LOCAL NEWS

Dog Owners Accuse Training Facility Of Mistreating Pets

Jan 10, 2020, 9:25 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Disturbing allegations of dog neglect have surfaced after multiple Utah families say they sent their dogs to a trainer, only to get back weak and sickly animals.

The owners alleged that instead of training, their dogs were underfed and left traumatized. Pictures appeared to show malnourished dogs with sores on their bodies.

When KSL first began investigating the claims, there was just one dog owner who came forward.

Since then, five different dog owners have made allegations that all point to the same training facility in Utah. They said the facility neglected to train and care for their animals.

Rhett Stubbs said he dropped his one-year-old German shorthaired pointer, Rudy, off at the facility for two months to learn some hunting skills.

He was shocked to see the condition of Rudy at the end of his training.

“I showed up, and I didn’t even recognize him at first,” said Stubbs. “(Rudy) was just completely neglected, dehydrated, and malnourished.”

He took Rudy to a Salt Lake veterinarian right away, who agreed.

“Rudy appears extremely emaciated, weak, dehydrated, nervous, and has multiple areas of alopecia on the legs, back, and tail which are either pressure sores, or healing wounds,” the vet wrote in his post-visit report.

It’s a far cry from the active and happy dog seen in cell phone video provided by Stubbs from the week before training began.

Stubbs said he filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office.

“I’d rather prevent anyone from having the exact same scenario happen to them,” said Stubbs.

Greg Randall said the same thing happened to his dog.

“He was very underweight, very dehydrated, and just filthy,” said Randall. “He didn’t look like he’d been cared for very well.”

Randall provided cell phone video to KSL of what appeared to be a nervous and shaking dog, afraid to leave his kennel.

He said his dog lost between 12 and 15 pounds in the time he was in training.

“I felt embarrassed and guilty,” said Randall. “He’s my responsibility, and it’s my fault for not picking the right place.”

Josh Bryner said he left his dog, Axel, at the same place. 

“He was skinny, scared, timid, and sick,” said Bryner. “He was a totally different dog than the one we left.”

Bryner said when he reached out for answers, he didn’t really get any. He said the facility workers made him feel like his dog was the issue.

“He started to explain that it was a unique situation with my dog, and that my dog had poor genetics,” said Bryner.

Bryner has since filed a complaint with authorities.

“We need to do everything we can to protect them, because they can’t speak out for themselves,” said Bryner.

KSL reached out to other dog trainers to learn about common practices, and what dogs should look like after training.

They all said some weight loss is normal, but never to a point where the dog’s health is in jeopardy.

KSL also reached out to the facility where these dogs were taken. They had no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

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Dog Owners Accuse Training Facility Of Mistreating Pets