Family claims puppy was abused at boarding facility

Posted By elaine on September 11, 2012

Baron, a 13-week old German Shepherd puppy owned by Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins, after being admitted to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sunday evening. Baron's eyeball was surgically removed Monday. He also suffered blunt force trauma 'similar to that seen in a head-on collision.' (photo:courtesy Brown)

Baron, a 13-week old German Shepherd puppy owned by Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins, after being admitted to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sunday evening. Baron's eyeball was surgically removed Monday. He also suffered blunt force trauma 'similar to that seen in a head-on collision.' (photo:Brown)

FORT COLLINS – Animal Protection and Control has opened an investigation against a Fort Collins boarding and training facility following a complaint from a Fort Collins family.

Tiffany Brown of Fort Collins said her 13-week-old purebred German shepherd puppy, Baron, suffered blunt force trauma and injuries that resulted in the surgical removal of the dog’s eye after boarding at American Dog School, in Fort Collins, over the weekend.  Animal Protection and Control confirmed Monday it is investigating the incident.

When Brown picked up Baron from the facility Sunday after a weekend stay, she said the puppy’s right eye was “bulging from the socket and looked dead.”

Brown said American Dog School owner,  Tami Carrasco had told her the dog had been fine a few hours before and that she hadn’t seen any sign of trauma.

Carrasco told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that she had been with or near Baron all weekend and did not notice any signs of trauma or injury until 5 p.m. Sunday, when she retrieved him for the Browns.

“He was running and rooting around all weekend,” she said. “He’s a great puppy. I would have rushed him to the hospital if I had seen anything wrong.”

She’s owned American Dog School for 20 years.

“I have this business because I love dogs,” she said. “I would never, never hurt a puppy … I feel horrible. I love that puppy. I brag about him all the time.”

When Brown took Baron to Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Sunday evening, she was told Baron’s injuries were at least 24 hours old.

A veterinarian with the hospital told the Coloradoan that Baron’s injuries were a minimum of 24 hours old and that the puppy had suffered blunt force trauma similar to the severity a dog would experience in a “head-on collision with a car.”

“Medical records do not lie,” Brown said.

Carrasco said she’s already received multiple prank calls since the story broke Monday evening and fears what publicity about the incident will do to her business – which she maintains is not at fault.

“I’m worried that people will throw me in with the abusive dog trainer,” Carrasco said, referring to the case of Ryan Matthews, the former Loveland dog trainer who pleaded guilty to animal abuse at his training facility. “I would never hurt a dog. This scares me. I feel like I’m going to wake up with a burning cross in my yard.”

“We are heartbroken but committed to bringing justice,” Lindsey Jensen,  the sister of the puppy’s owner told News 5.   “As we have shared our story over the last 12 hours, others have come out with horrifying stories that happened at this place to their pets.”

In 2009 Carrasco was charged with Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty in Larimer County, but the charges were eventually dropped.

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