A pet-owner was left horrified when her beloved husky dog, who died while she was on holidays, was returned to her in a small bag wrapped in duct tape.
Kirsten Kinch was going away with her family in Iceland for a holiday last December when she put her pet dog, Nova, into P&E Boarding Kennels in Dublin.
When she returned four days later, however, Kirsten was told Nova had been found dead in her kennel.
"They had crushed Nova into what I can only describe as a ball wrapped in a black bag, covered in masking tape," Kirsten wrote in an Instagram post.
"It was utterly traumatic and heartbreaking to leave with her like that.
"We drove straight to the vet and she was horrified, and couldn’t believe there was a 25kg husky crammed in this ball."
Kirsten wrote on social media: "On the 27th of December, 2018, I brought my husky Nova to P&E boarding kennels to be boarded for 3 days while my family went to Iceland.
"Nova had an ongoing issue with Colitis and this was being managed with steroids for the last few months successfully...She had been checked by my vet prior to boarding and we had discussed taking her off the steroids as she was responding so well.
"I gave multiple written and verbal instructions on how the steroid was to be given separately to her food and that she needs to get this twice a day, P&E also advertise that they cater for medication and dogs that need extra care once they are informed in advance.
"On the 31st of December I went straight from the airport to P&E to collect Nova. I rang 4 times waiting outside to pick her up. (I was told to) come around to the gate when I told him I was here for Nova.
"Once in, we were told Nova had died - they had found her that morning bloodied in her kennel. We were shocked and beyond devastated at this as we had left a healthy dog in 3 days earlier.
"I asked the kennels immediately if she had received her medication and I was told she had.
"They had crushed Nova into what I can only describe as a ball wrapped in a black bag, covered in masking tape.
"We confirmed via microchip that it was Nova and made the decision to send Nova for a postmortem in UCD due to the circumstances."
She says she emailed and messaged P&E asking for more information on how Nova had seemed when she was with them, "and I still have not received any kind of contact back".
"Nova was a once in a lifetime kind of dog for me and my family and has left a hole that will always be impossible to fill, she is loved and missed every single day and I hope writing this can stop a similar situation in the future."
In comments given to metro.co.uk, Paddy Cullen, from P&E boarding kennels, said: "We went down to let out the dogs first thing in the morning but when we got there, the dog was dead.
"There was a big pile of blood from her behind...I rang the vet and was told to wrap up the dog so as not to infect the other dogs."
He added: "What other way could we do it? We were concerned about the spread of parvo virus. We were told to seal the bag so nothing could escape.
"It was such a big dog that we couldn’t put the body in the freezer and we were expecting the family back from holiday in a few hours."
He said that since the story went viral, the kennels had received hate mail and threats, including from people saying they would burn down their house.
He said: "I am very sorry that her dog passed and it happened to pass while she was here with us." He said he had received no communication from Ms Kinch since the autopsy.