Dogfight Erupts After Bailey Dies

Dog was being kenneled at Camp Diggity Dogs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bailey was a 5-year-old Pomeranian.

    After her small dog is mauled to death, a woman claims a kennel was negligent, but the kennel's owner has a different story on what may have happened.

    Bailey, a 6-pound Pomeranian, was mauled to death by at least one dog.

    "He was my best friend," Laura Hilts said. "People say their dogs are their best friends. But in this case, it was 100 percent true."

    Hilts' 5-year-old dog was found mauled to death on Aug. 15 at the Camp Diggity Dogs boarding facility in the Sherman Heights neighborhood of San Diego.

    "To lose him so quickly and violently is just absolutely devastating," Hilts said.

    Hilts claims that Bailey was boarded with larger dogs that went on the attack. Kennel spokesman David Moye strongly denied Hilts' claim.

    "We are sick about this tragedy," Moye said. "We are all animal lovers here, and it's just devastating here."

    A kennel representative said Bailey was boarded with six other dogs -- none over 20 pounds -- including a Chihuahua and an injured dog.

    "We warn everyone who comes here that there are risks associated with cage-free boarding, and the owners read and signed a release acknowledging this risk," Moye said.

    The kennel said Bailey, at the owner's request, was boarded with a 30-pound bulldog owned by Hilts' fiance. The two dogs have lived together for three years.

    The kennel is suggesting it could have been the bulldog that attacked Bailey, a claim Hilts said was ridiculous.

    Hilts said she is taking legal action against Camp Diggity Dogs, saying the kennel was deceptive on its Web site by claiming the dogs are separated by size and always monitored.

    "I just never want anyone else to get that phone call again and have to find out that a member of their family has just been lost so viciously," Hilts said.

    Camp Diggity Dogs has been inspected and approved by the county department of animal services, which called Bailey's death a tragic accident and said the kennel is not guilty of any criminal action.