On Friday May 17th 2013, I took my three dogs to Stonehedge Boarding Kennel in Stirling, Ontario for the weekend. I had taken my dogs there are a number of time without major incident.

I was going on a trip to southwestern Pennsylvania. On the 18th I contacted Stonehedge Boarding Kennel and inquired on the welfare of my dogs, I was informed that my dogs were fine and there were no issues.

On Sunday May 19th I received a message to call the kennel from John Baker, the owner of the kennel. When I called him back, I was informed that my dog Bob had been tethered in a pen, tried to escape, and “hung himself”.

Apparently, Bob had been howling (as huskies, and many other dogs do) and was moved to another pen, and the kennel felt that the pen would not contain Bob so they tethered him as well.

Here is what the Humane Society says about tethering of dogs;

Who says tethering dogs is inhumane?

In addition to The Humane Society of the United States and numerous animal experts, the U. S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement in the July 2, 1996, Federal Register against tethering:

“Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog’s movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog’s shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog’s movement and potentially causing injury.”

Any way you look at this, someone in the business of running a dog boarding facility, with 27 years experience should;

  • Have the experience necessary to deal with dogs that are experiencing anxiety due to separation from their people / other dogs.
  • Have the common sense not to tether a dog when the tether has any possibility of being caught on something causing injury / death.
  • Contact the owner when their pet is in a state of distress and give them the option to have someone come and pick up their pet.

When I called the next morning, I spoke with Christine Baker, who made some kind of comment about the fact that Bob was from a shelter and a ‘troubled’ dog or had ‘issues’.

Bob, as well as my other dogs have stayed with friends, other boarding kennels without issue in the past.

Luckily a friend was able to pick up my other two dogs, one who required antibiotics for a cut on one of his paws and also sustained scratches on his nose.

As Bob was well liked in the community, people have expressed their outrage at what happened to Bob. I received a call from Christine Baker on May 23rd not a call of condolence, or to see how I, or my other two dogs were doing, but asking me to contact a friend and have her remove what she called ‘slanderous’ posts on Facebook. When I indicated that I have no control over what other people did, in order for something to be slander, it would have to be untrue, she indicated that she would be contacting her lawyer. Nice! I asked for her not to contact me again over the phone.

Thought this ordeal, Stonehedge Boarding Kennel, John or Christine Baker have not taken any responsibility for their actions. Although they offered to dig a hole and bury Bob, as I did not want Bob’s resting place there, I am on the hook for the cremation costs.

I understand accidents happen, tragedies happen. Initially, although very upset, I was willing to accept the accident as an unfortunate event caused by people that were not that bright, and there is not a cure for that. Unfortunately for the Bakers, their attitude has demonstrated them to be self centered people who lack empathy. It appears that their stance is that Bob’s death was not their fault for any number of ridiculous reasons. My stance is that is was their negligence and lack of due care that caused the death of Bob.

Caring about my dogs, as many people I know do, I am going to do everything I can to get the word out of what happened to Bob, as he did not deserve this, no animal does.

22 thoughts on “Timeline

  1. I can not get over the ignorance of the kennel owners. It makes my blood boil, how idiotic they have been about such a tragedy. My condolences to you and your family.

  2. My condolences to you. My dogs are like my children also, and it is disgusting and sickening that their negligence could allow this to happen to your baby. The Bakers owe you more than an apology, they owe you an explanation. Tethering and kennelling? What were you thinking, Bakers? Use common sense, and have some brains. Would you tie up, then kennel your own dogs? Slam them.

  3. So sorry for your loss! I would be furious if i paid someone…a kennel at that, to care for my baby boy and then hear of how he died! Something as negligent as what they did deserves at the very least an apology. Accidents happen but tethering an animal in a kennel? You would think taking him there he would be in kind and caring hands of experienced people. How very sad 🙁

  4. Took our little Shellie there years ago. Not sure if these are the same owners. She was filthy and not well cared for while we were gone for a week. This happened a long time ago. They said they had to take her in their house because she was so lonely and upset. Not the case as she was very dirty and visibly upset. Never took any of my pets to a kennel again!!! Very traumatic to me,my family and Lassie. Sorry for your loss… Our pets are,our family. Hope things work out for you!!

  5. Our sincere condolences , this tragic event could have been averted if they just took the time to care enough to ease Bobs separation anxiety instead of taking a careless and negligent corse of caging and tethering the poor dog . A simple phone call notifying you of the situation , could have allowed You a choice in what you should do seeing he was having a tough time there .

    The reputation that has now evolved from their lack of common sense and inability to properly care for animals will come full circle and hopefully open up further investigation of prior acts of animal abuse !!!!
    This shouldn’t have happened ! I hope they pay BIG TIME !

    Once again , so sorry for your loss,

  6. My condolences to you and your family (including your two other babies). I would be devastated about Bob. I have heard other issues about Stonehenge. My two babies go to a good kennel even though I have to drive 45 min out of my way.

  7. We have boarded our dog, Rosie, with the Stonehedge Boarding Kennel for the last 7 years. We have been more than pleased with the care that they took with our Rosie. Recognizing our family’s desire to be with her as much as we could, they accommodated late drop-offs and early pick-ups at no extra charge. They gave Rosie a blanket when we forgot to leave one of ours with her. They laundered our blankets when we left them with Rosie. They recognized that Rosie was a farm dog and made sure she had plenty of time to run free. When we picked Rosie up she was always in great shape and appeared to be very happy. It is very sad that Bob died. It is very sad when any pet dies. However, sometimes accidents happen and there is not always someone to blame. We will continue to trust and to use Stonehedge Boarding Kennel.

    • I too had used them for years. Bob had stayed with the Bakers for two weeks while I was in Europe in 2011. You are right accidents do happen, however tethering a dog in a kennel, or pen is inexcusable negligence.

      I have spoken with the Quinte Humane Society, the Toronto Humane Society as well as other boarding facilities, without exception they have been shocked to learn that a boarding facility with years of experience would do such a thing.

      I wish you all the luck with Rosie, and she may be fine there, however I respectfully disagree with you on your assertion that this was just an accident. There were other options available.

  8. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Bob’s family. I am shocked that a kennel would use such archaic methods in confining an animal. The owners use the excuse that Bob had issues…..well common sense tells you that you certainly wouldn’t confine an anxious dog in that manner. In fact if they were doing their jobs they would have spent time with him and tried to comfort him with one on one interaction. Maybe Bob sensed their true personalities and was displaying his fear of them. I think the best way to deal with a business that practices inhumane tactics is to get the word out and hit them where it hurts….money. For all who will read this…DO NOT EVER USE STONEHEDGE BOARDING KENNEL……I will tell everyone I know. Peace to you and your family.

  9. After reading many Facebook rants from various people on this tragedy and neglect. I cancelled my appointment for my Great Dane puppy to stay with Stonehedge in August. There is absolutely no way I would risk it now after hearing the details of this terrible incident. My condolences go out to you! and thank you for sharing your experience with us, and thank you to the people that past on the word.

  10. That kennel should be closed down. And as far as I am concerned they should be changed with murder of a innocent animal. Us common sense with the brain god gave them. Oh maybe he forgot to give them some.

  11. My condolences to you and your family, this upsets me more than words. When a dog barks they are telling you something. People need to learn to listen and stop punishing them. Their dogs they bark its not a new concept and for an individual to be so unintelligent, and abusive to an animal it kills me. I have two German shepherds that bark quite a lot their still babies 1.5 yr old and 6 month old and if anyone ever mistreated them I’d loose my mind. Clearly these people should not be allowed to run a kennel if they do not know how to take care of an animal. they are not disposable they are living beings and a part of a family. My friends and family will be boycotting this thing called a kennel , I wish you and your family all the best!!

  12. I realize that accidents happen (NOT saying that this is ok) but I have trouble imagining what kind of kennel, who should have people who love animals working there, haven’t even offered condolences..an apology…anything. I am sorry for your loss, pets are family and I will definitely pass this info along.

  13. I am truly sorry for your loss. Their neglect is absolutely sickening and I feel like they owe you more then an apology. I for one will never take my animals there. They do not sound like they have any compassion for what they do. Yes accidents happen, but honestly dogs will be dogs they all bark and howl. Cant believe they tethered him. Again so sorry for your loss.

  14. I live in Alberta, and have been to this Baker facility spoken of with a friend. She wanted to leave her special dog their temporarily, but after a brief inspection, and rude encounter showing the distasteful lack of live for animals….decided NOT to leave the beloved dog.
    I’m so very sorry to hear of your unfortunate loss…..really!

  15. Dogs are peoples lives and it makes me sick to hear what people do to them these people need there kennel shut down for good, i have a yellow lab who is my child and i could not imagine life without her. I am truly sorry for your loss and i hope you get justice for bob and may he rest in piece. people are stupid and dont care about others any more and thats the problem how would they like it if the tables where turned i hope you get justice and people stop going to that kennel and these stupid ass clowns lose there business


  16. We were so very sad to hear about Bob. He was a wonderful dog, and this tragedy need not have occurred. We’re thinking about you, Kate, and Alex. We know how hard this must be for all of you.

  17. I hope you cooked Bob and fed him to your family, he would make many starving kids happy in his death as he did in life.

    from: 192-0-163-170.cpe.teksavvy.com

  18. Just read a post on Quinte Lost dog network. Someone putting in a plug for Stonehedge, pppfffttt !!, Not while I’m still kickin ! I had to post Bob Barkers story just for reminder & Bob Barker will NOT be forgotten !! Here’s to you Bob,,were thinking of you. <3

  19. Crazy! I just got a husky two weeks ago. Learning her has been a great experience. A ton of work, 2 tons of hair, 3 tons of love back! I’m so sorry that your dog died. If your post is correct can you not get this kennel checked out?
    Money drives people, to take on more then they can handle.

    • Dianne,

      Unfortunately our legal system classifies pets as chattel, so in the eyes of the law a dog is like a toaster, or sofa. The humane society was contacted, and they chose to take no action, as were the Police. In order for action to be taken by authorities, it seems that the abuse has to be egregious and even then the penalties are minimal.

      Enjoy your dog, huskies are special dogs, they are rewarding as much as they are a challenge.

      All the best!

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