The owner of a boarding kennel says he returned a dog to its owner wrapped in plastic and masking tape to avoid a virus spreading to other animals on the premises.
Paddy Cullen who owns P&E Kennels was responding to a Facebook post by Kirsten Kinch, which showed before and after pictures of her seven-year-old husky Nova, who was dropped into the kennels for three days last December.
The photos of the dog prior to being dropped to the kennel includes one of the dog in the snow in early 2018, and a second one wearing a Christmas hat later in the year.
Ms Kinch also posted a photo of the dog wrapped in plastic when it was returned.
Mr Cullen said the dog had been on medication for colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, and when they went to the pen on the third day to let it out, Nova was lying dead in a pool of blood.
He said that due to the fact that the blood came from the dog's anus, he suspected it was from the colitis.
He said he was conscious of a strain of the disease known as the parvo virus could "wipe out" the other dogs, so he put the dog in plastic and bleached the kennel.
Ms Kinch told RTÉ’s Live Line programme that she was shocked and devastated when she went to pick her dog up from the kennel to find it had died and been put in a sealed bag.
She said that Nova’s ongoing health issue was being managed "very successfully" by steroids, adding that medication was provided to the kennels when leaving the dog in.
She said there was no contact from staff at the kennels during the three days Nova was resident there.
However, Ms Kinch said when she returned to collect her dog she was told that the dog had died.
Ms Kinch said when she went into an office at the kennels she was shown what looked like "a black bin bag covered with brown masking tape".
"I don’t know if you’ve seen a 25kg husky but they definitely don’t fit into the shape we were given," she said.
"It was a complete shock, I thought I was going in to pick up a perfectly healthy dog. I asked straight away if she had had her medication. We were both absolutely devastated."
Ms Kinch told the programme she took the remains to her vet, who scanned the dog’s microchip to confirm it was Nova.
She added that a post-mortem examination was carried out at the veterinary hospital in UCD, but the results of it were inconclusive.
Kennel staff had told her Nova "had been fine, had been eating, had been given her medication", Ms Kinch said.
She said staff said they had found the dog "stiff in the kennel with blood coming from her" on the day Ms Kinch was due to collect her.
Ms Kinch said she has contacted the kennel repeatedly since the incident questioning why her dog was packaged in such a manner, but has received no response.
She added that it was very frustrating, saying "we can't get any reason why it was done".
Mr Cullen has said he has had death threats since the story broke online and his business has been severely affected.
*Sensitive Content*— RTÉ Radio 1 (@RTERadio1) April 24, 2019
Kirsten Kinch spoke to @rteliveline today about her dog Nova. Kirsten left Nova in a dog kennel for 3 days but when she returned from her holiday she was told Nova had died and was returned to her wrapped up in duct tape. Listen back 📲https://t.co/vn7FDMV04O pic.twitter.com/0bZvRBGkGH
Additional reporting Peter Farrell