The state Department of Agriculture is issuing a warning after a dog was attacked and killed at an unlicensed home-based boarding facility in Redding.
Kathryn Stergue, the 49-year-old owner of Katie’s Critter Care, was charged last week in connection with an incident in June when her 4-year-old mixed-breed dog attacked and killed “Romi,” a dog that her business was boarding while the dog’s owners were on vacation, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The family dropped off Romi and another dog on June 10 and learned of the dog’s death when they received a call from Stergue just before 10 p.m. on June 21.
Officials from the Agriculture Department cited the arrest warrant and said Stergue admitted that one of her “big dogs” was responsible for the death of Romi, a 15-pound Havanese.
Stergue was also inhured and had bandages on one of her arms from bites sustained in the incident.
She told officers that her dog, Jacob, was responsible for the attack and a friend took the dog to a veterinarian to be euthanized, but she couldn’t provide the name of the veterinarian and officers have not been able to confirm that the dog was euthanized, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Stergue advertised her business on Facebook and claimed it was licensed and insured, according to the Department of Agriculture, but state records show the business was not licensed as a commercial kennel, so it would not been inspected.
Officials from the Department of Agriculture said the arrest demonstrates the need for all pet owners to be vigilant about ensuring their animals are being cared for in a licensed facility that is inspected by the Department of Agriculture.
“This case shows the need for pet owners to be wary of home-based boarding businesses, many that are advertised on social media and national websites, and to do their own homework when it comes to trusting someone with the care of their pets,” Ray Connors, supervisor of the Department’s animal control division, said in a statement.
Sterns has been charged with cruelty to animals, operating an animal facility without a license, not vaccinating an animal and failure to comply with dog ownership requirements, according to online court records.
She is free on $500 bond and is to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Aug. 25.