Auckland dog daycare shuts down following death

Bridget Chung's dog Wilson died at Valley Dog Daycare on May 9.
SUPPLIED

Bridget Chung's dog Wilson died at Valley Dog Daycare on May 9.

An Auckland dog daycare owner has closed her business following the death of a dog.

The canine, Wilson, was found dead in a pond at Valley Dog Daycare in Henderson on May 9.

The daycare's owner, Trudi Hewett, said she did not ever intend to reopen.

Wilson was found dead in the pond at Valley Dog Daycare, this picture was on the daycare's website before it was pulled down.
SCREENSHOT

Wilson was found dead in the pond at Valley Dog Daycare, this picture was on the daycare's website before it was pulled down.

"I just can't cope with the thought that this has happened. I am absolutely wretched that this has happened," she said.

"And I cannot ever take the risk of it happening again so I have closed."

Wilson's owner posted about her pup's sad end on social media.

Bridget Chung said she had sought legal advice, and was unable to comment to media on what happened to her pet.

Auckland Council's animal management manager Tracey Moore said the team were currently investigating the dog's death.

"The owner of the centre is co-operating fully with the council and has closed the facility until further notice," she said.

The Valley Dog Daycare website, which had since been pulled down, said dogs were not separated by size and all roamed freely through the fully-fenced 10-acre farm.

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The site said the daycare could take 10-12 dogs per day, but dog numbers were capped at 12.

Dogs spent their day with Hewett, a trained animal behaviourist, as she worked on the farm, it said.

They had two daily walks in the dog park and could swim in the pond, it said.

Head of veterinary services for the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA), Callum Irvine, said a draft code for the welfare of temporary housed companion animals, of which dog daycares was one, had been released by the Ministry of Primary Industries for consultation.

It was currently in draft form, but the NZVA "support the report and the recommendations within it", Irvine said.

Kennels and temporary housing for animals should follow the best practice recommendations set out in the draft code, he said.

The code said the welfare of animals in temporary housing facilities could be a challenge and required strict attention to behavioural needs.

Irvine said dogs should be provided with "some means of separation" from other dogs in daycares.

"Dogs should have supervised and/or safe, predator-proof access to exercise out of their enclosure on a daily basis, to prevent behavioural problems," Irvine said.

"The code emphasises the need for suitably experienced and trained individuals to supervise such facilities and ensure the welfare of animals within them and for expedient access to veterinary care when the need arises."

 - Stuff

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