Former owners of Stanbridge kennels fined after dog dies from heat exhaustion in their care

Tullian Park Pet Hotel   .. Photo: Google PNL-180603-144605001
Tullian Park Pet Hotel .. Photo: Google PNL-180603-144605001

The retired licensees of a pet hotel in Stanbridge have been fined after a dog left in their care was found dead when the owners came to collect it.

Clive Page, 74 and Kathleen Page, 73, who ran Tullian Park Pet Hotel of Billington Road, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in their care and five breaches of their licence conditions when they appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court on February 27.

They were ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to failing to take appropriate action after the dog died whilst in their care in July 2017.

The court heard that four-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux (a large French Mastiff breed) called Lenny, died of suspected heat exhaustion after he was kept in an area with poor ventilation during very hot weather.

When the owners of the dog arrived to collect him, they were met by distressed staff. Despite noticing the dog was struggling with its health, the staff had failed to take any action or call a vet. Sadly, the dog died a short while later at the kennels.

The Central Beds Council investigation highlighted breaches of licence conditions that should have been in place and would have prevented such an incident, and which meant staff would have taken appropriate action when an animal became unwell. The court also heard how the establishment failed to monitor temperatures in the kennels, or to train its staff.

Both Mr and Mrs Page (who are retired and no longer run the business, which has been sold and not trading at the moment) pleaded guilty to failing to comply with their licence conditions and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They were fined £432 for the animal welfare offence, £250 for the five licensing offences, £60 victim surcharge, and prosecution costs of £1,925.

The kennels was licenced in December 2016, with new licence conditions which they were given a year to comply with. These included managing temperatures in areas where the dogs were to be kept.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Animal health and welfare is taken very seriously by the council and our officers will investigate any complaints received.

“The conditions of licence that businesses are expected to adhere to are there specifically for this reason – to make sure all the animals in their care are looked after properly. This terrible incident resulted in an animal dying with unnecessary suffering and has left its owners distraught. The animal’s death could have been easily avoided if the business had listened to the advice and warning previously given by the council.

“Our Public Protection team is available to advise and support businesses to ensure they meet their legal requirements. We would like to remind businesses that are licensed to look after animals to take positive steps to ensure they care for the animals properly, in line with what the law requires. Otherwise, in instances like this, where businesses fail to comply, we will take appropriate enforcement action.”

An inspection of an animal boarding premises includes looking at structure/ hygiene of the kennels or cattery, animal welfare, staff training records, vaccination records and fire safety.