Owner of $7,000 dog who died in kennel furious that SPCA won’t prosecute

The owner of a dog who died after falling ill in a kennel is furious that the SPCA decided not to prosecute the owners, but to ‘educate’ them instead.

Prateek Reliya​ and his partner left their one-year-old dog, a male Japanese akita named Cash, at St Georges Kennels and Cattery near Havelock North on the evening of May 13before going on vacation.

When Reliya picked up Cash on the morning of May 26, he said he looked lethargic and sick and had foam coming out of his mouth.

Reliya rushed Cash to a vet, but the dog died soon after.

* SPCA investigating death of $7,000 dog after stay at kennel
* SPCA ‘investigating’ circumstances surrounding dog who fell fatally ill at kennel
* Beloved dog worth $7,000 dies after owners return from vacation and finds him fatally ill at kennel

An autopsy (which cost Reliya $1,000) later confirmed that Cash had died of severe pneumonia and sepsis.

An autopsy revealed Cash had died of pneumonia and sepsis.  (File photo)


An autopsy revealed Cash had died of pneumonia and sepsis. (File photo)

After Cash’s death, kennel manager Philip Allerby said Things that the dog had shown only slight signs of illness, similar to kennel cough in the days before his death, and “If I had felt that the disease put him in danger, I would obviously have consulted a doctor”.

Reliya was furious that no medical advice had been sought earlier and that he had not been informed that Cash was unwell.

The couple had owned Cash since he was a puppy and paid $7,000 for him.

The SPCA began investigating the circumstances of Cash’s death in June.

Last week, Philippa Lamb, team leader of the SPCA inspectors, said the investigation was complete and had “resulted in an educational outcome that is being worked on with kennel owners”..

St. Georges Kennels, Hawke's Bay.


St. Georges Kennels, Hawke’s Bay.

Reliya was furious with the decision.

“I’m really amazed that this is something the SPCA doesn’t consider worthy of tougher action. If they’re not prosecuting the people or companies responsible for this stuff, you should ask yourself what their goal is” , he added. he said.

“Owners who trust people to care for their beloved pets should be able to expect that failure to do so will lead to serious consequences. This is important because it would expose responsible parties and deter others from do the same,” Reliya said.

“It’s really very simple. If a pet in the care of a kennel gets sick, they should seek help. In this case, the kennel owner has publicly stated that he thinks it may be -being from kennel cough – a life-threatening condition – but he never got a vet to look at him,” he says.

Lamb said the matter has been thoroughly investigated and the SPCA is satisfied that the appropriate result has been achieved”.

“Lawsuits are neither available nor appropriate in all cases,” she said.

The SPCA's chief scientist, Dr Alison Vaughan, said there are currently very minimum standards in the pension industry.  (File photo)


The SPCA’s chief scientist, Dr Alison Vaughan, said there are currently very minimum standards in the pension industry. (File photo)

Lamb said the SPCA “feels for any owner who has lost a pet, because it’s a very difficult time.”

In an earlier story SPCA chief scientist Dr Alison Vaughan says the boarding kennel industry is poorly regulated in New Zealand“which means that there are currently very minimum standards that operators must legally comply with”.

She said anyone operating a boarding kennel should be aware of the minimum standards set out in the Welfare Code for Temporary Pet Housing and the Wellness code for dogs.


Auckland Council Animal Shelters have launched an adoption campaign as they have reached capacity.

People running a dog boarding facility needed to ensure the dogs were cared for by staff who knew how to maintain the health and welfare of the animals, she said. “That includes knowing when to call or ask for veterinary advice.”

Allerby said “St George’s Kennels and Cattery respects and values ​​the SPCA as a valued New Zealand institution”, and “we have accepted and implemented their recommendations relating to our documentation processes and agree with their assessment of the specific incident”.

Comments are closed.