GoFundMe campaigns launched to investigate deaths of two dogs at unlicensed Hamilton kennel

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Published June 20, 2024 at 1:36 pm

Sammy
Sammy, one of two dogs to die recently in the care of unlicensed Kippen Cares kennel in Hamilton

A GoFundMe has been launched by a Hamilton dog owner after her American Pocket Bully died just one day after being dropped off at a Westdale kennel, with the dog’s body left in a freezer on the premises.

Owner Jenuen Monroe said she was “devastated” after boarding her two dogs at Kippen Cares last weekend and returning to find Cartelo, her American Pocket Bully, in a body bag in the freezer. She is raising money for an investigation and legal support.

“Our goal is to bring awareness but also get justice for Cartelo and all the other pets and families that have fallen victim to Jess Kippen.”

A second dog owner, Cassandra Almeida, has also started a GoFundMe after Sammy, her Samoyed/Malamute cross (who was rescued from a meat market in China in 2022) was also found dead at the same facility.

“She will be getting a necropsy [and it] will show the true cause of Sammy’s death, and hopefully can connect her death to Cartelo’s.”

Cartelo

Cartelo

Monroe said her husband dropped off Cartelo and her other dog Spicy Saturday for a one-night stay at Kippen Cares. At 8:30 the next morning they got the call that Cartelo was dead.

Monroe said they didn’t understand how this could have happened – “he had no past health issues and was healthy” – and proceeded to ask kennel owner Jessica Kippen for answers “and she doesn’t have any.”

Monroe said they went inside the facility and began filming and documenting “because this whole situation is becoming very suspicious.”

Kippen told them Cartelo didn’t really eat the night before and wasn’t breathing properly but didn’t seek advice from a vet because she said she “know bully breeds and this is normal,” Monroe declared.

Monroe told Kippen it was her “responsibility” as a pet sitter to contact the pet owner and get medical attention for her dog.

“She neglected my dog Cartelo,” Monroe said, claiming the room her dog was kept in was “filthy, hazardous, and hot without any type of ventilation.”

Jessica Kippen

Monroe shared a video of the kennel with a local television station, who has since received multiple tips of animal cruelty at the facility, which is not licensed to have a kennel on site.

Kippen Cares have not been charged with any crime but Ontario’s animal welfare services organization – PAWS – has confirmed it is conducting an ongoing inspection into the business.

Monroe’s GoFundMe, Helping get Cartelo get the justice he deserves, has so far raised nearly $3,000 towards the goal of $10,000.

The money raised, she said, will help her family “bring closure” by helping pay for investigations with government agencies, a postmortem (necropsy), cremation, legal fees and a potential lawsuit.

Almeida’s GoFundMe, Help bring justice to all the dogs harmed by Kippen Cares, has raised about $1,000.

Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath has also weighed in on the situation, saying she was “deeply disturbed” about the allegations and offered her condolences to the owners of the dogs.

Horwath noted the responsibility is in the hands of the Province and PAWS, however, but did say the City will be issuing penalties to the kennel for operating the business in a “non-permitted capacity.”

There is an “active, open investigation,” she added, as Kippen Cares “does not have a business license.”

A Facebook group has been set up advocating for victims of the kennel, with numerous tales of abuse at the facility.

Residents are asked to contact PAWS at 1-833-926-4625 if they suspect an animal is in distress, neglected or being abused.

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