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Dog attacked and killed while at pet boarder

Keller Russell

Dog attacked and killed while at pet boarder

CREATED Jun. 27, 2011

GLENDALE - "As a pet owner, this is your worst nightmare."

Memories are all Natalya and Matt Miller have left of their beloved Chief.

They say a dog attacked and killed the four-year-old Yorkie while he was at North Shore Pet Connection, a dog boarder.

The Miller's were 15 hundred miles away on vacation.

"I was completely in shock. I heard the word deceased and then I didn't hear anything after that," said Matt Miller.

His wife Natalya spoke lovingly of Chief.

"He was like a child to Matt and I. Before we had a child, he was our baby."

The Miller's say North Shore's owner told them an employee was with Chief and four other dogs in a kennel, turned away for two minutes, and looked back to find Chief dead, with no sound of a struggle.

"But tell me how he could be killed in two minutes and by the time he gets to animal emergency,  have rigor mortis set in?" questioned Matt.

They claim the owner later changed her story, admitting an employee left the dogs unattended for maybe ten minutes.

According to the veterinarian's report from Animal Emergency Center, where an employee took Chief, the employee from North Shore told the vet that chief was outside, that the worker went inside briefly, and returned to find chief unresponsive.

The company's owner maintains the dogs always had supervision.

She wouldn't talk with us on camera but gave us this statement:

"We sympathize with the Miller family and are truly sorry for the loss of their dog, Chief. North Shore Pet Connection has been in business for 30 years with over fifteen thousand dog boarding visits and an excellent track record. Our clients understand that part of our dog boarding service is to allow dogs to play with each other. We obtain background information from owners and with our own observations make sure to put together dogs who are compatible in size and personality. All of the dogs in our care are monitored regularly, but it is impossible to prevent all accidents.

The Miller's argue Chief's death could have been prevented.

"This is something that occurred because somebody was negligent. The person that I trusted to care for him while I was gone was negligent and allowed this to happen."