Owner Hoping To Spread Awareness After Dog Dies At Kennel

A Sioux Falls woman is hoping the death of her dog serves as a warning to other pet owners. She is asking those who are looking to board their animals to review the facility’s policy on collars first.

“I can’t even explain the bond they had. All they did was play all day,” said Sarah Peterson of Sioux Falls.

Peterson says Saint Bernards Milo (pictured left: 17 months) and River (pictured right: 11 months) are uniquely special to her. She says right before her fiance passed away last year, they were his present to her.

Peterson said, “We didn’t have any kids together. These dogs were all we had so to me they were just hugely sentimental.”

Now it’s just her and Milo. Between homes, Peterson says she was forced to board her dogs at an area veterinarian. She says they were there eight days when she got a call late last month that River had died.

“She goes the bigger one killed the littler one and that’s all the information I got at that time,” Peterson said.

Knowing that the dogs were inseparable, Peterson asked for an autopsy to help find out what happened. She says it was determined that the nearly one-year-old dog had been strangled, that somehow the two got tied up together.

Peterson said, “Nobody was there. Nobody saw it. They weren’t together when they found the dogs but she insists that Milo got caught, like his paw, on her collar or something.”

Peterson says she’s upset that she never got an apology, but even more so that her dog was wearing a collar.

“I didn’t even think to ask when I called them to check on them if their collars were off because I thought every place took collars off,” said Peterson.

Peterson had previously worked at mini-critters. She says it was their policy to take off dog collars and put them into a slip leash so she assumed it was others’ too.

Peterson said, “A reputable place will remove their collars. They will not risk it and to me, I was, it was like being hit by a bus that a vet did not know the risks.”

Peterson claims that besides choke chains and prong collars, it was that vet’s policy to keep collars on dogs for identification purposes. She chose not to identify the name of the veterinarian to avoid causing them any trouble.

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