14 dogs die of heat exhaustion in Saskatoon after heater in kennel malfunctions

Playful Paws Pet Center
Playful Paws Pet Center's urban location in Sutherland. Jacqueline Wilson / Global News

Tragic news for some pet owners in Saskatoon as 14 dogs who were being boarded at the Playful Paw Pet Center in Sutherland died overnight from heat exhaustion.

“These dogs mean as much to us as they do to the owners. Some of these dogs have been coming here for years. Those owners are being kind and good to us and understanding, but we’re all still devastated with what has happened,” store manager Bonnie Clark said.

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Saskatoon’s SPCA has started an investigation into the deaths, which happened after a roof-top heat system in the facility was said to have malfunctioned overnight, causing the temperature to rise in a specific boarding room.

“The heating system was given an indication it needed to make heat, when it didn’t. It started the heat and then it didn’t shut off so it caused that room to overheat.”

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“The dogs just went to sleep and passed away,” Clark said while crying.

The deaths were noticed when employees came to check on the dogs Saturday morning. Many clients and owners who’ve gone to Playful Paws are showing outrage online because the company’s website says, “The dogs are under constant supervision.”

Playful Paws

Clark says the heating system is check regularly.

“We have a company that comes in and checks them regularly … it’s been within the last month.”

Animal control has been notified, but both fire and police say they had not been made aware of the incident.

“We’ve contacted animal control so when the rumours start they’re aware of what happened,” Clark said. “They are not coming in to shut us down. They just want to make sure we’ve done everything we can.”

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