THE deaths of three dogs in Hunter boarding kennels in three days have prompted RSPCA investigations and a petition for tighter controls, amid a wave of online anger at the loss of the beloved pets.
The RSPCA is carrying out an autopsy following the death of three-year-old pet greyhound “Baron” last Wednesay at Jane’s Pet Resort in Fullerton Cove.
The peak animal welfare body will now also examine how a beagle died at the same kennel on Friday.
“The RSPCA NSW inspectorate are across the issue and it is subject to further investigation,” a spokeswoman said.
“In exactly the same manner as a police investigation, any penalties will depend on the outcomes of the investigation. “
Jane’s Pet Resort did not take phone enquiries on Tuesday.
Called directly by the Newcastle Herald, owner Jane Williams declined to comment.
It has also emerged that a five-year-old white bichon frise, named “Annie”, died at Pelgate Kennels in Cooranbong last Wednesday.
Owners Coralie and Allan Davis, of Buttaba, told the Herald they booked Annie and their younger dog into the kennel on December 23.
Mrs Davis said she and her husband were called back from holiday to find Annie with her throat “ripped open”.
“She was the most beautiful dog. I’ve totally been wiped out for a couple of days,” Mrs Davis, 64, said.
“I’m just glad our other dog didn’t get killed. I just couldn’t bear it.”
The Herald’s calls to Pelgate Kennels were not returned.
Photos of Annie and a description of Mrs Davis’s grief that she posted to Facebook have been widely shared, and cited in an online petition for tougher regulation of boarding kennels in NSW.
Jayne Cvetanoski of Mayfield, who launched the Change.org petition, is calling for a registry of all animal deaths in boarding kennels in NSW and a standard code of practice for their care.
Her petition had more than 1000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon.
But some users of websites such as Yellowpages.com.au have defended the under-investigation kennels with favourable reviews.
“We have had nothing but a positive experience,” read one review of Jane’s Pet Barn, while another said, “Stop defaming this great local business because you read an unsubstantiated Facebook post or because your dog has anxiety and doesn’t handle boarding kennels well”.