Leaving your dog at a boarding kennels means entrusting a treasured companion to the hands of strangers, and you naturally assume they will be treated with love and care in your absence.
One Irish woman has claimed she came home from her holidays to find her dog had died while at a boarding kennels. To make matters worse, she alleges the kennel workers had treated the body disrespectfully, supposedly crushing it into a black bag and wrapping it with masking tape.
On December 27, 2018, Kirsten Kinch, of Dublin, left her Husky dog at a boarding kennels while she travelled to Iceland with her family.
When Kirsten left her dog, Nova, at the Dublin-based kennels, she was said to be in good health. When Kirsten returned to collect her on December 31, she was informed Nova had been discovered bleeding in her kennel, and had later died.
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On the 27th of December 2018 I brought my husky Nova to P&E boarding kennels to be boarded for 3 days while my family went to Iceland. Nova had an ongoing issue with Colitis and this was being managed with steroids for the last few months successfully, she had 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. On the 31st of December I went straight from the airport to P&E to collect Nova. I rang 4 times waiting outside to pick her up. Clive answered and told me to come around to the gate when I told him I was here for Nova. Once in, we were told Nova had died – they had found her that morning bloodied in her kennel. We where shocked and beyond devastated at this as we had left a healthy dog in 3 days earlier. I asked the kennels immediately if she had received her medication and I was told she had. They had crushed Nova into what I can only describe as a ball wrapped in a black bag, covered in masking tape. There was no care or empathy in the way she had been handled. It was utterly traumatic and heartbreaking to leave with her like that. We drove straight to the vet and she was horrified, and couldn’t believe there was a 25kg husky crammed in this ball. We confirmed via microchip that it was Nova and made the decision to send Nova for a postmortem in UCD due to the circumstances. I emailed and messaged P&E asking for more information on how she had seemed when she was with them etc. and I still have not received any kind of contact back. Nova was a once in a lifetime kind of dog for me and my family and has left a hole that will always be impossible to fill, she is loved and missed every single day and I hope writing this can stop a similar situation in the future. Clearly these kennels are not fit to provide the levels of care they advertise. #justicefornova
Taking to Facebook, Kirsten shared her version of events surrounding Nova’s death with her followers.
Kirsten explained that she had originally posted her story as a review on the kennels’ Facebook page, only to have it removed along with other reviews of the establishment.
[…] 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.
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 [sic].
As Kirsten walked through the gate accompanied by her mother, she says she was informed Nova had passed away and that she had been found that very morning, bleeding in her kennel.
Kirsten, who was left ‘completely shocked and devastated’ by this news, continued:
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.
I questioned the kennels immediately on if she had received her medication and I was told she had, we drove straight to the vet with Nova where I then had to carry her into the clinic wrapped the way she had been given to me. The vet was horrified and couldn’t believe there was a 25kg husky wrapped in this black bag, we confirmed via microchip that it was Nova and myself and the vet made a decision to send Nova for a postmortem in UCD due to the circumstances.[sic]
Absolutely appalled by the news about P&E Boarding Kennels in Crumlin. Please, please do your research and inspect the facility you'll be leaving your pet in. As an in-home petsitter I have heard so many horror stories. Would always recommend petsitters over boarding facilities.
— Dearbháil Clarke (@dejaysus) April 24, 2019
i seriously think that dog boarding kennels should be inspected on a regular basis, i worked in an awful one but stayed there to try make it better until i was treated so badly i quit… now horrible stuff is coming out about P&E in Crumlin as well, it needs to change 😭
— Kirsten (@Kirs10_R) April 24, 2019
After the initial shock had worn off, Kirsten reportedly attempted to email and message the boarding kennels to try and find out more about how Nova had been during her stay there. However, she claims she received no further contact.
Nova was a once in a lifetime kind of dog for me and my family and has left a hole that will always be impossible to fill, she is loved and missed every single day and I hope writing this can stop a similar situation in the future. Clearly this kennels are not fit to provide the Level of care they advertise.[sic]
This is utterly HORRIFIC. P&E Boarding Kennels and Cattery in Dublin have so much to answer for. My heart absolutely breaks for this poor family. pic.twitter.com/57RALoatwn
— Helen 🌒🌕🌘 (@Helen_Something) April 23, 2019
There is now a Change.org petition to have P&E Boarding Kennels and Cattery shut down, which claims there have been ‘at least four dogs dead and wrapped or cremated with no consent or explanation’.
This petition also claims there have been ‘many reported cases of animal abuse and neglect’ at the kennels.
The petition has gained over 3,600 signatures at the time of writing.
Kennel owner Paddy Cullen has since revealed to Metro why Nova had to be taped up.
He claims he had to ring a vet when Nova was found with dead with blood ‘coming from her behind’. The vet then told Mr Cullen the dog had parvo virus and needed to be wrapped up so as to not infect other dogs.
He told Metro:
We were concerned about the spread of parvo virus. We were told to seal the bag so nothing could escape.
Since Nova’s owner’s post, the family have received ‘nothing but death threats and hate mail’, according to Mr Cullen.
UNILAD has also reached out to P&E Boarding Kennels and Cattery for comment.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.