14 dogs die after heater malfunctions at Saskatoon kennel

14 dogs die after heater malfunctions at Saskatoon kennel
Jason Warick and Sean Trembath, Postmedia Network
First posted: Saturday, September 10, 2016 10:47 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, September 10, 2016 10:55 PM EDT
SASKATOON — Fourteen large-breed dogs died overnight of apparent heat exhaustion at a Sutherland-area pet care facility.
“It was severe. We are all just devastated,” said Playful Paws Pet Center manager Bonnie Clark Saturday.
“We care about these animals.”
Clark, whose eyes were filled with tears during a brief interview, said there was a “malfunction in the heating system.”
The upper-floor room where the deaths occurred has been closed off. The business, however, will remain open.
Clark said City of Saskatoon animal control officials have been notified. She is in the process of notifying all owners who have left animals in Playful Paws’ care.
“We have nothing to hide,” she said.
A post on the Playful Paws Facebook page Saturday afternoon said 14 dogs died in the incident.
“I feel really, really bad. I’ve been crying all morning,” said an employee of Playful Paws who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“They’re our customers’ dogs. They’re someone’s pet.”
According to the employee, a second-story room housing the large-breed dogs became uncomfortably warm late Friday afternoon. The temperature increased into the evening. Before employees left for the night, fans were placed in the room.
When employees arrived for work Saturday morning, the dogs were dead.
The employee said the breeds in that room included a border collie, a Newfoundland lab, a golden retriever, a catahoula and a border collie/German shepherd puppy.
Playful Paws is a day and long-term care facility for dogs, cats and other animals. It also offers grooming and veterinary services.
The employee said everyone working there loves animals and they all feel terrible.
“I love dogs. I love the people there,” said the employee.
The windowless upper floor room housing the large dogs often heats heats up, “but not like it was last night,” said the employee.
Clark said more information will likely be available in the coming days.
14 dogs die after heater malfunctions at Saskatoon kennel | Canada | News | Toro
personal touch
Specially trained autism dog one of 14 that died at Saskatoon boarding kennel
First posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 01:19 AM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 01:26 AM EDT
SASKATOON — Families are mourning the loss of their pets after an apparent heating problem led to the deaths of 14 dogs at a Saskatoon boarding kennel over the weekend.
Ailish Irwin tells radio station CKOM the pain of losing autism service dog Arden is compounded by the void it now leaves for her six-year-old son, Easton.
She says the boy is “absolutely devastated” and she’s not sure if he fully understands that Arden won’t be coming back.
Officials with Playful Paws Center posted news of the tragedy to their Facebook page, saying a rooftop heating unit malfunctioned, pushing heat into an upstairs kennel room.
Business owner Bonnie Clark said Monday there’s still no confirmation on the cause of death but the heating units are being inspected to help pinpoint “exactly what happened.”
Saskatoon’s SPCA has also started an investigation into the deaths.
Irwin said she and her family usually took Arden everywhere with them but decided to leave her at the kennel on the weekend while they were attending a wedding in Calgary.
“We thought, ‘Let’s give her the weekend off. She would have more fun,”’ Irwin said.
Arden was paired with her autistic son two years ago. The family waited three years for the highly trained dog and fundraised to cover the $30,000 cost.
“(Easton) went everywhere with her and she provided him with so much comfort, with safety,” said Irwin. “She was always a constant in his life.”
She called the dog’s death “utterly horrendous and shocking.”
There has been both condemnation and support for the boarding kennel in the wake of the deaths.
Fred Glawischnig, a former kennel operator who says he was hired by Playful Paws in January to evaluate what the company was doing, said he had warned of a problem with ventilation and inadequate air quality in the building.
“I said it’s just a matter of time before an animal dies,” he told CKOM.
He also said he recommended the company employ staff at night so the dogs would not be left unattended.
Clark said dogs at the kennel are left alone for 10 hours overnight, and described that as “standard” and information that customers are provided during an introductory tour of the facility.
Corman Park Veterinary Services, which rents a space beside Playful Paws, posted online that the kennel immediately took the deceased dogs to the local veterinary college for confirmation on cause of death.
“The staff of Playful Paws have acted professionally and respectfully in the aftermath of this situation,” the post read.
“At times of such grief it is normal to lash out in anger and despair as has happened on the social media, however, it is also important to understand that real caring people are at the butt of these condemnations.”
Clark said she has spoken personally with each and every owner who lost a dog and has offered to pay for the pets to be cremated, and for a private memorial service for each animal and their families.
“There has been nothing but tears in this building with every customer who’s come through these doors,” said Clark.
Acadia McKague’s Funeral Centre is planning a public memorial for the dogs and their families on Saturday at 11 a.m. The service can seat 300 people with the possibility of outdoor broadcasting depending on turnout.
Specially trained autism dog one of 14 that died at Saskatoon boarding kennel |
Just what does 'often heats up' actually mean?
Charges laid after 14 dog deaths at Saskatoon kennel | Canada | News | Toronto S

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