigger boys, and gets very aggressive with other girls).
I am glad we found a place that does care for the dogs, but I still feel awful about it.
And we didn't get off scott- free the first time we left her with the neighbor, it ended up costing a lot more than boarding her. Again, I think she thought she was being abandoned and ended up having what the neighbor thought was seizures, $500 emergency vet bill better, when we got home, we found out the dog had been prescribed antacids. So the second time we told the neighbor if she was acting weird, give her tums first, then go emergency vet route (which was fine- I'll pay pretty much anything for her). But thankfully, I think Elsa is pretty secure that we are coming back for her now (keep in mind we had her for 6 years before this happened). Possibly being left at the neighbor's was super hard because she could see our house, but not understand why we weren't coming to get her? My dog is weird- but we can tell she has issues from her first owner.