Beacon Falls kennel operator faces animal cruelty charges following dog’s death
BEACON FALLS, CT (WFSB) - A Beacon Falls kennel operator is facing animal cruelty charges after a dog died while in his care.
It happened at the Beacon Paws Kennel in early January.
A family of four was going to Disney World, so they left their 18-month-old American bulldog at Beacon Paws.
The bulldog was named Artemis, or Arty for short. He was a beloved member of his family.
“He was just a playful, great dog. I mean all he wanted to do was be a couch potato. He was your typical American bulldog,” said Pat, the dog’s ‘uncle’.
Arty was Pat’s sister’s dog. Pat asked Channel 3 to only use his first name for legal reasons as this case plays out in court.
When his sister’s family went on vacation, Pat was listed as the emergency contact for Arty at the Beacon Paws kennel.
The kennel’s owner is listed as Gina Meder. Many of the day-to-day operations are run by her husband, George Meder.
It was George who texted Arty’s mom on January 4th, 2023. Pat showed channel 3 a screenshot of the text message.
Arty’s mom responded, “Ok. Our boy is ok? Thank you for letting us know.”
George responded, “YES. HE’S FINE. NO WORRIES.”
Around 36 hours later on Friday morning, George called her. Arty was dead in his kennel.
“Why did he allow the dog to lie there for 36 hours?” said Pat.
Police had similar questions. The arrest warrant for George Meder says a veterinarian found “there was a neglect to render care, basic first aid and negligence in not seeking veterinary care immediately following the incident.” Meder is charged with cruelty to animals.
“We have a lot of questions. We have a ton of questions,” said Pat.
Channel 3′s I-Team filed a records request with the state asking for all complaints and investigations into Beacon Paws. Since the business opened in February 2012, there have been four complaints.
In September 2012, a dog was injured and later died as a result of injuries sustained while staying at Beacon Paws.
Gina Meder was issued a written warning for animal cruelty. The kennel was also issued a warning for violating regulations: segregation of dogs and dogs must be caged individually.
In October 2016, a dog burned his paw at the kennel. Gina Meder was again issued a written warning for animal cruelty. The kennel was also issued a warning for violating regulations: surfaces must be water impervious and water must be provided at all times.
In both August 2021 and August 2022, a dog died shortly after its stay at the Beacon Paws. In both of those cases, the cause of death could not be definitively determined and no enforcement action was taken against Beacon Paws.
“If they are four known cases, at least we know of, that are documented, why was it not investigated further? Why did he get away with just a warning?” said Pat.
The Department of Agriculture regulates kennels and pet shops. A spokesperson declined Channel 3′s request for an interview saying, “As a matter of agency policy, we do not discuss internal procedures for enforcement.”
Pat wants the kennel shut down to make sure Arty is the last dog this happens to.
“We want justice for Arty, for my sister, and we want to ensure that this is never going to happen again to any other family,” said Pat.
Beacon Paws is still open.
Channel 3 spoke with George Meder over the phone. Meder said he is extremely upset about what happened to Arty, but he can’t comment further because of the legal case.
Arty’s family is talking to a lawyer about a possible civil lawsuit.
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