Should dog-boarding houses use shock collars?
PORTLAND, Ore. -- This is "Bubba."
A Portland dog-boarder is under fire for using a shock collar on this dog without its owner's consent. The dog's owner says the dog was wearing the collar when she came home from "Safe Journey Dog Boarding" in Southeast Portland after Christmas.
The dog's owner says he noticed something was wrong when he asked Bubba "What time is it?" - a question that normally makes her howl. Instead, he says she yelped, put her tail between her legs and fell down to the floor.
And there, underneath her fur, was the collar. This finding was even more unexpected given that the dog boardinghouse, which is in a Victorian home, advertises itself as crate-free -- where dogs have the freedom to roam around just like they would at home.
"I expect they would contact the people on the contact list and say, 'Oh, your dog seems really anxious, really out of control, really x-y-z," said Kyle Gilmore, Bubba's owner. "'Is there something you do to calm her down? Or is it OK if we do this?'"
It turns out that a man named Craig Capley bought "Safe Journey Dog Boarding" this past April and says their "home style" approach usually works well. However, Capley tells us that because Bubba is a dominant, alpha female a more tightly controlled method was the only way to calm her down and avoid fights.
Gilmore had boarded Bubba at the Safe Journey Dog Boarding house in Southeast Portland for years prior to Capley's purchase of the shop. However, under Capley's ownership this past Christmas, Gilmore boarded Bubba once more. And when Bubba came home she was wearing that surprise: a "shock collar" around her neck.
Gilmore says he can't believe employees would ever do this, especially without his consent. However, Capley says the collars are only used in emergency situations. He also says the collars are not abusive -- saying the shock is more like static electricity than an actual "shock."
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