Woman returns from vacation to find kennel had wrapped her pet dog in masking tape
The loss of a pet is often as traumatic as the loss of a family member. They rely on us for food, shelter, and love, and when their time comes, we often wonder if we could have done more to extend their lives.
That's why owners are so careful when it comes to choosing people to care for their animals when they are on holiday. Sitters and boarding kennels and catteries might make tens of thousands of dollars every year, but owners are willing to shell out for the piece of mind that their baby is having their own little, happy vacation.
Tragically, however, for one Irish woman, her dog Nova's first ever kennel stay ended in disaster.
Kirsten Kinch recounted the incident in a now viral Facebook post which is enough to put anyone off ever letting their pet stay with anyone but a trusted family member again.
Recounting leaving Nova with the Dublin-based kennel, P&E Kennels, she wrote:
"This was the first time I had left her with anyone that wasn't a family member and I made the staff aware of the fact I was quite nervous leaving her.
"Nova had an ongoing issue with colitis and this was being managed with steroids for the last few months very successfully, she had also been checked by my vet prior to boarding and we had discussed taking her off the steroids as she was responding so well.
"I gave multiple written and verbal instructions on how the steroid was to be given separately to her food and that she needs to get this twice a day, P&E also advertise that they cater for medication and dogs that need extra care once they are informed in advance."
After doing this, the doting owner assumed that her dog would be more than well cared for in her absence, but when she returned to the kennel just three days later on December 31st, she says total disaster had struck.
"I was due to collect Nova on the 31st of December, I went straight from the airport to P&E to do this. I rang the kennels four times while we sat outside in the car waiting to be let in to pick her up. Clive answered [on] the fourth try and asked which dog I was here to collect I said I was here for Nova and I was then told to come around to the back gate.
"As we walked in the gate, myself and my mom were told that Nova had passed away and they had found her this morning in her kennel with blood coming from her.
"We where completely shocked and beyond devastated to hear this and at first I thought it was some horrible joke considering we had left a healthy dog in to be cared for 3 days earlier."
When an animal dies in someone else's care, whether it is at a vet or somewhere else, usually, the people who break the news do so with the utmost sympathy, then clearly explain the options available to the owner when it comes to the disposal of their remains.
This was a decision, however, that was taken completely out of Kinch's hands.
Instead of allowing her to decide what to do with Nova's remains, the kennel had allegedly made the decision to wrap them in a black bag and then cover it in masking tape without her consent.
"I was then brought in to see my gorgeous dog who had been wrapped in what I can only describe as a ball in a black bag which was covered in masking tape, there was clearly so little care and empathy in the way she had been handled and dealt with since finding her.
There are no words to describe how upsetting and traumatic it was to carry her to the car and take her home in what seemed a completely inhuman way."
Understandably, Kinch then questioned the kennel about how her previously healthy dog had taken a turn for the worst so quickly in their care, but she says she was not given an answer.
She has since sent Nova's body to a vet at University College Dublin (UCD) for a postmortem examination.
"That is horrific. I hope no one else has to go through anything like this and I hope justice is served on these obviously uncaring people," wrote one Facebook user in response to the post.
"The poor dog," remarked a second. "Some humans are absolutely disgusting. No wonder the planet is completely messed up. Better if animals roamed the earth not these disgusting excuse for humans."
"I am so sorry that you lost your beloved Nova and in this harsh way, disgusting how she was treated and the way they wrapped her, no compassion," wrote a third.
Kinch has now set up a petition to have P&E Kennels shut down.