A video released is causing controversy for a dog boarding and training facility in Florida. This video purports to show video secretly recorded over the summer of how dogs are treated at Inghram’s Sit ‘N Stay Dog Academy in Tampa, Florida.
PETA says the video depicts employees allegedly abusing dogs by wrapping their mouths with leashes, poking them with broomsticks and keeping them crated for hours without water.
The business owner, Clarke Inghram responded that the video has been edited in such a way that there is no context to what happens before and after, and that the PETA video has resulted in online threats against him, FOX 13 reported.
He explains that in the footage shown of the dog being bathed, staff comforted the dog before and after and that he was muzzled by the leash as an emergency to keep him from biting.
“It’s a quick way to muzzle a dog, especially if a dog is afraid of a muzzle. If you present a dog and try to muzzle him, some dogs become more aggressive,” Inghram told Fox 13. “It doesn’t hurt them, it doesn’t cut their wind off. It only keeps their mouth shut and prevents them from putting their teeth on you. It’s a calming practice that even veterinarians use,” Inghram told the news channel.
However, PETA officials said the video speaks for itself and that there is “no excuse to handle dogs the way that we saw them handling dogs”.
Colin Henstock, an investigation specialist with PETA said that the woman who recorded the footage got a job with the company as a dog washer over the summer (with the intent of spying) and provided the video to PETA after a former customer contacted them.
Inghram says he has trained dogs for nearly 50 years and specializes in aggressive dogs.
One of Sit ‘N Stay’s customers told Fox 13 that the business tends to take dogs that would’t have anywhere else to go. “I’ve also seen the aggressive dogs here. They tend to take dogs in here that a lot of people don’t want. Dogs that would be euthanized, and I think you have to protect yourself.”
Hillsborough County Animal Control has an investigation underway into PETA’s video. Inghram has been investigated by Hillsborough County Animal Control several times in the past. Fox 13 reported that records date back to 2002 and Inghram has been cited several times for improper confinement but that most of the charges were dropped.
PETA cautions pet parents to be careful when boarding their dog and to do their homework, ask for a tour of the facility and ask lots of questions.
Note: the video from PETA below may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. Content may not be suitable for younger viewers.
In more recent news, a dog apparently owned by Inghram bit a child outside of Hillsborough County Commission building on November 15, 2017 according to Tampa Bay Times.
Ingram was at the public hearing for a new dog training ordinance being proposed by the Hillsborough County government.
The young girl was taken to hospital for treatment and Ingram handed the dog over to Pet Resources and the dog was euthanized shortly after. His daughter, Shallingda Inghram, spoke to the paper and said “No excuse for what happened. The dog should not have been there. It’s never been aggressive in that light. The energy was crazy. My dad is public enemy No. 1 right now and he’s got people threatening him in the lobby.”
According to an eyewitness the dog did not listen to Ingram when he told the dog to release the child.
The dog-training ordinance passed in the vote and would require dog trainers in Hillsborough County to obtain a license and agree to a training plan with pet owners before instruction begins.
Trainers would also be required to get liability insurance of at least $100,000. They will also have to provide their credentials to the county for publication and undergo local and federal background checks. No one who is convicted of animal cruelty would be allowed to work as a trainer in the county.
The catalyst for the county’s new ordinance comes in relation to a dog death that occurred at Ingram’s business two years ago.
However, many local dog trainers argued agains the new regulations, which they say would inhibit their small business and open them up to lawsuits.