Workers at a Gilbert dog boarding operation were checking in newly-arrived dogs even as they stashed the corpses of other canine guests in a shed on the property.
That’s just one of the latest disturbing revelations in the case of Green Acre Dog Boarding, where 20 dogs were found dead from suspected heat-related causes last weekend.
The Arizona Republic reported yesterday that at least one customer checked her dogs in at about the same time workers were hiding the bodies of dogs who had perished and attempting to revive dogs who were dying.
Snow Aubel said she phoned the Green Acre Dog Boarding facility to confirm her pets’ drop-off time at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning and told the facility’s owner, Todd Hughes, she could be there within the hour.
He assured her that would be no problem, she said.
She dropped off her 7-year-old Weimaraner, Cheyenne, and 6-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever, Yepa, Saturday — apparently just hours before sheriff’s deputies began arriving at the boarding center.
Her dogs stayed at the facility until Sunday afternoon, when word started spreading about the deaths and a representative from the online booking site she used to make the reservation alerted her the dogs should be moved.
“What really makes me upset is when I was there the poor dogs that had passed away were right underneath my nose, and I didn’t even know it,” Snow said. “… They should not have accepted any more dogs.”
Workers told investigators that the dogs were last checked on Thursday at about 11 p.m.
They say when they returned, at 5:30 a.m. Friday, a large number were discovered dead. Others were on the brink of death.
Sheriff’s Office officials initially called the deaths a “tragic accident,” based on the owners’ claims that one of the dogs chewed through an electrical cord, turning off the air conditioning.
But Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday said that designation may have been premature. He promised a thorough investigation.
Arpaio said the owners’ timeline didn’t add up: “How can you be healthy at 11 o’clock and dead at 5:30 in the morning? I think that’s the key element,” he said.
Much else about the case doesn’t add up either:
Temperatures that night weren’t too hot — by Phoenix standards — staying in the 80s. At least 17 dogs were boarded in one 10-foot by 10-foot laundry room. Veterinarians weren’t called when staff started finding dead and dying dogs. And the owners told at least some clients that their dogs, who had perished, had “run away.”
On top of that, kennel workers hosed the sick dogs down and applied ice to them, which is contrary to recommended treatment for heat exhaustion, and can lead to dogs going into shock.
The owners of the kennel, Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, were out of town when the dogs died, but they cut their trip to Florida short upon learning of the deaths. In their absence, the boarded dogs were being cared for by the son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), Austin Flake, and his wife Logan.
The sheriffs office, which released photos of what was found at the kennel this week, said political connections won’t influence their investigation.
(Photos: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, air conditioning, animals, arizona, boarding, boarding center, bodies, clients, customers, deaths, dogs, flake, gilbert, green acre, heat, joe arpaio, kennel, maricopa county, neglect, pets, shed, sheriff, staff, workers
Maricopa County sheriff’s officials are investigating the deaths of 20 dogs, most of whom died overnight at a pet boarding service in Gilbert, Arizona.
Deputies say a dog chewed through an electric cord, shutting down the air conditioning and leading to the heat-related deaths of the dogs in the care of Green Acre Dog Boarding.
That temperatures didn’t rise above 80 degrees that night is just one of several suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths.
The caretakers for the dog’s over the weekend were identified by Fox 10 News as the son and daughter-in-law of US Senator Jeff Flake.
The couple were caring for the dogs while the company’s owners — identified as MaLeisa and Todd Hughes — were visiting Florida.
“This is truly an accident,” co-owner MaLeisa Hughes said. “We’re heartbroken for everybody. The biggest misconception out there is we went two days without doing anything.”
Todd Hughes admitted telling some clients that their dogs had run away.
“I wasn’t thinking straight, but I should have thought better than that,” Todd Hughes told the Arizona Republic. “Nobody trained me on how to handle this. I made a bad decision. It was terrible.”
“My mom and all these people have been driving around looking for their dogs for two hours to find out the dogs are dead in the shed,” said Doug Hart, who went to the boarding center to pick up his sister’s two dogs.
Valerie Collins and her husband said they weren’t allowed inside the property when they arrived. She said the owner of the business eventually brought the bodies of her dogs, Carson and Daisy, to them.
“Our dogs have been dead for two days,” she said. “They’re rotten.”
The Hughes said they’d been caring for dogs about six years, but only opened up to the public about a year and a half ago.
They returned to the Phoenix area Friday after learning of the deaths, which included one of their own dogs.
According to the sheriff’s department, workers arrived at the facility at 5:30 Friday morning to find a large number of dogs dead or dying. The workers said they’d last checked on the dogs late Thursday night.
“There is going to be a follow-up investigation … It doesn’t end here,” sheriff’s spokesman Chris Hegstrom told AZCentral.com.” Sheriff’s officials called the deaths “a tragic accident.”
“There are a lot of questions that both this Sheriff and the dog’s owners have and believe me by the time we are done with this investigation, we’ll have the answers to most, if not all of the questions,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press conference yesterday.
“If a crime occurred, someone will be held accountable,” he said.
Arpaio placed the number of dog deaths at 20, three more than originally thought, but other reports said 21 dogs had died.
Outrage over the death extends beyond the families who lost pets. A Facebook page called “The Tragedy at Green Acre Dog Boarding” is serving as a forum for those seeking answers to what happened.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 20 dogs, accident, air conditioning, animals, arpaio, boarding, center, chewed, cord, crime, deaths, died, dog, dogs, electric, gilbert, green acre, green acres, heat, heat related, investigation, kennel, maricopa county, neglect, pets, phoenix, sheriff
Yesterday I suggested, half-seriously, that a Dog Walker Hall of Shame be established, and that an aspiring actor in Los Angeles who left a client’s dog in his parked Jaguar be made a charter member.
It only took a few minutes, once I put a link to the post on my Facebook page, for one reader to nominate what she thought was an even more deserving candidate.
(I have nothing against dog walkers; I am one. But I’ve always felt — even as a journalist — that it’s up to members of a profession to help weed out the bad seeds, or at least shine a spotlight on the dangerously dim bulbs certain occupation sometimes attract.)
Last Tuesday a dog walker in Langley, British Columbia, reported to police that six dogs were stolen from the back of her truck, parked just outside an off-leash area. She said she went to the bathroom and returned 10 minutes later to find all six dogs were gone.
That led to a week-long search — by authorities, doggie detectives, and the individual families who owned the pets.
In a heartbreaking development, police now say the dogs weren’t stolen, but died of heat exhaustion in the dog walker’s truck. Police are looking into charging the woman with public mischief, according to the National Post. The SPCA is also investigating.
The bodies of the dogs — five belonging to clients, one belonging to the dog walker — were found in Abbotsford, police said.
Alesha and Al MacLellan, of Petsearchers Canada, who were assisting in the search for the dogs, said the dog walker, Emma Paulsen, admitted to them that the dogs died.
She “disclosed that on May 13th, all six dogs were in the back of her vehicle with the side vent windows open and water available, as she had done hundreds of times,” Alesha MacLellan said. “Sometime during the outing, all six dogs perished from heatstroke. Upon arriving at the location and seeing her beloved charges deceased, she went into a blind panic at the thought of notifying the families and the possible repercussions.”
Initially, Paulsen said of the disappearance of the dogs, ”It’s just unimaginable. If somebody thought they were doing the right thing by saving theses dogs out of a hot truck, I can understand this perspective. But enough already, bring them home. Everybody’s just tortured at this point.”
The missing dogs, dubbed the Brookswood 6, gained widespread media coverage in B.C. Money was donated for rewards, and there was a rally for them at a Langley dog park.
The dog walker’s own dog, Salty, was among the deceased animals, according to The Province. The other dogs were Mia, a 15-month-old pit bull; Oscar, a six-year-old Rottweiler-husky mix; Buddy, a Boston terrier; Molly, a five-year-old German shepherd-blue heeler cross; and Teemo, a poodle-Bouvier mix.
The owners of the pets were devastated to learn that the dogs they thought were missing were dead, Mrs. MacLellan said.
“There’s always that sliver of hope. Until we talked to them today, we were also hopeful that if something bad had happened to some of the dogs, maybe one or two were hidden away somewhere safe. It’s pretty devastating that all six have perished.”
“Each year we attend hundreds of calls to rescue dogs in distress in hot cars,” said SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk. “Animals can suffer brain damage and death in as little as 10 minutes in a hot car, even with windows left open. The SPCA issues this warning repeatedly in warm weather in the hopes of averting such tragedies but sadly, we still continue to see animals left in hot cars.”
You’d think a professional dog walker would know better.
Louise Scott, who owned Molly, said she’d been hopeful her dog might return. She learned what happened from a neighbor, whose dog was also among the six.
“They said they’re all dead,” said Scott, 80. “I’m too upset to say anything. And I’m very, very mad. Angry is the word.”
(Photo: National Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, canada, deaths, died, dog walker, dog walkers, dog walking, dogs, dogwalker, dogwalking, emma paulsen, hall of shame, heat, heat deaths, pets, petsearchers canada, six, spca, truck, walkers
If there were a Professional Dog Walker Hall of Shame, we might have to nominate this Jaguar-driving hipster — at least based on a first-hand account recently published on the Echo Park Forums
The writer was in a Los Angeles supermarket when it was announced that there was a black sports car in the parking lot with its windows rolled up and a dog inside.
She went outside and saw a black Jaguar, with a black Lab panting in the black leather driver’s seat. The car was locked, with its windows up.
Standing by the car was a frantic woman – the one who had reported it to the store and called 911.
Another onlooker was threatening to break the car’s window when a fire truck was waved down. Firefighters got the door open and, as the car’s alarm system blared, they let the dog out.
According to her tags, her name was Chloe.
Chloe perked up after some water, and police showed up at the scene a little later, determining the car’s ownership by checking it’s VIN number. (It had no license plate.)
The post says a good hour passed before the driver of the Jaguar showed up. He told officers he was from New York and didn’t understand that the Los Angeles weather was too hot to lock a dog in a car.
He told police the dog was his.
But after onlookers called the phone number listed on Chloe’s collar, they realized he was lying — about that and more.
The dog’s owner answered, saying Chloe belonged to her, and that the black Jaguar was her dog walker’s car.
He has his own dog walking company, Rocket Dog Walking, in Los Angeles, which serves downtown, the Eastside and the Northeast.
He has been identified in Internet comments and on Facebook as an aspiring actor who has appeared in two low-budget movies.
We don’t know if he has a future in acting, but based on this report we know how much future he should have as a dog walker:
(Photos: Echo Park Forums and Facebook)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 20th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black lab, car, company, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, echo park, echo park forums, heat, hot, jaguar, lab, labrador, locked, los angeles, pets, professional, retriever, rocket dog walking, walker, walking, windows
Spartacus, a Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection and tracking, was found dead Monday night inside the car, which was parked outside his handler’s home.
The unidentified officer, a 9-year veteran of the department, was placed on paid leave, a police spokeswoman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The spokeswoman said Spartacus was the second K-9 assigned to the officer. The first, after retiring, became his family pet and still lives with him.
In addition to an internal investigation, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the officer’s home Monday night, is investigating the dog’s death.
A necropsy determined the cause of death was heat stroke.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, car, death, dog, dogs, georgia, handler, heat, heat related, heat stroke, investigation, K-9, k9, law enforcement, patrol car, pets, pickens county, police, spartacus, woodstock
Sharon Mulcahy, 62, of Richmond, told police she’d arrived at a motel in Baltimore the night before with her “bowels overflowing,” and left the dogs in her car while she checked into a room, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“Ms. Mulcahy stated that she was going to go back downstairs to care for the dogs, but instead decided to go to sleep, leaving the two dogs inside the vehicle for approximately 19 hours,” the police report said.
Temperatures in Baltimore reached the mid-90s on Saturday. Police said one window of the car was cracked open about two inches, but that the dogs — both poodles — had no food or water.
Inside the car, they found a six-year-old brown poodle named Missy dead, laying across the center console. A second poodle, Bear on the floor of the drivers seat. Bear survived.
Police found Mulcahy in the laundry room of the hotel. She was charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of restraining a dog without shelter or food and water.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, baltimore, bear, car, charges, death, dog, dogs, heat, left in car, locked, missy, motel, pets, police, poodles, richmond, sharon mulcahy, virginia
A tourist from Michigan was charged with animal cruelty Monday after leaving his two dogs inside a minivan while he visited the the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Rosie, an 8-year-old Chihuahua, died of heat stress after being inside the minivan for more than an hour, said Sabrina Fang, a spokeswoman for the Washington Humane Society.
Rosie had been left inside a plastic storage bin. A second dog, a 15-year-old beagle mix named Pebbles, was kept inside a crate made for dogs. She was treated for heat stress at an animal hospital, and was expected to be released today, according to the Washington Post.
Washington Humane Society officials say more tourists seem to be leaving pets inside cars, unaware of how quickly the temperatures can rise.
Police arrested Kenneth Reiff, and his daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services, Humane Society officials said.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, beagle, cars, caution, chihuahua, danger, death, died, district, dog, dogs, health, heat, holocaust memorial museum, kenneth reiff, ohmidog!, parked, pebbles, pets, risk, rosie, temperatures, tourist, tourists, warning, washington