Online haters add to dog owners' grief over boarding kennel death at Cooranbong

THE grieving owner of a dog killed at a Cooranbong boarding kennel has been so shocked by hateful online comments directed at the kennel’s operators that she has deleted the page.

GRIEF-STRICKEN: Coralie and Allan Davis at their Buttaba home this week with puppy Tashi. The couple said their dog Annie's death at a Cooranbong boarding kennel was "a terrible accident". Picture: David Stewart

GRIEF-STRICKEN: Coralie and Allan Davis at their Buttaba home this week with puppy Tashi. The couple said their dog Annie's death at a Cooranbong boarding kennel was "a terrible accident". Picture: David Stewart

Coralie and Allan Davis, of Buttaba, lost Annie, their five-year-old bichon frise, when she was allegedly killed by another dog during a stay at Pelgate Kennels on December 28.

The matter is being investigated by Lake Macquarie City Council and the RSPCA.

It appears a Jack Russell gained access to Annie through a small hole in the fence separating their enclosures. While Mrs Davis has endured feelings of shock, anger and grief over Annie’s death, she had not anticipated the vitriolic remarks some people made about the kennels’ operators online.

“I don’t want these people to be in that trouble,” she said of the operators.

Mrs Davis said she first attempted to diffuse the “open nastiness” on her Facebook page: “I don’t think for a second it [the death] was a deliberate act, and it appears they haven’t had any problems previously,” she said of the operators.

But the offensive comments from others continued, so Mrs Davis deleted the page.

“I really feel guilty about how much hate has been directed at these people,” she told the Lakes Mail this week.

Mrs Davis and husband Allan left Annie and their bichon frise puppy, Tashi, at Pelgate Kennels on Christmas Eve. The couple was heading to the South Coast to enjoy a large family gathering over Christmas.

I really feel guilty about how much hate has been directed at these people.

- Coralie Davis

When the Davises arrived with their dogs at the kennels, a Jack Russell and Annie began barking incessantly.

“They really seemed to take an instant dislike to each other,” Mrs Davis said.

Mr Davis said they had faith in the kennel operators – who were award-winning breeders – to separate the dogs if the problem continued. 

At 9pm on December 28, the kennel operators phoned Mr Davis to advise that Annie was dead.

Mrs Davis said the only way she could cope with Annie’s death was to ensure other dog owners were spared from a similar ordeal.

The Davises are supporting the Change.org petition calling for a registry of animal deaths in boarding kennels and a standard code of practice for their care.

Pelgate Kennels declined the Lakes Mail’s invitation to be interviewed for this story.