Kristen Kinch left her beloved husky Nova at P&E Boarding Kennels and Cattery for three days on December 27, 2018, while she travelled to Iceland with her family.
When she returned with her mother to collect the dog on New Year’s Eve, she was told by staff that Nova had been found “with blood coming from her” that morning and was dead.
“We were completely shocked and beyond devastated to hear this and at first I thought it was some horrible joke considering we had left a healthy dog in to be cared for 3 days earlier,” Ms Kinch wrote in an emotional Facebook post.
“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.”
A petition to shut down P&E kennels was launched on Wednesday via Change.org.
The campaign, named ‘Justice For Nova Shut down P&E boarding kennels!’ has received more than 29,000 signatures in under 24 hours.
Owner of the kennels, Paddy Cullen, said he and his family have received “nothing but hate mail and death threats” since Ms Kinch posted her message.
He told Metro that when he went to let the dogs out in the morning, he found Nova lying there dead with a “big pile of blood from her behind”.
“I rang the vet and was told to wrap up the dog so as not to infect the other dogs,” he explained.
“What other way could we do it? We were concerned about the spread of parvovirus. We were told to seal the bag so nothing could escape.”
Ms Kinch has rejected the suggestion that her dog was suffering from parvovirus – a canine viral infection that can fatally attack the intestines.
“I want to let you all know that what is being said about Nova and the possibility of her having parvovirus while being boarded In P&E Boarding Kennels and Cattery is false,” she wrote in a fresh Facebook post on Wednesday.
“This is a cover up. Nova was checked by my vet two days before going to the kennels and fully vaccinated.”
Ms Kinch acknowledged that the husky had been suffering from colitis – an inflammation of the colon – which has several of the same symptoms as the deadly virus.
However, she said Nova had been responding well to steroid treatment and the vet had deemed her fit to enter into the kennels.
“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,” wrote the devastated owner.
“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.”
One Facebook user responded: “I am so sorry for your loss. I am so grateful that you are speaking up about this.
“The days of being nonchalant when they think they can sweep horrible behavior under the rug.....Those days are over. The animal lovers of the world are standing up and being heard. You opened the door to change.”