When Kirsten Kinch came home after her vacation, she learned that her Husky, Nova, passed away while staying at a boarding kennel. She says that the workers treated her dog’s body disrespectfully, crushing it inside a black bag and then wrapping it with packing tape. Kinch said Nova had been dealing with colitis, but was otherwise healthy.
On December 27, 2018, Kinch, who lives in Dublin, brought her dog to a boarding kennel. She traveled to Iceland with her family and, when she returned home and went to pick up Nova on December 31, she was told that her dog had been found bleeding inside her kennel and that she later passed away.
Kinch detailed her version of what occurred on social media, noting that her original post about the incident – a review on the kennels’ Facebook page – had been removed.
“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,” wrote Kinch. “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,” Kinch wrote. “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,” Kinch continued, “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,” Kinch said.
“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.”
The majority of commenters on Kinch’s social media posts were horrified after learning what occurred, and a Change.org petition – that claims there were “at least four dogs dead and wrapped or cremated with no consent or explanation” at the facility – was even launched to try and get the boarding kennel shut down.
Paddy Cullen, the owner of the kennel, claimed in an interview that Nova had to be taped up because she had the parvovirus.
“We were concerned about the spread of parvovirus,” said Cullen, according to a report by Unilad. “We were told to seal the bag so nothing could escape.”
Cullen also noted that the company has received “nothing but death threats and hate mail” since Kinch’s posts gained attention.