Graham and Odin: Two dogs attacked and killed at Grafton Kennel

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Graham and Odin best buddies

On Friday June 12, Brenda and Roger Demers dropped off their precious toy dogs, Graham and Odin, at Gibson’s Natural Pet Resort located in Grafton, MA. They  were boarding their “boys” to go on a dream trip to celebrate twenty five years of marriage. That  dream turned into a nightmare when they learned their dogs were attacked and killed by another dog during their stay at the pet resort.

The couple returned home Saturday June 20, like most pet owners they were anxious to greet their pups.  “The kennel had set hours for pick up; between 5 and 6 p.m. so we had to wait until Sunday to pick them up,” Brenda said. “We were excited to see them.”

When they returned home they saw Bob Gibson, owner of Gibson Natural Pet Resort, had emailed them several times.  The emails requested they call the pet resort and indicated  the number they had on file was incorrect. Brenda said after reading the messages she called the kennel and left a message at about 1 p.m. on Sunday the 21st.  According to Brenda, Bob returned their call at 4:45 p.m. while  Brenda and Roger were  on their way to the pet resort and Bob said he would speak with them when they got there. The first email they received from Bob was sent at 10:49 a.m. on Sunday June 14.

Brenda said when they arrived at Gibson’s they learned  both of their pups had been mauled by a  Siberian Husky.  “Bob first told us another dog broke into our dogs cage. Now Bob is saying the husky broke out of her cage and then loosened the bar on my boys cage and my boys snuck out.”  Brenda said the attack happened on the morning of  Sunday, June 14 but was not told the exact time.  Brenda wasn’t told how much time elapsed from when the attack happened to when the dogs were found or how long the dogs were dead before they were discovered by Gibson’s.

Brenda just doesn’t know how this could have happened, “How could this dog kill two dogs running wild in an open area and no one saw or heard anything?”

Brenda said her husband Roger took photos of the cage the husky was in. “The cage is rusted and held together with a zip tie and they put my two small boys only two cages down with just one cage separating them,” she said. According to Brenda, Grafton does not perform routine kennel inspections. “There was no oversight,” she said.

Later Brenda discovered the morning her pups were killed owner Mell Gibson was offering a reward for a lost hat on Facebook at 9:06 a.m.  “Maybe if the owner wasn’t so busy looking for her lost hat my two boys would be okay,” said Brenda.

Brenda and Roger are devastated. “There is no more pitter-patter. The house is completely empty. I will never see them again. All because someone didn’t do their job. They were amazing dogs. Graham was a mini poodle, he looked just like a stuffed Teddy Bear. Odin was a Chihuahua. Everyone who met them fell in love with them,” she said.

Gibson’s Natural Pet Resort has not returned Upton Daily’s call or message left on their website. In a statement made on Facebook  Sunday June 21, Gibson’s Natural Pet Resort wrote, “For the past 13 years, we have welcomed every furry walk of life into our facility as though they were a member of our own families. We have taken great pride in our ability to care for and nurture all furry family members. Now, we are at a loss for words. There was a unfortunate tragedy involving 3 dogs. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Graham and Odin. We are deeply saddened that we couldn’t fulfill our duties in keeping these two little lives safe. As with all tragedy, words can bring little comfort to the pain this family must endure.”

The Demers’  have many questions and the matter remains under investigation.

Brenda told Upton Daily the husky is being quarantined in it’s home in Northbridge. According to Brenda, on Thursday (6/25) the husky will be free to live without restriction.

Grafton officials believe the husky was placed under quarantine by the Northbridge Animal Inspector. The Northbridge Animal Inspector was not available at the time of publication.

According to Brenda, Gibson’s Natural Pet Resort has offered to pay for urns of their choice and cremation expenses.

Graham was six years old and Odin was four.

Editors note: Upton Daily editor, Jennifer Doyle, knows the Demers family and also knew Graham.

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12 Comments

  1. Bob does not have the capacity to run an honest business. He doesn’t care and thinks people are stupid. From the day it opened I thought to avoid them. Why? Sharp rakes under the chicken coop hay nearby the parking lot, “bring it next time” when dog records forgotten; and the training area with pee and no sanitizer. Recently I returned because options are limited. My 5 year old dog’s tail has the fur missing with no mention or explanation; bob made up stories that made no sense as to why my provided food was not fully dispensed (I found the food after an employee kicked the bags aside not knowing they were mine), asked on several occasions about my dogs (more than one) stay and it appears beyond comprehension to them that we would expect them to know; asked about cameras and monitoring – no plans to do so as most honest responsible facilities do (in fact they have a new paper sign stating no cameras or video in the kennel areas); girl with dark braid is impersonal and follows the Bob gibson story telling training; and lastly we also heard a girl screaming at the dogs. There is no sensitivity, creditable training (around the corner from Tufts). Poor behavior is not modified at all. Your dog should rely on you or the caretaker to know it is safe, not to be bullied or be a bully. This place is out of the 1970s or 1980s at best.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully, we are on a healthy path for better regulations to keep Gibson’s and other kennels from conducting business this way in the future.

  2. I am so very sorry for the family’s loss of Graham and Odin. This is a tragic event that should have been avoided. The negligence was on the kennels part. I feel so bad for this family and for the family of the husky. The husky that is being blamed for everything, but didn’t know any better. The kennel was responsible for the safety of all the animals in their care. Both families brought their pets to the kennel entrusting them with their care. This is disgusting!
    We had our beautiful lab die at a kennel while we were on a two night vacation. It was horrible! We were less than an hour away from picking him up and received the call. They couldn’t even tell us the time (we received 3 different times) or what even happen. We had to leave credit card impressions in case the vet was needed, but they never even called him in to check on our baby when they found him. It was one of the most horrible experiences of our lives, our poor son was heart broken.
    The kennel gave us two different versions of what happened and then asked about the medication he was on, mentioning they looked up the pills they had left over. I filled out so many forms explaining the pills and what they were for and I only gave enough for his visit. He should have taken his last meds in the morning, he died some time between 12-2:30 (so much for their camers they said they had all around). So why did they have pills? I thought this kennel was good, but this turned us off. We have a dog now and we have never left it her at a kennel. We would rather not go away which is too bad. I am so sad for all the families. I think my dog died from a seizure, it may not have been avoided, but he also didn’t have his meds. This situation could have been avoided and now two families are suffering. So very sad.

  3. I never ever leave replies but I have to on this. My husband and I adopted a German shepherd puppy in October I wanted to bring her to daycare just a couple days a week so she can socialize with other dogs but other than that we really did not need to bring her because we have alternating schedules someone is always home. So her first day at gibsons I decided I wanted to pick her up at 3 because I got out early I didn’t realize they had certain pickup times. However when I went in the girl at the desk was very young and not friendly. Then she just took her head piece and said bring Heidi out I couldn’t see where Heidi was or where she played all day so I asked of I could be shown around and the girl acted very sketchy about that and then brought be bavk there and Geudi was alone walking slowly down the hall towards me she was acting very strange. Anyways the girl brought me out bavk and the first thing I noticed was a dog who looked very scared and not happy you can tell by a dogs face how they feel. Then I hear this loud yelling and I looked outside where this punk young girl was yelling at the dogs to shutup and she was spraying them with a water bottle she did not see me. The dogs seemed very upset and not happy so I took Heidi and told them I will not be returning. The place is run by punk kids there was no adult anywhere. You cabbot have those many dogs and have it run by children who know nothing about dog behavior. My heart goes out to this family but I cannot say I’m not suprised something like this happened.

  4. My heart goes out to the Demers. I used that kennel when it was brand new and they seemed great, but after a while, it seemed as though they hired new people who didn’t seem to care or be attentive enough to our 2 dogs. In fact, when we picked them up, one of them was bleeding slightly on his back end. When we asked about it, the young man who brought the dogs out said something along the lines of, oh, were they fighting again? Then he thought maybe he had slammed the pen door on the dog while trying to take one dog out without letting the other escape. We didn’t like the nonchalant attitude and decided never to use Gibson’s again.

    After that, we stated using TLC Pet Haven in Sutton. They were nothing, but fantastic with our dog (one of our dogs had died by then so we only had 1 dog at that point). While we were on vacation, we got a call from TLC to say that our dog had a major health problem and collapsed. They called our back-up person (our daughter) and our vet. Since our vet wasn’t available to help, TLC called a vet close by them and helped my daughter get the dog in her car. The vet that was close by was able to stabilize the dog and my daughter got him to Tufts, where he was diagnosed with a tumor.

    Because of TLC’s alert staff, who quickly noticed our dog’s problem, Tufts was able to perform surgery. It didn’t completely cure our dog, but we were blessed with his love and devotion for another 2 years. It all cost a lot of money, but we don’t regret one penny of it.

    It is so tough losing our furry loved ones. The Demers should have had many more years with their 2 adorable pups. It’s so sad that such a thing happened to them. I wish them well.

  5. This is not about the Husky, it’s about he kennel, inadequate housing of it’s animals and obviously lack of supervision. How long would it take 1 dog, no matter how big, to kill two small dogs? A while, which makes me suspect there was a lack of supervision when this happened. Husky’s have a very strong prey drive. The owner of the kennel, if she/he is even qualified, should have known that and acted accordingly in safey features. My brother had a husky who was wonderful, but he did have a very strong prey drive and went after small animals like squirrels and chipmunks. This is not the Husky’s fault. A dog will follow it’s instinct. This is entirely the fault of the kennel owners. I wish them the very best and hope they will pursue this issue in every way, including legally. There is no replacing their furry family members, but they can help to make sure it never happens again at that kennel.

    1. Well, Veronica I’m glad you think there’s nothing wrong with the husky at all. I own a Shih-Tzu. Most of the dogs my dog comes into contact with are much larger than she is. Not once has any of them tried to kill her. Simply put, the kennel is at fault but, the husky is a dangerous dog, not a dog I would trust around others. I’m sure there are plenty of huskys that can be trusted. This one does not fit that bill. I would also say if you happened to see this incident happen you may feel a little different about that dog. I can’t imagine it was a pretty sight at all. I don’t think I would want to be in a park walking my Shih-Tzu and have that husky walking next to us. Can you guarantee it wouldn’t happen again???

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