Dog Dies After Attack At Area Kennel - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Dog Dies After Attack At Area Kennel

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It was love at first sight between Sarah Drew and the Boston Terrier she named Penny.

She totally lit up my life," Sarah said.

From dressing up for Halloween to sitting on Santa's lap, Sarah and Penny were constant companions.

"She was the most energetic, sweet, loving, fun dog," Sarah said.

Sarah lives in Loma Linda California. In February she met her parents and grandmother in Galveston for a cruise.

Sarah thought Penny should have a vacation too so she boarded her at Camp Canine near Alvin.

Camp Canine's website stated, "Our goal is to provide the ideal setting for your best friend to play safely, be supervised carefully and just have a wonderful time."

While on the cruise Sarah said Camp Canine e-mailed her pictures of Penny having fun playing with other dogs.

But then a disturbing e-mail came. Sarah said she was told 15 pound Penny was attacked by 5 much larger dogs.

"She said she left my dog unsupervised for a couple of hours with her dogs and she came home to find her drooling and stumbling around in a lot of pain," Sarah said.

Camp Canine owner Michelle Cote took Penny to the vet. It first appeared Penny may have just lost some teeth and was in shock.

But when the cruise ended and owner and dog were reunited,
Sarah says she barely recognized her constant companion.

"She looked horrible it was absolutely heartbreaking," Sarah said. "She had swelling all the way down into her chest.

Penny spent the final moments of her life sitting in Sarah's lap.

"I just held her and watched her deteriorate right in front of my eyes," Sarah said.

Penny's death prompted Sarah to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Galveston County Health District.

"We did receive a complaint and we sent an inspector out there and found that it was a kennel that was not permitted," health district spokesman Kurt Koopman said.

The health district gave Camp Canine the option of facing a fine or closing down.

"They closed the facility by doing that they in essence became in compliance so we don't have to take any further action," Koopman said.

"That was it they didn't give her any kind of fine or anything," Sarah said.

Camp Canine responded to Sarah's BBB complaint which is now considered resolved by the Bureau.

Cote, the owner of Camp Canine confirms the kennel is now closed. She declined an on-camera interview but sent us a written statement.

Cote tells Fox 26 Investigates quite a different story than Sarah Drew. She tells us Sarah knew Camp Canine was "open boarding" and what that meant. Cote also points out she took prompt action to care for Penny.

Sarah wants Cote to pay more than 12 hundred dollars in vet bills.

"Because it was her negligence that caused my dog's injuries that lead to her death," Sarah said.

Cote points out she paid the initial vet bill of $391 and didn't charge anything for boarding Penny. Cote said she sincerely regrets that this happened.

"I hope nobody ever has to go through what Penny went through and what me and my family went through since then," Sarah said.

What should you do before boarding your beloved pet? One great resource is Petcare Services Association.

"As a member of that association you're required to uphold a code of ethics, bill of rights that cover that consumer and their pets," said Suzanne Locker owner of ABC Pet Resort and Spa.

"The obvious question is my dog going to be with other dogs ever and how do you test to make sure he'll like that," Locker said.

Best things to remember, ask questions, do some research and consider your dog's temperament and personality.

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