It's a Dog Fight: Videos Question Validity of NH Canine Kennel
MERRIMACK — A woman's online post against a local dog kennel sparked controversy.
On July 9, Becca L'Heureux posted to Facebook several videos of the alleged conditions in Superdogs Daycare dog kennel in Merrimack.
L'Heureux claims she is a former employee of the kennel. In the post, she claims that the dogs were kept in conditions she wouldn't feel comfortable putting her own dog in.
According to her post, at several points in time, she witnessed over 100 dogs to a room (when only 100 dogs were permitted in the building), multiple dogs being kicked in the face, or hit with the paddles supplied by the owners, employees break policy and give the dogs attention, water deprivation for the dogs, irresponsible outdoor dog safety, and witnessed the manager and others doing hard drugs to “keep themselves awake” on the property.
The videos appear to show dogs crowded in small enclosed areas.
L'Heureux said in the post the owners of Superdogs Daycare have blocked her, preventing her from writing a review.
Superdogs replied to the statement on its Facebook page.
In the post made July 11, Superdogs claimed that what L'Heureux's videos depict are out of context.
Some points Superdogs made are that the footage does not show the size of the room the dogs are in, that one of the videos appears staged and contradicts the type of dog handling Superdogs trains its employees to do, and that the employees speaking out have not been working for the company for quite some time.
One woman claimed in a comment on Superdogs' post that she is a former employee and agrees with L'Heureux's claims.
JennaLynne Johnson said, "I got scorned for giving a dog attention. Yes, you would crowd 60 plus dogs in one room! Then we had to keep the dogs quiet? What?? I did witness the girls throw dogs into the kennels for being annoying, not return water bowls cuz (sic) they were peeing too much. I would come in at 11 a.m. and the downstairs dogs in 'the dungeon' haven't been out since 4 a.m.?! I left cuz (sic) due to poor management, and the mistreatment of your paying customers' dogs."
Superdogs also stated their protocol for when an employee misbehaves in the post, but due to Employee Law, they cannot divulge any information.
Even though the original post sparked outrage against the dog daycare, tons of supporters have come out and declared their admiration for Superdogs.
"My Akita Lexy goes here and she LOVES it. I've never had a bad experience. My girl can be a handful and the staff seems to love her," wrote Kim McKay O'Brien. "She doesn't usually take to strangers and at Superdogs her tail wags and she gets so excited just turning onto the street! An angry employee will try to deter customers but those who see the smile on their fur babies faces won't be deterred. No company or employer is perfect and there can always be better ways! You guys are awesome! Thank you for treating Lexy like one of your own."
In another post, Superdogs announced its plan to clear up the ambiguity surrounding the treatment of the dogs in their care.
Superdogs plans to prove their "innocence" by installing live feed cameras, adopting software with photo text capability, offering grand tours, and adding a TV in the lobby with photos and videos of the dogs.
The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food said that according to the state, kennels have no requirements for their property. Some towns may have guidelines for the kennel property though.
The state does advise kennel owners to adhere to the minimum standard required for breeders and shelters stated in law AGR 1700 but does not hold kennel owners responsible to uphold these standards.
If you are suspicious of animal cruelty violations, contact your local law enforcement agency.