Traveling on vacation? Thinking of leaving your beloved pet in a Boarding facility or a Kennel in Delhi NCR? Have you been promised a beautiful experience for you pet with comforts like home? Well, think again and be prepared for your worst nightmare!
I recently boarded my beautiful canine babies for a period of 10 days in June. My 14-year old Siberian husky was an old man, but doing well in health. I spoke with 3-4 Dog Boarding facilities who stated they had air conditioning in their facilities (this was my most important pre-requisite). My main concern being that the air-conditioning at the Kennel had to be 24X7 for my canine child who just can't endure the heat due to his breed. I had a “desi” child also who was equally fussy!
The Kennel we narrowed down claimed that they were “fully airconditioned”. I asked them if the animals were kept open, to which I was given the prompt assurance that they were! However, when I visited the Kennel I saw several dogs tied, and upon my enquiry they promptly responded, "it was their feeding time”. This sounded more like an excuse at the time and I should have heeded my instinct on hindsight. Lastly I asked if they had a Vet on call and they re-assured me on that front too that they did!
We left our canine kids at the Kennel after their reassurances of the quality of their upkeep, comforted in the knowledge that they would be well looked after in a cool air-conditioned environment. Little did we know what the future had in store for us!
Within 2 days of us reaching the UK, I was contacted in London and told my Husky was ill and was on drip. We were horrified!!! We were told that soon after leaving him at the kennel he suffered from a massive heatstroke! We were heartbroken! How could a healthy dog kept in an air-conditioned environment suffer from this?? We were frantic and sought help from friends back home! Due to my association with an animal NGO we were given an amazing amount of help!
Once we came back and went to pick up our babies, our Husky walked out unsteadily, looking half the size we had brought him in, and we noticed drops of blood trailing him on the walkway. He was in a very bad shape and looked utterly distraught! It looked as if my Husky had touched death and had been kept alive thanks to the NGO and the help they provided. His case of heatstroke was one of the worst!!
After I showed my Husky boy to his regular Vet at home, this is what we discovered. The heatstroke caused him to get very weak. Due to my son being too sick to get up he was soiling himself while lying prone on the floor! The good Vet, after trimming my Husky's thick fur, discovered bed sores on both his thighs, elbows, paws and cut on his lips. As the bedsores healed very slowly due to his age he was in great pain. His suffering was so great that he used to bark in excruciating pain through the night and during the day. He endured this unbearable suffering, caused by the bedsores, for 3 weeks till he, finally, passed away.
What we learnt from our Vet was this, if the boarding had kept my son in air-conditioning for 24X7 (something that we paid for) my canine child wouldn't have suffered from the heat stroke. If the boarding had taken care of my darling son when he lay there without moving by keeping him hygienically clean, he wouldn't have had bed sores all over his body that caused him torture and pain till his last breath. All they had to do was put him in a doggy diaper as soon as he was too sick to get up. All they needed to do was change his sides, as one does for a paralyzed patient to prevent bedsores. That is plain commonsense from anybody who handles pets extensively like the Boarding claimed!
We wrote to the boarding about our complaints but they felt no remorse and took no responsibility. In fact they audaciously reprimanded us for keeping a Husky under Indian conditions. So pet parents of all foreign breeds, beware!
We will be taking legal action against them now. We will inbox you if you wish to know the name and address of this Boarding that murdered my beautiful boy!
After speaking to innumerable people on the suffering my son went through I have learnt a few things.
1) Even some of the fanciest A/C dog Boardings blatantly lie and don't run the AC during the most part of the day while charging you fully for that service.
2) Doctor on call! That's more often than not, a lie. In my case it was. I am glad I was given so much help by the NGO I am associated with. This is a much-needed thing if you are traveling for a long time trusting your pooch will be cared for.
3) The ones who promise to keep them open are likely tying your dog in your absence. Be warned about that!
4) Most dog Doardings don't have power back up. So imagine if there is a power cut your pampered pooch maybe sitting inside in intolerable Delhi heat.
My next article will be on "what questions to ask your boarding based on my experience!"