Playful Paws Pet Center: 14 Dogs Dead After Heater Goes Haywire, Workers Went Home Leaving Dogs In Hot Room, Report Says

In a heartbreaking incident at Playful Paws Pet Center in Saskatoon, Canada, 14 dogs were found dead on Saturday morning after employees came to work and found that a malfunctioning rooftop heater had overheated the second-story room where the beloved pets were housed, causing the dogs to die from heat exhaustion, according to a report in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix newspaper.

But pet owners aren’t buying the explanations from the popular dog boarding and daycare center, with some claiming that the facility’s own negligence led to the deaths of the 14 dogs.

In fact, according to one employee of Playful Paws Pet Center — which also houses cats and other pets — who spoke to the Star Phoenix, workers at the dog care and housing business already knew that the windowless upper floor room was overheating when they went home for the evening on Friday.

Rather than move the dogs to a cooler room, or stay at the facility until the malfunctioning heating unit could be fixed, the employees placed fans in the room to blow on the dogs. But the fans were ineffective.

When workers showed up at the center on Saturday morning, the 14 pet dogs had all died.

The center’s own website advertises the promise that dogs housed there “are under constant supervision.”

The Playful Paws Pet Center announced the deaths of the 14 dogs on its own Facebook page Saturday afternoon.

“The staff and management of Playful Paws Pet Centre are devastated to acknowledge the loss of life of 14 dogs on early Saturday morning. We are incredibly saddened by this travesty of life and cannot express enough our sympathy to the families of these dogs,” the center’s management posted on the Facebook page. “A mechanical failure on one of our roof top heating units caused it to continuously push heat into one of our upstairs kennel rooms, to the point that the dogs being kept there passed away.”

The post continued, expressing regret over the deaths of the dogs.

“We love our dogs and each of our team is trying to personally cope with this terrible loss. Having said that we understand that our pain is small compared to the loss that is being experienced by our dog’s owners. Our sincerest of sympathy goes out to all of these individuals and the family and friends who loved these dogs.”

But the angry reaction of dog owners on the same Facebook page indicated that the expression of “sympathy” may not be sufficient to put an end to the pet center’s problems stemming from the dog deaths.

“Were do you actually APOLOGIZE for your negligence and misleading information!” wrote one commenter. “You acknowledge it?? Wtf is wrong with you?!”

Another, who said that he was the owner of one of the dead dogs, appeared to threaten a lawsuit against the facility.

“You better lawyer up the fact you knew that overheating occurs and have no temperature monitoring what the **** is wrong with you,” the dog owner wrote on the center’s Facebook. You better get a lawyer because I will make it my personal mission to shut your negligent business down Absolutely unforgivable my dog dies under your watch by Christ I will never forgive you.”

Playful Paws Pet Center, 14 Dogs Dead, dogs
Posting on Playful Paws Pet Center Facebook page

The facility’s manager Bonnie Clark spoke in tears to the news site Global News Canada, saying that the heating unit’s thermostat went haywire, indicating that the unit needed to generate heat, and as a result, “the dogs just went to sleep and passed away.”

Clark also said that local Animal Control officers were notified of the pet tragedy, but that the facility was not in danger of being shut down as a result.

According to Patricia Cameron of the Saskatoon branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, animal care and housing businesses are “largely unregulated.” Local police officials said that there was nothing about the incident that left 14 dogs dead that would lead to the involvement of law enforcement, according to a Reuters report.

[Stock Photo By Carmelka / iStock]