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I'd like some opinions on this tragedy. My friend had had a death in her immediate family, so while attending to funeral arrangements, etc, they boarded their 2 dogs for a few days at a daycare/boarding facility where the dogs went 2 times a week for daycare . On the third day she received a call that one of her dogs had been the victim of a pack attack during group play and had been killed. The vet later told my friend that she'd never seen such a horrific case of mutilation :dog-cry:, and suggested that my friend not view the body before cremation. The dogs had been left unattended and unsupervised while the staff all attended a staff meeting, apparently in the next room. The facility is being evasive, has gone on the defence and is being very unsupportive of my friend.

I'm wondering how such a tragic situation is handled typically.
- Are the owners' of the dogs involved in the pack notified?
- As an owner would you want to be notified if your dog was involved?
- Does an event like this change some dogs reactions, ie making them more prone to get in a fight, and require closer monitoring for a while?
- Should such an incident be recorded in detail, such as exact time, which dogs were involved, how it was handled, etc?

This particular facility said they couldn't identify which dogs were involved, but there was a lot of blood so surely they must have had to clean up some dogs before being returned to their owners.

- Wouldn't an ethical facility being going out of it's way to help the killed dog's owners come to terms with what happened? I understand we are all human and we all make bad decisions, but I feel the effects of those bad decisions are even worse when there is no accountability and no responsibility assumed. They told my friend her dog died on the way to the vet, while the vet report said the dog had been dead at least an hour before she saw him. They gave his collar back, but it had been bleached and the color was gone.

Any suggestions to help my friend heal from this and not be consumed by anger would be appreciated.
 

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Oh wow, I am so so sorry for your friend's loss. I am currently working at a boarding facility so I have some experience, though I only know how things work in my workplace. Our facility documents everything. On their paperwork, profile on the computer, and pet parents are notified for serious occurrences. We have cameras in play areas as well that are on all day so anyone can watch them.

One thing that really surprises me is that the dogs were left unsupervised, there is always a trained person standing in group during play times. Dogs are dogs and you can't control everything and everyone during play times but you can try your best to prevent things from escalating. I think that was really careless on their part. I'm no an expert on how this may affect a dog's behavior so someone else can probably chime in on that. I'm so sorry the facility isn't being more supportive.
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I don't know the answers to your questions, but just wanted to say how sorry I am for your friend & of course her dog, what an horrific way for him to die :( I'm pretty sure they should not have been left unsupervised & if I were an owner of one of the dogs that attacked then I would most certainly want to know. As you said, it's a bit of a cop out to say they can't identify which dogs were involved, there would be some injuries on all dogs concerned I would have thought. Tragic, avoidable situation all round I think. :huddle: to your friend x
 

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That is horrible, I'm so sorry for your friend and her dog/s :(

I cannot believe the boarding facility is being evasive and not doing everything they can to help your friend...that is disgusting. I also can't believe a group of dogs were left unsupervised - surely that's not normal?! :eek:

I'm pretty sure there are a few more members who either work or have worked at a daycare / boarding, so hopefully they will chip in too...
 

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Those dogs should not have been left unattended in the first place. I work at a boarding facility and I wouldn't dream of allowing a group of dogs to be unsupervised, especially if my attention was elsewhere. It also makes me question what kind of dogs they allow in if it was a multiple dog affair and that they have a special name for it. This was not a reputable facility at all, this could've been easily prevented if someone was supervising. I would spread the word about this place.
 

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I'm so so sorry for your friend and her dog.

I've worked for daycare/boarding facilities for the past 4+ years, and as such, I can tell you this kennel's behavior is absolutely irresponsible, unprofessional, and disgusting.

They ****ed up badly and they don't even have the nerve to admit it.

I would do everything to get this place closed down or ruin their business. If suing isn't an option for your friend please get the local news media involved- I'm sure they'd love a story like this anyways.

Dogs should NEVER be left unattended for this very reason and anyone who works in this business should know that. Very dangerous and stupid thing to do- they should have put the dogs back down in their kennels/crates during the meeting.

Your questions:

1) At the kennel I work now, all owners of any dogs involved are notified about fights their dogs are involved in. In this case this kennel likely won't tell the other owners because the staff don't know exactly which dogs were involved and they want to cover their butts and not let this get out- they're not going to tell owners picking up their dogs "Hey we left a bunch of dogs unsupervised and they all killed one, your dog might have been involved."

2) Yes I'd want to know but I would be horrified and disgusted and probably do my best to spread the word and ruin this place's reputation if I found out this happened, even if my dog wasn't involved.

3) Absolutely, but a lot of that was probably pack mentality kicking in. A lot of the dogs will probably be fine, but dogs are jerks when it comes to fights. It probably started out as a fight between two dogs, and the rest jumped in. Either that or the victim had gotten injured or startled and screamed or yelped and that triggered other dogs to attack it. They should all be closely monitored in future interactions as no one knows who the aggressor(s) were and some dogs may become more fearful or aggressive after such an event. (But they should have been monitored in the first place and this never would have happened). I've seen dog fights and afterwards the dogs involved have been fine around other dogs with careful supervision, but I've never seen one where a dog's been killed, so I don't know how that would change things.

4) If you're talking about a report, yes it should be. However, it sounds like this kennel didn't see what happened. They should have filled out an incident report for the details they did know though. But just because something should have happened doesn't mean it did- this kennel sounds bad and they might not follow proper procedures, especially if this is something they don't want on record.

5) Yes they would be, this is a bad kennel though, please spread the word about your friend's experience so this doesn't happen again to other dogs. They're lying, they're being uncooperative, they're unprofessional, and they made a terrible decision to leave a group of dogs alone, which is something that's NEVER done at good kennels. I hope they paid the vet bill at least!
 

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Dear Indigodog,

First of all, I want to convey my condolences for the loss of your friend's family member and the death of her dog. I hope that she finds healing, comfort, and strength.

I would like to suggest that she hire a lawyer. Clearly, the boarding facility was negligent for her dog's death. They should be held legally and financially responsible for it. They know it, and that's clearly why they have been so evasive. A lawyer could help her navigate the process of receiving the compensation she deserves and making sure that the facility is held accountable. This is probably not the first time a dog has been injured or even killed, and the word needs to go out to the public that it is an unsafe place.

By the way, does anyone know if these facilities are licensed?
 

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I am terribly sorry for your friend's loss. I know how difficult it is to lose a pet, especially in a violent manner. Despite the grief, I agree to push for this facility to be shut down or at the very least investigated.

This kind of thing appalls me, as a pet care professional. I know that sometimes things happen, but this is a clear-cut case of negligence. No pet care facility worth its salt will ever leave animals unsupervised no matter what the circumstance. Staff meeting? Have someone record it or take notes for the person watching the animals. Or schedule it for a time where the dogs are not out together.

The facility is being evasive, has gone on the defence and is being very unsupportive of my friend.
What this says to anybody, including anybody involved legally, is that the people involved know that they are in the wrong and are trying to do whatever they can to make it go away. They don't want to take responsibility for their mistake, and quite honestly they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

As for your questions regarding what should happen in cases like this, I would assume you're asking based on a reputable and responsible facility?

Are the owners of dogs involved notified?
They should be. The owners of the dogs harmed/killed should be notified immediately. The owners of the dogs that were doing the harming, whether the individuals can be identified or not, should also be notified. They deserve to know that their dogs were involved in an event that injured or killed another dog. If they're not told and their dog ends up hurting or killing another animal, then the responsibility would fall on them. Ignorance should be avoided.

As an owner, would you want to be notified?
Absolutely! I would want to know that my dog was harmed or that my dog was involved in something that harmed another animal. I would want to know so that I could take the proper steps to ensure that my animal is safe to be around.

Does an event like this change dogs' reactions?
It may or it may not. It can depend on the dog. I would say that a lot of dogs may be reactive or on high alert for a period after the event took place. It's like an adrenaline rush. Depending on the dog, it may or may not have a long-term effect on their behavior and that is something the owners should keep an eye on and properly handle.

Should such an incident be recorded in detail?
If possible, yes. This would definitely help in setting concrete information so that nobody can keep changing the story to their benefit.

Wouldn't an ethical facility help the harmed dog's owner?
They may not go out of their way (though I certainly would), but at the very least any ethical facility wouldn't try to duck out of their responsibility in the situation.

I've heard of things like this before. One involved a dog being poisoned on the property and instead of notifying the owner at all, the staff buried the dog on the premises. When the owner came to pick up the dog they were told that the dog escaped. No responsibility assumed at all. It's disgusting.

Healing will come naturally. Anger right now is very much appropriate.
 

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I would like to suggest that she hire a lawyer. Clearly, the boarding facility was negligent for her dog's death. They should be held legally and financially responsible for it. They know it, and that's clearly why they have been so evasive. A lawyer could help her navigate the process of receiving the compensation she deserves and making sure that the facility is held accountable.
Exactly this.

Not only does it make sure that the facility is held resposible, getting a lawyer involved is the best way to make sure that other families are made aware of what happened. Since the facility is being cagey, it's likely that they're not going to notify people that this happened. But others using this facility need to be aware of what happened.
 

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She absolutely has to sue. Usually there is not much compensation for the fact a dog died, but if there is real negligence, then they can be charged punitive damages. Money is not much compensation for her loss, but the public punishment of the facility is important.

Any decent facility where a dog is regularly kept, should report anything out of the ordinary for that dog. I got told in detail about an incident where a dog was trying to hump mine, and she air snapped at him, I was very happy that they were being observed so well.

Cameras should be running, and footage of any incidents saved. It sounds like your friend has to be the one to try and record the incident, as the facility is not being accountable. She should contact other owners who board there, and definately get a detailed statement from the vet.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your friend's dog. That was extremely negligent on their part. And to not take ownership...

There MUST be supervision at all times. You can never tell how two dogs will react to one another. They could be two of the most gentle toy dog breeds. Walked by each other daily. And one day get too close and one dog decides to play too rough by giving the other a "friendly bite". If the biter has longer fangs it will hurt. My Shih Tzu yelped. Happened this past winter. The weasel of a owner quickly picked up his dog and walked away. No apology nothing. I after looking at my dog to check for injuries then decided to talk to this guy. He was long gone and out of sight. Afraid. Didn't want the confrontation.

My dog did the same to another when he was a puppy. To another small dog. Did it twice. On the 2nd "play bite" the other dog got mad and barked. I quickly pulled my dog away. Told him to stop immediately. I apologized.

But to have how ever many dogs kill another...that's a totally different level of bite. Obviously. The workers there had to have cleaned the dogs who did the biting...killing. They HAD to know which dogs were involved.

Makes me think twice now about leaving my dog (if/when I buy another) at a kennel or dog "hotel" (e.g. Pet Smart facility). As many workers are working with minimum wage. So, the kind of professionalism will vary from location to location. From who is on shift even at that one location.

Even if it's not as serious as a kill it could be a quick fight where one dog looses an eye. Or draws blood by vaguely breaking the skin from a bite. We take risks every time we leave our dogs with strangers. Usually things turn out okay..and other times tragedies like this happen. Can't imagine how your friend felt.

My sympathies.
 

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Also came here to say that your friend should hire a lawyer. Their dog is dead because of the boarder's negligence. It won't bring their dog back, but it may stop the facility from doing it to another dog.

So sorry for your friend's loss.
 

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I'm so sorry. What a horrible, needless tragedy. I agree that your friend should hire an attorney for the reasons others have stated.

Yes, I would want to know if my dog was involved in the incident.

Yes, they should have reached out and done whatever they could to help your friend deal with this tragedy. They obviously know they are liable and made a huge mistake that cost a dog it's life.They should have owned up to that and been honest and abjectly apologetic and offered to pay for cremation, at the very least. Trying to ignore mistakes usually comes back to haunt a company.

I would also contact the local animal control facility for the municipality involved and make a formal report to them.
 

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We all think the friend should sue. But the lawyers fees could become too prohibitive quickly for a case they might not be able to win. Not too many lawyers or judges want to spend the time/money to try a "pet death case" vs "human death". And, if that owner didn't immediately sue and waited weeks later...becomes that much harder to prosecute. The facility was already covering their collective asses from the start. At this point...maybe she could talk to the local news station...explain her story. Then perhaps they could investigate and put that kennel on local TV. FREE. Wouldn't cost her a penny.

But, still, the longer she waits the less credible she becomes even though her dog was obviously killed. Don't know if she had the stomach to take photos. Probably not and has long since had her dog cremated.

It's so HARD to prove "accidents" at times. No cameras around during. If there were cameras were they of good quality? Kennel likely erased the video if there were cameras. Etc. Best to take them to a kennel that provides the owners with WiFi video access so the owners can make recordings. Though, who would predict such an incident?

My dog, a few years ago went to the groomers. I had been taking him there for 12+ years. No problems. Then this one time I go to pick him up. He looked fine but the groomer that spoke to me gave me a $3.00 discount on the grooming bill. Not much of a discount but the fact was this shop NEVER discounts and actually over time kept raising their fee.

I could see she looked shaken up. But I didn't ask her what was wrong. Got my dog home. Days later his hearing seemed to have been damaged. Had a harder time hearing my voice and sounds in the low end of the sound spectrum (midrange to bass tones). It could just be a natural biological thing. Yet, I could have sworn he was perfectly fine before that grooming session.

Actually, I think I didn't notice this for several weeks after the grooming. So by that time it would have been my word against theirs. Time always of the essence. If I had noticed immediately (same day) then I should have had him checked out by the vet the very next day...then find a lawyer.

But again...as much as I loved my dog (as much as this friend love her dog)...would the lawyers fees have been worth it? Could I (or she) have found a lawyer willing to take on such a case? Not likely. Even in civil court.

I'd love to know what happened. Again. so sorry to hear about this horrific case. Can't imagine how hard it was to loose her dog that way. It's hard enough for most owners to loose a dog naturally Ie.g. illness, old age).
 
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