Illegal North Bergen dog sitting/training business shut down after 4-year-old Pomeranian’s death


The North Bergen Police Department is investigating the death of a four-year-old Pomeranian who suffered head trauma while at a dog sitting and training business, which has since been shut down.

Axel, a 4-year-old Pomeranian whose death is being investigated by the North Bergen Police Department. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

At approximately 1:42 p.m., New Jersey Humane Society Humane Law Enforcement Officer Geoff Santini called in a report of potential animal abuse after being notified of an incident by a local animal hospital, Police Capt. David Dowd said.

“The owners of the dog are looking to get a necropsy, but the preliminary observations show the dog suffered blunt force trauma to his head,” Dowd began.

The small dog, Axel, was given to StayPlayNTrain, located at 234 76th St., for about three weeks of obedience training and an employee of the business was taking care of the pet when it was badly injured, the ranking officer noted.

He continued that an investigation is ongoing and that the employee has since been fired and is “a person of interest” in the investigation. Santini added that it appears the employee struck Axel with a pool skimmer after he urinated on their pool deck.

“Our investigation will determine if animal abuse was committed or just a tragic accident,” Dowd explained, adding that no one has been charged at this time.

When police arrived at the scene yesterday, the business owner had 12 dogs in her home: two which were her pets and 10 who belonged to clients.

Since her business did not have the proper license or certificate of occupancy to board and train animals, the 10 dogs that did not belong to her were reunited with there owners over the course of several hours, stated Dowd.

“The house was very clean, there was no neglect. It seems like she was running a really good business, but it just didn’t have the proper accreditations,” he said.

Due to those issues, the North Bergen Health and Building Departments are also aiding with the investigation.

Additionally, Santini will be in charge of getting the necropsy down in Trenton as authorities seek more details related to Axel’s death.

The StayPlayNTrain Facebook page had recently been taken down and the owner could not be reached for comment.

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