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Thegonnec
Thegonnec, Industrial Tribunal Judge
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 1471
Experience:  15 years experience as a judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal
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I hope that someone can advise me. I confess that I am, as I

Customer Question

I hope that someone can advise me. I confess that I am, as I write this, very upset and I apologise if my query is poorly worded. Ultimately, I strongly suspect that the ‘pet resort’ my partner’s rescue dog was housed in for 3 nights is to blame for his now serious health issues. I have proof that they neglected to feed him on at least one occasion. I have proof that they failed to notice bile and foam vomit in his kennel until after he had been collected by my partner. I have proof that they didn’t inform us that the dog had been sick.
Our lovely rescue beagle was housed at the resort for 3 nights. My partner collected him at 15:30 yesterday afternoon. My partner told me straight away that the dog was obviously very ill. He didn’t pull much on his lead to see my partner, he was noticeably thinner and shook. In the car, on the way home, our dog repeatedly vomited bile and foam. I knew that something must have been very wrong with the dog because I could see that my partner was very troubled: not an expression he usually shows. I saw our Beagle and he wouldn’t even lift his head from the floor to say hello. He then vomited bile three more times. By 17:30 we had arranged to see the emergency out-of-hours vet: our usual one was too busy to see to us. The vet admitted him immediately, seeing that he was very unwell.
Less than 24 hours after collection our dog has now had emergency surgery. Our vet was worried that he may have eaten something: a foreign object. That he was blocked. X-rays and ultra-sounds didn’t reveal an obvious object but ‘tissue’ of some sort. Surgery revealed a very, very thick stomach and intestinal walls: something that was very unusual. The vet also said that there was ‘curling’ to the intestine. This was also very unusual. The dog was obviously very sick. However, no foreign object or blockages of any kind were found.
The vets wanted information from the Kennel which I, eventually, obtained. I learned that they hadn't fed our dog on the morning of collection because they didn't have enough of his feed: an error on my part. However, they neither fed him a substitute nor contacted us at any time during the three nights they had him that he didn't have enough feed. They also didn't ask us to what they could feed him as a substitute. They just didn't feed him. They didn't tell us that he had vomited and when I asked them to check with all staff they eventually learned that the lady responsible for his care found bile in his kennel after he had been collected. They didn't call us to tell us this. The kennel know us and they know that we don’t go far away: we stayed in the same town! We never go far away in case our dog doesn’t like the kennel or in case we need to collect him again. (We don’t do this for silly reasons but because he is a rescue dog with separation anxiety. We built him up slowly to the idea of staying at this ‘resort’.)
I took one look at our hound and had to look again. Physically he had completely changed: the vet said he lost 800g. He is an active dog so I very much doubt that this was weight loss due to charging around at the kennel. He was droopy, still, withdrawn, trembling and wheezing. It was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong somewhere. He was very, very sad.
I asked the vet whether there was any evidence to suggest that the kennel had neglected to care for our dog in any way. She said it would be hard to prove but, given his condition, that he had certainly been poorly for at least 24 hours.
The beagle is the centre of my partner's world and has been since the day we rescued him. My partner is from Russia and doesn't give much away. His facial expressions and body language are always fixed. He doesn’t show his true feelings and certainly not about the dog: not even to me. Today, however, my partner is in pieces. I have been with him for more than five years and in this time we have known great loss but this is the first time I have known him to cry. He has barely spoken a word this past day and I just don't know what to do. My partner is sat with the dog now, in silence. We have only been away from the dog for two nights before this occasion. Two nights into our dogs stay I found my partner watching videos of the dog. He spent our holiday asking if we could call the kennel to ask how our dog was. We agreed on the second night that we wouldn't leave our dog for more than one night ever again. I doubt my partner will work this week, or maybe even next. He wont leave his dog’s side until he knows that he will be well again. If he will be well again.
I can’t bear the thought that our hound was left hungry and poorly. I just can’t and I’m posting this because I don’t think I can tell my partner all that I know. I think this would make him very angry. Can I report the kennel? Who could I report them too? Do I have enough/ the right kind of evidence? After speaking with the vet and the kennel I think the kennel have some serious explaining to do.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: European Law
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 5 months ago.

Hello,

I am sorry to read about your dog's illness. from a legal point of view though, to report the kennel or do anything about it, you would need to have proof of abuse. Only your vet may find out what the dog suffers from. And from there, one might be able to find out if the kennel's responsibility is at stake or not.

The only objective fault outlined in your message would have been not to inform you that they did not have enough food to feed the dog. And I understand that it was because you did not leave enough. You cannot blame them for not feeding him any substitute: if they had done so and it had made the dog sick, you could have blamed them and sued them.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello,I'm afraid that I suspected as much. Thank you very much for reading through such a lengthy message and for your reply. We'll continue just to focus on our hound and try to learn whatever lesson we can from this.Thanks again,
Sally
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 5 months ago.

Hello,

I am indeed sorry I could not bring you better news. Please do not forget to rate my answer.

I hope your hound gets better soon.

TP