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Dog owners want answers after 3 dogs die at Berlin kennel in one year

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BERLIN -- Another family that trusted a local kennel is mourning the loss of their pet.

The Matteson family's dog, Harvard, died at the River Run Kennel in Berlin, where he was staying while the family was on vacation in July.

Matteson contacted FOX 61 after a friend put her in touch with a woman whose dog, Mondo, also died at River Run. Both of the dogs were St. Bernards.

river run kennelsMatteson said that the kennel paid for a necropsy to be done. And while it did not reveal a definitive cause of death, it did note possible causes of the sudden death could be heat stroke or dehydration. It also said Harvard was picked up for the necropsy on the 10th, but Matteson said she wasn't even informed about his death until the evening of the 11th.

Since the heartbreaking loss, Matteson has discovered that her family isn't the only one suffering after leaving a dog at the Berlin kennel.

The owner of Mondo, who died earlier this year, told Matterson that after “four days on vacation, they got a call the dog was found dead, (the kennel) would pay for the autopsy. Same report.”

Then, a third death was brought to Matteson's attention by FOX 61. We interviewed the Story family in May after their dog, Hambone, died at the kennel.

She said it was the same story. The kennel “didn't call for days, dogs were frozen so autopsy could be inconclusive and they can't find the true cause of death."

FOX 61 stopped by River Run to get some answers. The owner and/or manager wasn't there, but later on Monday we received a statement:

Any and all information regarding accusations is blatantly false and the reporting of such by the news station constitutes slander and defamation in a malicious effort to promote rumor and cause harm.

In May, River Run released the following statement to FOX 61 when we reached out about the Story family's dog's death:

We at River Run Kennels were honored to care for the Story's dog, Hambone. We are very sad that he passed away while staying at our kennel. He was with us for two days and appeared to be a happy, well fed, older dog. After he passed away, the Storys related to us that he had a history of seizures. It appears that he died peacefully in his sleep during the second night he was with us.

River Run Kennels has been in business for 17 years and thankfully we have a very loyal and trusting clientele. That loyalty and trust has been earned by the care we have provided to thousands of dogs over the years. We treat each dog as if they were our family pet. Hambone received excellent care while with us.

We appreciate the loss suffered by the Storys and hope that they find peace in the memories of their much loved pet.

FOX 61 reached out to the Department of Agriculture, which said the only complaint they received about River Run was regarding Hambone. The Better Business Bureau says they haven't received any complaints about the kennel.

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