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Tag: staff

More questions arise about Gilbert kennel

sheriffpics

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.”

sheriffpics2In total, 20 of the 28 dogs the Sheriff’s Office found at the facility perished. Cheyenne and Yepa were alive and unharmed.

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)

Boh’s home: German shepherd who comforted cemetery visitors is found

bohhome

Boh, the German shepherd who comforted visitors at a cemetery next door to his home, has been found — one week after his disappearance.

The dog was found Thursday night, safe and unharmed, about 25 miles away from his home in Lincolnton, according to the Bring Boh Home Facebook page.

His owners say it was a post on the Facebook page that led them to the dog, according to WCNC.

Boh was last seen at Forest Lawn Cemetery on E. Hwy 150 in Lincolnton, N.C., on Feb. 28, when a worker saw a woman wearing scrubs put the dog in her car and drive off.

His owners, Tina Kennedy and Brad Beal, had been looking for him ever since, and they turned to Facebook for help. While, at first, no definitive tips came in on the dog’s whereabouts, the couple learned, through responses to their posts, just how much Boh had come to mean to cemetery visitors.

“I can’t tell you how much he comforted me when I have been alone over there,” read one. “I remember him just sitting by me…I thought that was so cute. I will say a prayer he is returned.”

Another post called Boh “God’s shepherd watching over loved ones gone, but not forgotten.”

Many others shared personal stories on how Boh comforted them in their time of need.

After his disappearance, and through Facebook, his owners learned that Boh would escort cemetery staff members arriving for work to their offices. He’d greet those who arrived to visit departed loved ones, sometimes accompanying them to the graves.

“He just started going over to the graveyard and hanging out with the guys as they were working on the graves out here and he just kind of became a part,” Beal told WCNC in Charlotte. “He would walk the ladies from their cars to the office every morning. He’d console the families.”

“It is heartwarming to know what we knew was special to us has turned out to be, or maybe to be, more special to some other people because he’s helping them through a hard time,” said Kennedy.

It was also through Facebook that they managed to track Boh down.

The dog was reunited with his owners last night.

Police have questioned one suspect, WCNC reported today. She told officers she picked up the dog to take him to a shelter in Greensboro, but that the dog jumped out of the car in Cornelius. No charges have been filed.

Now that he’s back home, Boh might not be visiting the cemetery anymore, Beal said. He said he’s reluctant to let Boh go back there on his own, but added that Boh’s frequent visitors are welcome to come visit him.

(Photo: Boh reunites with owner, from the Bring Boh Home Facebook page)

Cecil County SPCA cleared in state probe

Investigations by a state’s attorney and the Maryland State Police into allegations against the Cecil County SPCA have concluded there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and that fired employees lied about their accusations, the SPCA is reporting on its website.

The allegations were brought to light  by Del. Michael Smigiel, who published them on the Internet and still maintains on his blog that the they have not been fully investigated.

Caroline County State’s Attorney Jonathan G. Newell reported on his review of a detailed State Police investigation and report in a June 1, 2009 letter sent to Cecil County State’s Attorney Christopher Eastridge, who had asked for an independent review outside Cecil County.

“Despite a very thorough investigation … in my opinion none of the allegations of criminal animal cruelty on the part of current or past employees of the CCSPCA are credible enough to be prosecuted,”  Newell said. The State Police investigation began in January, 2009.

The State Police report concluded there was no credible evidence against the Cecil County SPCA. Read more »

Road dog starts new life with his rescuer

highway“Highway,” at last, has a smooth road ahead.

The stray who survived for more than a year surrounded by converging freeways east of downtown Fort Worth now belongs to a former employee of the Humane Society of North Texas who helped rescue her 18 months ago. He adopted her last week.

“She’s jumping around, wagging her tail, happy,” Blake Travis, 25, of Watauga. told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which wrote about the dog, a reddish shepherd mix, two years ago — back when she was still a road dog.

During 2007, the dog was often spotted near the busy interchange at Interstate 35W, U.S. 287 and Spur 280. She slept beneath an overpass, crossed busy on-ramps and ambled alongside streams of speeding traffic.

Highway’s nickname came from a motorist, Lori Adams of Arlington, who began stopping on her way to work to leave food and water for the dog. Another motorist contacted the Humane Society and asked it to capture the mutt before she was injured or killed.

Travis, a veterinary technician, and another Humane Society employee trapped the dog Nov. 28, 2007, and placed her with more than 400 other animals in the society’s facility. She was basically feral,” Travis said. “She hadn’t had any human contact and didn’t want any.”

For a long time, the dog cowered in the back of her cage, but eventually she began socializing with other dogs and bonding with Travis.

Travis made that bond official last week, adopting Highway and taking her home.

(Photo: From the Star-Telegam by D.J. PETERS)