'We had to wrap dog up to stop virus spreading, now we get vile death threats'
The owner of a respected Dublin kennel claims he wrapped a husky in bin bags after it died to "prevent a dangerous virus wiping out the other dogs in our care".
Paddy Cullen, owner of P&E Boarding Kennels in Kimmage, said his family had received death threats since a social media post about the dog's death.
Kirsten Kinch was travelling to Iceland for three days with her family on December 27 last year when she left her dog Nova with Mr Cullen.
Nova had an issue with colitis and this was being managed with steroids for the last few months "very successfully", Ms Kinch said.
When she returned from holidays she found out her dog had died that day after bleeding out and had been wrapped up in bin bags and covered with duct tape.
Ms Kinch shared the image on Facebook yesterday and P&E Kennels has since been hit by a backlash.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr Cullen said he had run his kennels since 1986 and loved all animals.
Talking about why Nova was placed in bin bags, he said: "There's two sides to every story.
"There was two dogs left in to us on December 27.
"They came in for four days and one of them was an ill dog and the other one was OK. The one that was ill was on steroids.
"On the fourth day the dog died and bled out from the rear end. If a dog bleeds out it can throw out a virus called parvovirus which can wipe out all your dogs within 24 hours.
"We had a lot of dogs left in for the Christmas period, and I said seal the dog up in black plastic bags and that's what they did.
"The lady came home, we explained it to her, she said she was going off to have an autopsy done and she was to come back and let us know what happened, but she didn't."
Mr Cullen said he had been receiving threatening calls since the social media post which he was going to report to gardai.
"I was told my home is going to be burnt down with my kids in it, they're going to come in and cut up my kids and put them in black plastic bags and tape them up with masking tape," he added.
"People think if you put a dog in a bag you're a killer, but we did what we had to do."
Mr Cullen invited the Herald into his kennels, saying: "Does this look like somewhere where animals are mistreated?"
He said his family were deeply upset by what happened and "shook" by the abuse that they had received.
In her Facebook post, Ms Kinch said Nova's death was a "traumatic" experience.
"I had to carry her into the clinic wrapped the way she had been given to me," she said.
"The vet was horrified and couldn't believe there was a 25kg husky wrapped in this black bag.
"We confirmed via microchip that it was Nova and myself and the vet made a decision to send Nova for a post-mortem in UCD due to the circumstances.
"Nova was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of dog for me and my family and has left a hole that will always be impossible to fill. She is loved and missed every single day."
Having had a post-mortem carried out, Ms Kinch learnt that Nova died of internal bleeding but does not know what caused the bleed.
She claimed she messaged P&E Kennels to ask for more information on the days that Nova had stayed there but received no reply.
Mr Cullen, who also runs a rescue called Second Chance Pets, said he wasn't given details of the autopsy results and now feared his business was going to be "gone down the drain".
Ms Kinch said she was going to report the matter to gardai but a garda spokesman said no complaint had yet been made.