By: KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Borrasso
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A family from Pittsburgh is still trying to get answers after its 5-month-old puppy was mauled to death at a doggy daycare in the East End last month.
The Hynes family took their puppy, Java, to The Dog Stop on Washington Boulevard on Sept. 18. Three days after dropping the dog off, the family received a call saying that Java was dead. The co-owner of the company said a staff member put the puppy in an area with a near-60-pound dog and left the room.
Java’s owner said she did not want her puppy with other dogs because he was only 5 months old and he wasn’t neutered.
KDKA obtained a portion of a phone conversation between the veterinarian who examined Java, Dr. Stephanie Berger, and an employee who brought Java to be examined.
“If it were my dog, I think I’d just burn the whole place down. I don’t know what I would do,” the employee said in the call.
On Sept. 21, Berger’s office received a call requesting an autopsy for a dead dog just after 9 a.m. KDKA was told there was no video, only live streaming. An employee told the veterinarian otherwise.
“It was about 15 minutes and he just he hyper-focused on him,” the employee said in the call. “And it seemed to be quick from what we could see but it was almost textbook. We had our trainer look at the video, too.
“It was not good in any way, all bad. I don’t even have words to relive it.”
Dr. Berger told KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso that the employee told her it took about 45 minutes from after the attack until she arrived at the vet.
“Java was brought to us in the morning and initially we were told that he was found dead and we weren’t told why,” said Dr. Berger. “It was unusual we weren’t told why the dog died. I was not expecting to find such significant injuries and trauma, which obviously was a result of the dog being attacked.”
Dr. Berger showed KDKA Java’s x-rays, which revealed his skull and chest were crushed. He also had over 20 bite wounds. Dr. Berger said someone must have heard the dog in distress.
“It is my medical opinion that he was alive for a period of time after and he did suffer and couldn’t breathe,” the doctor said.
The co-owner of The Dog Stop, Chris Kane, said the employee responsible is on leave and he plans to reprimand two others. Kane released a statement Monday, saying:
I was completely candid with you when we spoke about this matter. The facts have not changed. As you indicated in your article there is a pending investigation so I will allow law enforcement to complete their process. I remain sympathetic toward Ms. Hynes and her family and have made every effort to amicably resolve this matter with them.
Police are still investigating.