An investigation into conditions at a Rowley, Massachusetts, dog kennel prompted by a small herd of wandering goats continues, with help from the FBI.
The investigation started when a small herd of goats escaped from their enclosure on Aug. 27 and wandered along Route 1. This led Rowley police to their home, The Hydrant Regency dog kennel on Newburyport Turnpike, which had dozens of animals being held in what investigators described as unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
A former customer of The Hydrant Regency shared a horrifying story about her experience with the kennel -- one which she said nearly killed her dog and left her with about $6,000 in veterinary bills.
Jillian Aurigemma of Wilmington said she boarded her two dogs there while on vacation in in New Hampshire in July of 2021. She said when she picked up the dogs, one of them had a serious wound near his tail.
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She said the dog, Busy, now 4, ended up with a serious infection that nearly killed him. Although he survived, veterinarians were not able to save his tail, which had to be amputated.
"Pretty just traumatic situation all around," she recalled. "He had a severe wound on his tail, at which point we were told the infection had to have progressed at least three or four days."
She said she immediately reached out to the kennel owners, but didn't get anywhere.
"They pretty much brushed it off as if it was a minor injury, and it had just occurred moments before we picked him up," she said.
Aurigemma said that veterinarians estimated that the wound had been there for at least a few days.
Police in Rowley launched a criminal investigation in late August after discovering evidence of possible animal cruelty at the kennel.
The kennel had electricity issues, police said, and they also observed unsanitary conditions.
Authorities said the dogs were not harmed, and were eventually reunited with their owners.
It's still unclear why the FBI is now involved in the investigation.
The kennel owners could not be reached for comment.
The Hydrant Regency previously posted on its Facebook page that “we’ve had a lot of things going on here at The Hydrant Regency.” The post also mentioned “an electrical issue that needs immediate attention,” and that it will be closed until further notice for “kennel improvements.”
Aurigemma said the kennel owners eventually stopped communicating with her. She said she recently turned over information about the incident involving her dog to police.
"On a business level, that's egregious," she said. "But, on a personal level, some sort of compassion would've been nice."