We live overseas and brought our 8-year-old rescue dog across from the States with us. She's done really well adjusting to apartment life (with LOTS of walks) and has been going to the same kennel while we're on vacation for the last two years. She is just ok with other dogs, sometimes acts skittish or nervously aggressive but generally is fine. She's a rescue so she's got her issues, but as long as we keep her routine and comfort zone she's fine.
The kennel is run by a nice family, it's on a farm, and they have a ton of other animals around (horses, geese, chickens, alpacas, etc) - some rescues, some 'kenneled' there long and short term. All cared for quite well by my estimation. They have a separate building for dogs with a bunch of nice clean enclosures and a big shared outdoor space. I know that some people bring their dogs just for the day and others for longer holidays. Long story short, we love the place but don't know the owners very well because of the language barrier. I looked long and hard for a kennel and this was the best one I could find by far. It's priced reasonably as well. She comes home from the kennel skinny but even at home she'll only eat when we're here, so it's never really concerned me.
Now I just received an e-mail through a group of expats living in our area that their dog was attacked and KILLED at our kennel. And that the kennel owner just told them that the dog went to sleep and didn't wake up. The dog's owners went to pick up the dog's remains from the kennel and it was obvious that the dog had been attacked. So they took the dog's remains to the vet and he agreed and said that it was fatal injuries that killed the dog. The dog owners went back to the kennel and spoke to the kennel owner, who said he knew nothing about it. Now the dog owners have seen a lawyer and have filed a report with the police - but nothing has come of it.
My question is: What do we do now???
The dog owners seem like reasonable people based on our e-mail conversation, so I do believe their story. On the other hand, I quite like the kennel owner and feel that some of what the dog owners perceived as lies or rudeness (that the just dog went to sleep and didn't wake up, that he didn't know what happened) could be partially language problem. The dog area is at one end of the farm so it's possible that he really didn't see it happen. He could also have been embarrassed and not gone into a long conversation with them - I don't know. It's a small community here, so maybe he knows the owners of the "attacker" very well and didn't want to out them. I have no idea. I just don't see him being negligent because every single time I've met him he's been working hard on the farm with his family.
This is all coming to a head right now because I'm 35 weeks pregnant and we will be staying at the birthing center for five days, so we'll need our dog to go to the kennel sometime in the next six weeks or so. We don't have the friends or family around to look after her while we're gone and it's way too near for her to get used to another kennel.
I've considered going in and talking to the guy, except that it's a working farm, not the kind of place you make an appointment and go in for a chat - there's no office or anything, he's usually in the field when I bring the dog in. It also seems weird to just show up. He speaks some English, so we can probably make the conversation happen but it'll be awkward. I would just like to ask him what happened and make sure that something has been done to prevent it happening again. My fear is that he doesn't know what dog it was who attacked and therefore that dog could still be there when ours goes in. I doubt our dog will get killed at this place, but she's a nervous type and I don't want her to be miserable there. Especially while we're having the baby, I want to have everything in order and not have this kind of stress over my head at the time. I also need to speak to him about DH dropping the dog at a random time of day if need be when I go into labor. But obviously don't want to plan that before deciding whether our dog will be going back there!!!
*I also feel like taking her to another kennel (aren't many/any around that are good) is also a risk, she might do terribly there and you never know if the same thing has happened at some other kennel or worse. It's a big unknown. Having someone come to our place to look after her won't work, she's too unreliable with strangers coming to our house.
Any advice for approaching this man? Talking points? Opinions / Advice please!! Would you run from this place? Give them a chance? Thanks.