AN autopsy will determine if a family’s adoption-greyhound died of heat stroke in a Fullerton Cove boarding kennel this week.
The issue exploded on social media on Thursday with the owners of Jane’s Pet Resort revealing they had even been subjected to death threats.
The resort’s management has defended its record, saying it had had “no deaths in 20 years” but the RSPCA hasn’t ruled out heat stroke as the cause of death.
The dog’s owners, who live at Fern Bay, are shattered.
Nathan Wilson and his partner Dean Compton placed the greyhound, Baron, and their curly coated retriever, Charlotte, in Jane’s Pet Resort just before Christmas.
Their children begged them to pick up the dogs on Wednesday, a day short of the agreed seven-day stay.
Resort management broke the news of Baron’s death to Mr Compton and the eldest boy when they arrived.
“They said ‘your dog is dead’ and my son broke down,” Mr Compton said.
“The staff said that they had checked on our dogs 15 minutes before and that they were fine.”
Devastated, they returned to their Seaside Estate home.
“Charlotte’s collapsed on the floor in front of the children,” Mr Wilson said.
“From what the vet described it was heat stroke.
“We covered her in wet towels to try and cool her down.”
Mr Wilson and Mr Compton arranged for Baron to be transported to Raymond Terrace Veterinary Clinic after kennel management had offered to handle the burial.
“The vet told us Baron had been dead for hours and that he’d died of dehydration and heat stroke,” Mr Wilson said.
The RSPCA has since collected Baron’s body to conduct an autopsy.
“There is a post mortem underway,” a spokeswoman for RSPCA NSW confirmed on Thursday.
“Our investigator did attend the [kennel] property [Thursday] and our inquiries are ongoing.”
Stephen Williams, who owns the kennel with wife Jane, said he and the staff had cooperated fully with the RSPCA.
“The RSPCA has been through the place and they said they were satisfied but made some recommendations; more shade,” Mr Williams said
“We’ve got trees and three shade sails but it wouldn’t hurt to put a few more in the yard.”
Mr Williams said Baron and Charlotte were washed at lunch time and put in the yard to dry. A short time later he said the dogs were returned to the kennel.
“It’s allegedly heatstroke, if it’s happened, it was quick,” he said.
“I did say, ‘your dog’s dead’ ... I was in shock.”