The owner of a kennel in Brock Township, Ontario, used to house animals overnight without a license and is now facing municipal charges, according to the town clerk.
“We do not have children; we love him like a child, he was everything to us, “said Rob in an interview, with Brooke at his side, describing his dog, Hank.
Hank was her beloved black rescue dog, her constant companion adopted just before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
But last week, Hank was accidentally killed by a car on a highway near a kennel business about 50 miles north of Toronto. The couple had entrusted the kennel with Hank’s care for two weeks while they were in Florida.
Somehow, Hank was able to get away from the fenced-in property that belongs to Wild Dogs Boarding, jointly owned by Joe Rutherford.
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“That he escapes, that can happen. It’s everything that happened after that. It seemed like they were more interested in covering up the loss of our dog than finding and rescuing him, ”Rob said.
The Tkatches say Rutherford’s company did not share information about where Hank was last seen; Rob says Rutherford wasn’t eager to continue the search after Hank was declared missing.
“He told us that he was cold and hungry and that he thought it was not appropriate to keep looking, but that he would continue if we really wanted to,” Rob said.
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Later, Rob received a phone call from a motorist who had struck and killed Hank on a highway. The driver obtained the phone number from the tag on his neck.
The driver apologized and offered to take the dog for emergency veterinary care.
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The couple heard about Wild Dogs Boarding after reading an article on a popular Toronto blog site. It had also been featured by a local television station. As a result, the pair were confident of sending Hank to Wild Dogs for two weeks.
“Their social media and website were fantastic,” said Brooke, explaining that the couple liked the fact that the animals appeared to be living as guests in a house on the wooded property rather than being placed in cages or crates.
City ordinance investigators went to the Wild Dogs property Wednesday to conduct an inspection and investigation.
While Wild Dogs had been licensed for the past year to care for animals between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Lamannna said the company was not allowed to board animals outside of those hours.
As a result, the company, which is jointly owned by Joe Rutherford, faces a charge for violating city statutes.
When Global News went to the Wild Dogs property, Rutherford originally declined an interview, but later agreed.
“Our hearts are broken,” he said, when asked what happened to Hank.
“This place is my dream. I love dogs. We did everything we could, ”he said.
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In a television interview, Rutherford stated outright that his company complied with municipal laws and had all the required permits.
He also claimed that the company’s website was still online, but was not.
Lamanna said the municipality directed Wild Dogs to remove marketing material intended to persuade owners not to house their dogs at the facility.
A date for a court hearing has not been scheduled.
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