County in Florida Votes to Regulate Dog Trainers After PETA Exposed That Workers Bully Dogs at Local Kennel

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

One year after PETA released video footage that exposed that workers bullied dogs at Clarke Inghram’s training and boarding kennel, local officials are taking steps to provide oversight and protect dogs in the county. On November 15, Hillsborough County commissioners passed the groundbreaking Truth in Training ordinance, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Last year, we received a disturbing tip from a distraught former customer of Inghram’s Sit ‘N Stay Dog Academy in Tampa, Florida. A PETA observer who worked at the facility documented   that workers wrapped leashes tightly around terrified dogs’ snouts, wrestled scared dogs, yanked and hoisted them off the floor by their leashes, and jabbed a crated dog with a broom in an apparent attempt to stop the animal from barking, among other incidents. PETA urged Tampa-area residents—and all who consider boarding their animals—to watch the horrifying video footage and consider that the best “boarding” for a dog is with a trusted sitter in the animal’s own home.

A child was bitten by a dog on November 15 outside the Hillsborough County Commission building, where the meeting regarding the ordinance took place. According to reports, the dog—who has since been handed over to Hillsborough County Pet Resources and euthanized—was outside the venue with Inghram, the animal’s guardian. “Commissioner Al Higginbotham said the incident with the dog and child was ‘more evidence’ that the ordinance needed to pass,” reported the Tampa Bay Times.

Commissioner Les Miller also pointed out that “[i]f you’re a good dog trainer, this shouldn’t affect you at all.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

What You Can Do

You can help to prevent abuse by warning others about the dangers of boarding facilities and by sharing this blog post on social media.

If you’re searching for a trainer or going out of town and can’t take your dog with you, the safest and least stressful option is to leave your companion at home with a trusted caregiver. If that’s not possible, always carefully screen boarding facilities by touring them in person, asking detailed questions about animal-care policies, getting references from other customers, and checking with the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and animal-protection organizations to see if any complaints have been lodged. Click the button below for more tips on finding a reputable pet sitter and boarding kennel.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind