Dog Injured By Anti-Bark Collar At Kennel

SuttonMandy 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.

Sincerely yours,

Phil & Deirdre Marr
Park Cities Obedience School & Dog Daycare


31 Responses to “Dog Injured By Anti-Bark Collar At Kennel”

  1. Stefani says:

    I would be so angry if I were this lady. I hope she looks at the fine print of whatever contract she has with these people, and sues them for fraud if she can. If a babysitter had done this to a child, THINK of the hot water he or she would be in! It should be the same for our pets.

    There are SO MANY dangers to our companion animals that we have to wake up to. The people who are making money off of our love of our pets often have money foremost in mind, rather than the love of animals or the love of what they do. We must ALWAYS be wary and skeptical of any care provider and do everything we can to check up on them.

    This is true for groomers, boarding places, pet sitters, and veterinarians. So much harm can be done to our pets by the wrong people.

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  2. Lynne says:

    I hope she sues them and wins.
    Dogs barking at a dog kennel? Who would have thought! Reminds me of doping down kids to keep them from acting like…, well, kids!

  3. Sharon says:

    Sue the bastard.

  4. 3FURS says:

    I agree with Stefani, trust no one with your pet until you’ve checked them thoroughly. Ask for referances. I personally stay with my pets at the groomer and the vet. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the spaying of my latest pet. When I picked her up, she was in extreme pain, the vet offered to keep her longer. But I got a bad feeling there, and took her home. I then changed vets. I had had that vet for years, but something was not the same. So this was the last straw. Next week, when my cousin puts her dog in a kennel, during vacation, I will be popping in to visit frequently.

  5. samantha says:

    1–You would think they would let customers know that using a collar may be a option to control barking, especially since it has been a controversial subject in the past.
    2–They got complaints from other businesses about the barking?! Hello! I an sure the location they are in was not the best choice for a Boarding Facility if there are other close business that the barking would bother!
    3–I hope she sues them too. I would be up in arms and doing everything I could to give that business what they deserve!
    4–I agree with what someone above said, What would have happened if it had been a child!? They would be raked over hot coals by everyone in sight!

    Its people like this who make it hard to trust someone with your animals, who knows how they will really treat them when you’re not around?

  6. kaefamily says:

    Our dog is one “talker” when I am not around — he ignores my S/O and cries for me! So we use the citronella anti-bark spray with him occasionally. It works thus far. But he IS trying outsmart us. He and we are going for doggie school to control his barking soon.

  7. Gary says:

    More and more, my classification of people are weighing on the side of generally stupid.

  8. Bridgett says:

    This is like disciplining some one else’s child. You don’t do it. Dogs bark at kennels. I am sure this dog wasn’t the only one barking. I hope the owner sues.

  9. nora says:

    The comment, the vet assured us the injury was not causing the dog any pain “Bull S”! Any puncture wound or burn causes pain in humans and animals. Also always the danger of infection. I agree it was an accident, but whenever shock collars are used there is a chance of injury. Personally I think shock collars are absolutely NOT acceptable and I have heard about too many injuries and burns when they are used. They are inhumane.

  10. straybaby says:

    “Marr said he will change his boarding release to include consent to use anti-bark collars.”

    i’m sure that will make his customers feel good about using them! a dog gets injured with one so they will continue to use them, but get the owners to sign a waiver?! ummk!~

    “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.”

    *if* the dog was wearing the collar during play, they should have been monitoring it closely. and i don’t know much about shock collars, but something that shocks around water doesn’t sound too bright to me .. . . you would think it would make it malfunction or not work?

    dogs in kennels bark. period. our city shelter has ear protection available in the kennel areas! also, they can sound proof out the kennels and such if they are having problems in their location.

  11. Moonbeam says:

    What is the problem with dogs barking at a kennel? So what, let them bark. What this kennel did is so outrageous that they need to be sued and even prohibited from in the future using bark collars at all -

    I can see in a neighborhood, using a bark collar in the wee hours of the morning if a dog is prone to howl or bark, but other than that I think it is unnecessary.

    This poor dog probably has seperation anxiety too. Poor doggie.

  12. Lorie says:

    Oh I would be so mad they wouldn’t even want to see me coming.

  13. Dennis says:

    Sounds like animal cruelty to me. I’d sic the ASPCA on the kennel. Call the police or ASPCA and have them inspect my dog, show them what happened at the kennel and send them over to the kennel. Let the kennel people explain to the police and ASPCA why they should not face criminal animal abuse charges. They wouldn’t use the collar again I bet… Too bad the owner didn’t call from the kennel because now it becomes the owner’s word vs theirs that it happened there at the kennel and not prior at the home or after the kennel at home. OTOH, the owner is lucky they didn’t sedate the dog and do damage with some drugs.

  14. straybaby says:

    Dennis says:
    August 10th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    well the kennel publicly admitted it in writing ;) but i wonder if it really happened in play or if the dog was left in a kennel unsupervised with it on . . .

    drives me nuts that the kennel owner says almost everyone uses them for excessive barkers like it’s ok and true . . .

  15. mittens says:

    i havent gone away on vacation for several years in part because the people i trusted to come to my house and care for my girls moved. i can’t bring myself to board them for this very reason- what happened to this dog, no matter how loud or difficult the animal may have been, should not have happened. i also have 1 hyperthyroid slightly crazy cat who needs a pill 2 x a day and she is very difficult to medicate-i cant see anyone but myself being able to deal with her hysteria without getting mad and lashing out. the vet sedates her just to draw blood-what will some overworked frustrated kennel worker do if she scratches them?

    while barking is a puppy behavior carried over into adulthood i dont know why its any surprise to a kennel owner that an animal away from his ‘parents’ and pack is going to be upset and confused. dogs bark for gods sake and the added stress of seperation is bound to cause likewise upsetting behaviors to come forth. we had a dog who used to get up on the dinning room table and dance around until he wadded up the tablecloth if he was left home and didnt get to go in the car with the rest of the family. they cant talk- theyre gonna act out however they can in such a situation. professionals should deal with it professionally-cruelty to a pet put in your charge is a complete violation of trust. if you cant deal humanely with a barking dog youre in the wrong business, buddy. your excuses are just that…

  16. Ruth says:

    “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.”

    Oh woe is me, Shame on you, Phil and Deirdre Marr, you should have used better judgement and the news station wouldn’t have made it a story.

    Did your kennel call Ms. Parker and tell her that her dog was barking out of control? And your intention on how control this dog? Did it ever occur to the people there, that after putting on the collar the pain was unbearable and caused the dog to bark even more?

    Seems like the news story was warranted. Now pet owners may be more careful in picking out a boarding kennel if they are concerned pet owners. You brought this story on yourselves.

  17. HighNote says:

    My daughters vet told her to use this shock collar for her dog is this the same as the bark collar?? they have used it when he tries to run from them. I would really like to know if there is a difference. Can anyone tell me? thanks for the info

  18. Dennis says:

    I wonder if anyone considered that other dogs barking near this one with the electrocollar might trigger this collar too??

  19. Danielle says:

    The boarding kennel needs to seriously be sued, I really hope everyone stopped taking their dogs there.That’s horrible torture! Think of how many times he must have been shocked with all that noise around him. I’ve never used these type of collars so I’m not sure how they work- but it has to be either sound activated or movement activated- like vocal cords vibrating- either way it’s a dog daycare- so he was being bumped into and barked at. I’m suprised he even still tolerates being around other dogs- since god knows what he thought he was being shocked for. These people are incredibly sick- and stupid. And it’s not some freak occurance for a electric collar to cause punctures and burns- working at a vet’s office I’ve seen quite a few punctures and burns caused by shock collars or electric fence collars- the only difference is that those dogs owners had put the collars on them- and in this case it was a boarding kennel. If the barking was bothering them that much then these people really need to change careers b/c- newsflash! KENNELS ARE NOISY!

  20. kaefamily says:

    The boarding kennel should inform potential customers that they don’t take barking dogs.

  21. Ellen says:

    It warms my heart to see how many of the comments here show how well people understand that using a shock collar is not a good idea!

    Attempts at punishment, after a behavior has already happened, are the weakest way to deal with an animal. Using pain, especially from a shock collar, is lazy and often ineffective.

    Excessive barking is not any easy problem to solve, but dogs are so easily motivated — there had to have been another solution.

    And a quick note to HighNote — yes this is the same kind of collar. It is a very strange choice for a dog who runs from people — a solid recall on cue is best taught with reward and lots of practice, not pain.

  22. HighNote says:

    Thanks Ellen. I have never used these things myself but my kids vet said to use it and I thought it was reather unhumane! I do not believe in such things. I will certainly inform them about all of this and hope in the future they do not continue to use such a terrible thing. Do not know why anyone would. I have never had to use such things to train any of my pets. I wondered why a vet would say to use it.

  23. Trudy Jackson says:

    I know I would sue if they did that to My dog. I hope they do. This is animal cruilty.
    No wonder I like pets better than people.

  24. Marilyn says:

    Anybody notice the ads that appear to the left of this article? Kind of ironic, isn’t it that along with an article that demonstrates the harm that can come from shock collars, that we see three ads for shock collars.

    By the way, I have been a dog trainer for many years, and I am also a vet tech and we board dogs at our clinic. I have never, and will never use a shock collar on any dog. And I know many of my colleagues do not use them either. So, when someone says “everyone uses them” that is simply not true.

    To HighNote, your vet probably meant no harm recommending a shock collar to you, but the fact is most vets don’t know a great deal about behavior. The majority of them are not trained in behavior (unless they select that specialty), and they are more focused on the physical aspect of their patients which is what they trained for in vet school. There are exceptions, of course. So when discussing behavior with your vet, it is probably a good idea to determine what their knowledge and experience base is in that regard. Just a suggestion….

  25. Jenny Bark says:

    I’m with Trudy, this is animal cruilty. I bet a lot of people will stop going to them. I have heard so many things about day care & kennels that we bought a motor home. Anytime we have to be somewhere for longer than 8 hours all our dogs & Kitty go with us. dogs bark if you don’t like it don’t work with them or have one. Shock collars should be put on the people who use them.

  26. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Kinda on-topic…kinda off-topic:

    Sutton the dog is so CUTE! Look at her smiling face — and her tail is a blur! I’m glad she wasn’t hurt too badly, and I hope she isn’t too terribly traumatized. She looks like a sweet, energetic girl…

    Shame on the Marrs and their Park Cities Obedience School & Dog Daycare.

  27. Dappy says:

    As a dog trainer and kennel owner, his statements that everyone uses them is absolutely untrue! In addition, there are newer, more humane ways to control barking that we introduce alot of people to in our training that are citronella based anti bark collars, only emitting unpleasant odors to the animals…..maybe they should stay up with the times!

  28. A&MDVM says:

    A bark collar is not set off by “bumping” or by other dogs barking. Bark collars have sophisticated technology that detect the vibrations of the vocal cords only of the dog wearing it. Whining won’t even set a bark collar off, it has to be a bark and it has to be the dog wearing the collar.

    For a bark collar to operate properly it must sit directly on the vocal cords. The dog in this incident had rub marks on the side of her neck. Once the collar worked its way to the side of the neck it was usless as the sensor would not pick up the vibrations of the vocal cords and would not have been activated.

    In addition, bark collars do not burn the dogs, the “shock” is static electricity, it is meant to startle the dog and interrupt the barking, it does not cause pain anymore then you are caused pain when you walk across a carpted floor and touch a doorknob. ALL collars have a built in delay between shocks. Even if a dog were to bark constantly the bark collar will only deliver the shock every minute or so. NO bark collar will continously shock a dog.

    I independently examined the dog in question. The spots on the dogs neck were similar to hot spots caused by the collar rubbing, much like a shoe might rub a raw spot on your foot. There was no animal cruelty involved. I feel it is irresponsible for people who don’t know the facts of the case to post on public forums. I have no affiliation with either the owner of the dog or the owner of the business. All I know is what I initially saw. I will also point out that once the dog was taken home the owners had trouble with her scratching at her neck making the hot spot worse. The photo shown on the Ch. 4 report does not represent what I saw when I examined the dog immediately after she was picked up from the kennel. The area on her neck appears worse in the photos, I attribute this to the excessive scratching.

    I visit many kennels and boarding facilities in the course of my job. And it is a fact that many of them use bark collars.

    I truly feel for both parties, but the dog healed quickly. Posts like what I have read here keep the gossip and half-truths circulating long after the incident should be forgotten.

  29. bren says:

    Has anyone thought about how one dog barking incessantly can disrupt the entire kennel complex causing stress to any softer dogs. Surely something like a citronella anti bark collar keeps the kennels a lot calmer and more pleasant place for everyone Be it dog or human

  30. bette says:

    sue for negligence!

  31. Jessica says:

    I am going through this with my dog and a boarding kennel now. However, a citronella collar was stated to be used. My dog has puncture marks over his trachea. The kennel owner lied to us and told us the injury occured from another dog. I took pictures of the injury and e-mailed them to our county humane officer. The humane officer called the kennel and the kennel then admitted to using the citronella collar. The kennel owner would not return my call for weeks. Finally, when we did speak, the owner was shouting at me and said that I was “paranoid”. She hung up on me. We are taking her to court for negligence and failure to disclose information.

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