Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Worst Kennel I Ever Worked In

I was watching The Animal Planet Channel last night and was reminded of the reason I wanted to start a blog. I have spent my life changing the lives of animals and bringing various abuses to to attention of others.

I was working at the Palm Beach Kennel Club for one of the top kennels. Both the trainer and helper at one of the bottom kennels quit at the same time. This is not an uncommon occurrance. Whenever this happens the other trainers and helpers pitch in until new help is brought in. However in this circumstance it became obvious that no one was coming to help at this kennel. So I quit my job and went to work at this kennel. The conditions at this kennel were the most deplorable of any kennel that I ever worked for either before or since.

It was not that the dogs were malnourished or that they had been mistreated, this was not the case. The problem was a tick infestation that was far beyond anything that I have ever encountered. This includes any strays that I have saved along the way. There were thousands of ticks on every dog. There were ticks crawling on the floor and up the walls and in the dogs beds. There were so many of them that I cried tears of frustration and anger for about 2 months while I was clearing up the problem. It reminded me of cockroaches in a tenement they were so bad.

First I started to work on the racers. They had so many ticks that their toes were spread apart. It was easy to see why this was a bottom kennel. No dog would be able to race like that much less win a race. I would scrape the ticks from between their toes and make an attempt to clean them from their ears. There were hundreds in each ear. Just eliminating them from these parts of their bodies took weeks, because while I was cleaning them out the ticks were also breeding. I had nothing to kill them with but alcohol. I would carry feedpans full of ticks to the dumpster. In the beginning there was one feedpan per dog. Other trainers would comment on the ticks and were amazed that so many were coming from one dog.

I condemn the previous trainer for the condition of the dogs, he worked there for years so he was entirely responsible for their condition. I commend the helper who worked there because he did the best he could under absolutely horrid conditions. Perhaps the person who should be condemned the most is the track vet. The track vet is supposed to be there to prevent such situations from happening. I am not exaggerating about the dogs toes being spread apart. This was obvious with only a cursory examination of the animal. Also every time a dog races the track personnel read the tattoos in the ears of each greyhound to prevent one greyhound from being substituted for another. This is done by a lower level employee but if even one greyhound would have been reported then the trainer of the kennel would have been forced to clean things up.

Anyway there is a happy ending to the story. I eventually got the tick problem cleared up and I worked for this kennel until they went out of business a few months later.

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