Mandy Parker dropped off her dog at Park Cities Obedience School and Dog Daycare in Dallas, Texas before she went on vacation. When she came to pick her dog Sutton, she was completely floored at what had happened during her boarding time.
The first thing Parker noticed was that her dog had puncture wounds on her neck. She had three open wounds and her neck was burned from ear to ear.
At first, she thought that her dog had gotten attacked by another dog. But she then found out that the wounds were from an anti-bark collar that the kennel used on Sutton.
Parker said that she has never used a shock collar on her dog and would never allow anyone else to use one on Sutton.
Phillip Marr, the owner of the boarding facility, said that Sutton was a rambunctious dog and that she barked constantly. He did admit that the collar probably was on for too long. Marr also stated that bark collars are accepted in dog training, and that almost everyone uses them for excessive barkers.
Marr called Sutton’s injuries a horrible accident. He said that when Sutton was rolling around, there was too much pressure on the side of her neck, so the bark collar put marks on the side of her neck.
A veterinarian inspected Sutton’s injuries and said that the collar was probably on the dog for more than a day. She said that anti-bark collars should not be used and are inhumane.
Another veterinarian said that if the facility did not specifically state in their boarding release that they use anti-bark collars, then it is an inappropriate act.
Marr said he will change his boarding release to include consent to use anti-bark collars.
The American Boarding Kennels Association recommends that pet owners ask about all policies before they board their pet.
Park Cities Obedience School and Dog Daycare paid for vet bills and boarding costs for Sutton.
The boarding facility also released a public statement in regards to the situation:
To our valued customer:
You may have seen an inflammatory and sensational story on Channel 11 news about a dog that was injured by a no-bark collar while in our care.
We wanted to take this opportunity to explain the facts of this incident to you.
The dog in question is a very rambunctious and excitable dog. She was here for boarding and over the course of several days became increasingly stimulated by the playing of other dogs around her. Unfortunately other types of businesses surround us, many of them office buildings and we started to receive complaints regarding her barking.
We tried several things to stop the barking, including time outs away from the other dogs, verbal corrections, etc. to not avail. Finally, as a last resort we put a no-bark collar on her which worked allowing her to play and interact with the other dogs while remaining quiet.
During play the no-bark collar shifted from the bottom of the dog’s neck to the side. An unforeseen combination of the heat, moisture from playing in the water, and friction caused by running, rolling and playing with the other dogs caused the collar to rub and cause sores.
As soon as we noticed the injury, we took the dog to the vet where she was treated. According to the vet while the injury looked ghastly, it was not causing the dog any pain and would heal quickly.
We were shocked and extremely upset about the incident. We pride ourselves on taking the very best care possible of any dog entrusted to us. We would never intentionally do anything to harm a dog. We love dogs!
This incident was a terrible accident that no prudent person could have foreseen happening. We have spoken with vets, trainers and other boarding kennels and they have never seen this type of injury occur with a no-bark collar. Everyone agrees that this incident was a freak accident, one of those one in a million occurrences that you can’t anticipate could ever happen.
Phil & Deirdre Marr
Park Cities Obedience School & Dog Daycare