It's nearly a year ago since my little Oscar died. He was only 2 years old. I was going away for Christmas and had organised to leave him with the pet sitter who I'd know & trusted since Oscar was 6 months old. When I arrived at the sitters house to collect Oscar and it was obvious something was wrong and I thought Oscar had run away. When the couple told me to sit down and quickly blurted out " Oscar's dead" I just couldn't comprehend what they were saying. Mr x went onto say that he'd let Oscar out of the house for his dinner at 4 pm and when he came back at 5pm he'd been mauled & killed by their 2 Rottweilers. I was in hysterics at this stage but asked how that could happen. I'd seen their area where they kept big dogs and it was completely fenced off from where the other dogs played. Mr x said that he fed the Rottweilers after he fed Oscar and "must have forgot to put the latch back on the gate". They told me not to look at the body and they'd bring it to the local vet. I was so distraught I just wanted to get out of there and I wasn't thinking straight. I rang the vet the following day and he confirmed he put down the 2 rottweilers and Oscar had been cremated. When the couple brought Oscar into the vets they left him with the nurse who didn't even ask the vet to look at Oscar. I asked the vet should I contact the RSPCA and explained what happened. He said the couple didn't indicate that they were running a boarding facility but that I should not contact the RSPCA as they wouldn't do anything. About a month later I recieved a postal order for the money I paid for Oscar as a pup. No note or anything from the couple. I thought I knew these people and my dog died in their care. Please be careful when you pick a place to leave your loved ones becuase when Oscar died I felt like I'd lost a child.
I am so sorry–what a horrific experience for you, something no dog owner should ever have to go through. You are very brave and thoughtful to make a post about this and to let others know what happened, as difficult as it must be. I think your words are very wise and your warnings may help prevent another tragedy. I could not agree with you more–people need to be very very careful about selecting where they board their dog. At least the pet sitters accepted that they had 2 dogs that were dangerous around others and had these dogs put down. I think they should never have been pet sitting if they had dogs of their own that were not dog friendly–and I think it is so important for there to be constant supervision of interactions and to keep large and small dogs separated at a boarding facility. I also don't really understand how these dogs could have been outside with only a latched gate between them–surely they should either have been safely kenneled separately or the small dogs kept indoors, or some other arrangement than one which could allow such an accident to take place. but these are all things that most of us wouldn't think about. It's really only that I have friends who are dog trainers and/or manage doggy day care and insured, experienced home boarding and kennel facilities that over time I've grown to have a good sense of what anyone should expect.
I think I would disagree with your vet's advice at the time–if people are running a service and a tragedy like this happened, I would have called to report it to the RSPCA and hoped for advice on what else could be done. A facility should be licensed and/or insured depending on requirements in a given area. Unfortunately, an awful lot of pet sitting is done on a very casual basis and often by people that don't really know what they are doing or how to manage multiple dogs.
I hope that as time passes the pain will ease, and also that you might have another four-legged friend in the future, if you don't already. It can take time before you know in your heart that you are ready, and no dog is ever a replacement for one that is already gone, but a new relationship and a new personality can do wonders at healing and bring so much happiness.
oh my goodness. I'm lost for words, Karlin said what all of us would feel/think. Thank you for sharing your story. I would be in complete and utter shock and despair if it happened to mine, I would also feel very angry. My heart goes out to you :hug:
I am so sorry for you loss. :hug:
What a horrible thing to happen. So sorry for your loss.
I can't imagine going through such a traumatic experience, I'm so sorry. As Karlin said, your post may just help to save another little cavalier. Thinking of you.x
Thanks for your replies. I hope that people can learn from my terrible mistake. The couple in question had a business called 'A Dogs Life' - they've now changed their name and even have a facebook page.
I had seen their home and thought that Oscar would be safe there. They had an area for crates set up in their home for the smaller dogs, outside they had a yard and a small house for grooming and the two Rottweillers had a separate fenced off area. I wasn't worried about the Rottweilers becuase I understood one of them was a show dog and I didn't think either of them would be allowed into the area with the other dogs. They told me that their boarding facility was a 'home away from home'. When Mr X told me about Oscar, he said he let Oscar out to eat dinner at 4pm and didn't check on him until 5pm. I really feel like they completely neglegted Oscar. I know it's been a year but I'm still so angry.
I suppose you can never really know for sure what happened but it is strange that a dog would be let out for so long just to eat -- most cavaliers are done in minutes, after all -- and why wouldn't dogs just be fed safely inside, or in their crates? It is a mystery and I guess will always be a very difficult one for you and anyone who knew Oscar. You had clearly checked things out and they all looked fine. The experience points to a need for pet care like this, especially on what was clearly a business-level scale, to be licensed and subject to inspection and standards for management.
This must have been so terrible for you.
What a nightmare scenario. You left your little dog with people you thought you could trust and he died in such a horrific way.
It is not surprising you still feel angry.
Thank you for telling us about Oscar and about what happened. It is a timely warning to us all to be very careful where we leave our dogs when we go away.
It also raises the possibility that secure, checked, and properly licensed Kennels may be a safer option than the cosy 'cared for in our own home' businesses that so many of us favour?
i'm so upset what i have just read and i'm sorry for your loss of oscar
it will make people think twice were they leave there dogs when they go away.
it must have being heartbreaking for you and its going to take a long time to get over something as horriable as that
sending love and cuddles to you