Steeler Danville Elementary
Upon my return home I had gathered all the information of the parties involved and then sent this letter to the kennel owner via certified mail. Again the kennel nor their first or last name will be mentioned at this time.
Sunbury PA. 17801-9610
Dear S** and B**,
After talking with B** upon my return home and getting more information on the day’s events, I was disheartened to learn that on the day Steeler collapsed he and Bentley were out in 91 degree heat for at least two hours. This is something I strictly advised against when I made my appointment with you, then again when we dropped the dogs off for boarding, as well, I gave you a paper stating that they were very prone to heat stroke in this type of weather.
I came to your facility because you assured me they would be kept in air conditioning as I strongly made clear in my requests at that time. Had I believed you were not going to follow my instructions regarding this I would not have boarded them with you. As humans, we can’t believe that dogs will judge their own medical condition in an atmosphere where there are new distractions, such as a kennel situation. This is when it becomes the human’s job to understand and protect the dog from harm.
Although you may feel that the roof covering the kennels was enough to keep the dogs cool, clearly for this particular breed it was not. This is why I was adamant about the air conditioning and that my dogs go out for potty reasons only, especially with the temperatures we were expecting that week. As a kennel owner of 11 years you should have known this and if you were unfamiliar with the breed then it was even more important for you to adhere to my instructions.
As a result of your actions and decision to allow Steeler to be in the heat he suffered an ailment which needed immediate attention and supportive care from my vet from the dates of Wednesday June 1, 2011 to Sat June 4, 2011 and again on June 7, 2011 for a blood panel to check kidney function. As well, on the second day of his hospital stay his neck and body were found to be full of maggots which resulted in a total shave down from his face area to his tail.
To make matters worse, upon my return and in talking to B** I was told that Steeler was not eating his normal dry food provided him and he was living on only a ½ of can of dog food a day. This is a 173 pound dog we are talking about who would certainly need more nutrition than that. With the list of contact numbers I had left for you, had you called any one of those people, they would have purchased more cans of food and brought them to you to ensure he was eating correctly, yet you never made a call.
From the time I came home Steeler was not only suffering incontinence but also having problems getting up and down and was wobbly on his feet. During Tuesday’s exam, June 7, 2011, when I mentioned this to my vet upon examination it was found that his back is showing soreness and when pressed on in a specific spot Steeler fell to the floor.
All of the above ailments mentioned were not a concern when I left him with you but became a concern upon my return home.
S**, in talking to you when I called from Bermuda, you stated that Steeler had not been out more than 15 minutes before he collapsed, and I told you that even that amount of time was too long in the high heat and humidity. As well, your statements to me totally contradict the information B** gave not only to my dog sitter, but also to me as well when I called him. His account seems more accurate that the dogs were outside in a run for about two hours before he found Steeler down.
I am sure with such conflicting stories you can understand my confusion as to what really happened and my skepticism at what information you were giving me.
Given all the information that I have learned from you, B**, my dog sitter, and my Vet, I find that you were negligent in satisfying the needs of my dogs which I hired you to do, and because of that negligence I incurred a large vet bill and my dog is now out of commission for the next several months in his duties as a therapy dog. I present to you the the opportunity to make things right by paying this bill for Steeler, of which you will find an attached copy.
At the same time we do acknowledge that because Bentley had made it through this ordeal in your kennel without known problems to us, you should be compensated for the 7 days of his boarding. It is my understanding that the dog sitter pulled him from your establishment the first thing Friday morning once she had been told by my veterinarian about the maggots on Steeler. This means you had Bentley for 7 full days on the dates of: Friday May 27, 2011 until Thursday June 2, 2011 at $12.00 a day.
I will expect an answer from you within 5 days of the receipt of this letter. If you do not respond and this cannot be resolved between us, I will unfortunately have to take further actions which I would rather not do.