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Mass Deaths at Kennel After Dog Cuts AC
17 dogs die of heat exhaustion
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2014 4:03 PM CDT
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A horrifying story out of Arizona, where 17 dogs died at a pet boarding facility after one dog apparently chewed through a wire and disabled the air conditioning in the room where 28 dogs were sleeping. Authorities say employees at Green Acre in Gilbert, Arizona, checked on the dogs at 11pm Thursday, then again at 5:30am Friday—and discovered that many were dead and others were "overheated and unresponsive." They took them outside and sprayed them down with water, but were unable to save them, the Arizona Republic reports. Some of the dog owners say the owners of the Green Acre initially called them Saturday and told them their dogs got loose and ran away. (One dog owner provided a voicemail from the facility owners to Fox 10, in which the caller claims to be out searching for the missing dogs.) Some owners went to the facility or sent friends to search, and only then discovered their dogs were actually dead, KPHO reports. One dog did actually get loose, and owners are still searching for him.

The dogs' bodies were piled in a shed, a sheriff's spokesperson says. An Animal Care and Control spokesperson acknowledges the deaths may "seem a little odd" and "suspicious," and some of the owners agree, pointing out to WPTV that it was just 80 degrees Thursday night; one owner is convinced her dogs died earlier than Thursday and is getting necropsies done. But factors such as room size and ventilation could have played a role, says the ACC spokesperson. The business owners say the dogs sleep in a room attached to the house that is usually kept at 72 degrees, and that they each have their own space. No charges have been filed, though the dog owners are keeping pressure on investigators. The Green Acre owners, who were out of town when the incident occurred, say this was "truly an accident" that also took the life of one of their own dogs, and that the initial, false explanation came from simply not "thinking straight." Says one owner: "The wire was sparking. My whole house could have burned down."

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Jun 24, 2014 11:40 AM CDT
Sounds like a simple Wi/Fi temp sensor could have prevented this, they are reasonably priced these days.
Jun 24, 2014 9:04 AM CDT
How does a place that loses power after dark heat up so quickly, even at 80 degrees outside? That makes no sense. I have dealt with nights here in VA that reach upwards of 90, and even with power loss the house doesn't get hot enough to give me or my kids, furry or otherwise, heat stroke by 6am. This actually JUST happened to me the other night, and while I was aggravated by the warmth and humidity, we were fine until the power came back on around mid-morning. And by then the sun HAD risen. It wasn't until that point that we even became frustrated and I started to worry more. Our power shut off shortly after midnight. Came back around 7:30am. Sun had been up for a couple hours by then. Seems shady to me.
Jun 24, 2014 6:44 AM CDT
Son of Jeff Flake, US Senator (R-Ariz). He killed these dogs. Do you think he cared if his dog care business was not safe for dogs?