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Kitty escape not kennel’s fault

With your head stuck out the window, the wind blowing through your coat, bringing smells faster than you can sniff, life is good. But wait, the car is stopping. One human grabs the leash while the other pulls out your bed and toys. This has to be a joke. They can’t be leaving you behind. They hand you over to a complete stranger, and with a hug and kiss, turn and disappear out the door.

They are like children. Owners pamper their pets, worry about whether they’re getting the proper nutrition, and shower them with love. But, when vacation time arrives who is caring for Fido or Morris?

Aaron April needed to go to Florida quickly on a family emergency. He left his cat “Midnight” at Antique Junction, a boarding facility in Round Hill. When he returned the cat was gone.



“It was the worst thing that ever happened to me,” April said.

Flyers placed around the area have turned up no leads, and April said he is finally accepting that Midnight is gone.




Rosemary Wrinkle, owner of the kennel, said she is still slightly baffled on how the cat escaped.

“The only way I can figure it is he somehow wiggled through a very small hole at the top of one of the doors. He got into the main kennel, pushed open a small window that was cracked, and scratched and chewed his way out of the screen,” she said. “It’s the only time this has ever happened. We regret it very much and we even engaged a dog to come in and track the cat.”

Janet Risko, Douglas County animal control officer, said there was no obvious negligence on the part of Antique Junction in the cat’s escape.

“It does happen every once in a while. It happens when pets are at home as well,” Risko added. “It seems the cat was definitely determined to escape.”

What should owners expect when they leave their beloved pet in another’s care? Ken Gentile, an animal control officer with El Dorado County, said owners need to be smart consumers.

“Owners should expect appropriate care for their pet for the money they pay,” said Gentile, who is in charge of inspecting commercial kennels. “Go in, look around, and utilize your senses. Is the kennel clean and pleasant? Do the animals seem well cared for? Make sure you feel comfortable leaving your pet there.”

The South Shore has two commercial kennels and several facilities at veterinary hospitals. Gentile said overall, kennels in South Lake Tahoe do a good job. But, even with the proper precautions accidents happen.

“Several years ago a kennel lost a dog on New Year’s Eve. The dog was out on a walk and it slipped the leash. It was killed by a car,” he said. “It was a bad situation for everyone. The owner lost a pet and the business suffered as well.”

Cathy Adamson, owner of Four Paws, said safety is her No. 1 priority.

“I make sure the animal is here, safe, and happy when the owner returns. While walking the dogs, I have them on two leashes and one is a nylon slip collar. I have two hands on the dog and I’m watching every step of the way,” she said. “I recommend every client do a tour of the kennels. You should see where your pet will be staying.”

Risko recommended searching for a facility that fits the pet’s temperament.

“Owners know the temper of their dogs better than anyone. If it is an outside dog normally, it would probably have trouble with a small indoor kennel. But a smaller house dog might feel more comfortable there. It is scary to leave your animal because even after an inspection you don’t truly know.”

Risko said word-of-mouth can be a good source and suggested pet owners ask friends and neighbors about their experiences.


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