Monday 20 May 2019

'People are issuing death threats to my kids' - kennel owner says he wrapped dead husky in bin bags to 'stop dangerous virus'

Nova at Christmas time and right, the condition she was given to her owner in after she died
Nova at Christmas time and right, the condition she was given to her owner in after she died
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

THE OWNER of a Dublin kennel says he wrapped a husky in bin bags after it died to "prevent a dangerous virus wiping out the other dogs in our care".

Paddy Cullen, owner of P&E Boarding Kennels in Kimmage, says his family have received vicious death threats since a social media post about the death of the dog.

Patrick Cullen with Shadarac the Chihuahua at P&E Kennels
Patrick Cullen with Shadarac the Chihuahua at P&E Kennels

Kirsten Kinch was travelling to Iceland for three days with her family on December 27, 2018 when she left her dog Nova with Mr Cullen.

Nova had an ongoing issue with colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease) and this was being managed with steroids for the last few months "very successfully", Ms Kinch said.

When she returned from holidays she found out her dog had died that day after bleeding out and it had been wrapped up in bin bags and covered with duct tape.

Ms Kinch shared the image on Facebook yesterday and P&E Kennels has since received serious backlash.

Nova was suffering from colitis at the time
Nova was suffering from colitis at the time

Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Cullen said he has been running his kennels since 1986 and is a lover of all animals.

He explained why Nova was placed in bin bags and said "there's two sides to every story".

"There was two dogs left in to us on December 27. They came in for four days and one of them was an ill dog and the other one was okay. The one that was ill was on steroids," he said.

"On the fourth day the dog died and bled out from the rear end. If a dog bleeds out it can throw out a virus called parvovirus which can wipe out all your dogs within 24 hours.

"We had a lot of dogs left in for the Christmas period, and I said seal the dog up in black plastic bags and that's what they done. The lady came home, we explained it to her, she said she was going off to have an autopsy done and she was to come back and let us know what happened but she didn't," he claimed.

Mr Cullen said he has been receiving threatening calls since the social media post which he is going to report to gardaí.

"I was told my home is going to be burnt down with my kids in it, they're going to come in and cut up my kids and put them in black plastic bags and tape them up with masking tape," he said.

"People think if you put a dog in a bag you're a killer, but we did what we had to do."

Mr Cullen invited Independent.ie into his kennels and remarked, "does this look like somewhere where animals are mistreated?"

He said his family is deeply upset by what happened and is "shook" by the abuse they've received.

In her Facebook post, Ms Kinch said the death was handled with "little empathy", describing it as a "traumatic" experience.

"I had to carry her into the clinic wrapped the way she had been given to me. The vet was horrified and couldn’t believe there was a 25kg husky wrapped in this black bag, we confirmed via microchip that it was Nova and myself and the vet made a decision to send Nova for a postmortem in UCD due to the circumstances," she said.

"Nova was a once in a lifetime kind of dog for me and my family and has left a hole that will always be impossible to fill, she is loved and missed every single day."

Having had a post-mortem carried out, Ms Kinch learned that Nova died of internal bleeding but does not know what caused the bleed.

She claims she messaged P&E Kennels to ask for more information on the days Nova had stayed there but received no reply.

Mr Cullen, who also runs a rescue called 'Second Chance Pets', said he wasn't given details of the autopsy results and now fears his business is going to be "gone down the drain".

Ms Kinch said she was going to report the matter to gardai but a garda spokesman said no complaints have yet been made.

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