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NYC Dog Barks Himself To Death

Bulldog Dies Of Barking
Bulldog File Photo

In a bizarre tragedy, an English Bulldog named Cowboy, was found dead in a New York City kennel after care givers and vets allegedly ignored its distressed calls.

While vets initially said the dog had died of heart failure and there was nothing that could have been done to save him, an autopsy following legal action filed by his owner found it had, in fact, barked so much it managed to suffocate itself.

The owner, Marie Moore, claims vets at the Riverside Animal Clinic tried to cover up their failings by painting the death as congestive heart failure.

“Defendants ignored obvious signs of Cowboy’s distress, allowing Cowboy to continue barking for days without proper care or intervention, until his severely swollen throat suffocated him and caused his death,” court papers filed by Moore alleged

“Moreover, the X-rays Dr Ramos claims to have relied upon to substantiate his claim that Cowboy died from heart failure actually show that Cowboy’s heart was normal.”

According to the suit, Cowboy was “in good health” when Moore took him to Riverside to board on March 9. She said she told staff at the kennel that her dog had never stayed away from her for an extended period of time and “was assured that Cowboy would be well treated“.

Moore called to check up on her dog on March 13 and “was told everything was fine“. The next day, Cowboy died.

Moore alleges she was not even called to be informed of the death. Instead, the kennel emailed her mother, who also had a dog at the kennel, and asked her to phone them back. The mother was then told on the phone that Cowboy had died.

When Moore later called to find out what had happened, she was informed the dog had suddenly developed breathing problems and an x-ray “showed an enlarged heart“.

Dr Ramos therefore had concluded “Cowboy was having congestive heart failure and he could do nothing to save Cowboy,“ court papers state.

An autopsy which was performed at a later date however, showed Cowboy had not died because of heart failure but had, in fact, barked so furiously he had killed himself.

“Correct diagnosis of severe laryngeal edema and airway obstruction, followed by proper emergency procedures, would have saved Cowboy’s life,” the suit contends.

Moore’s father-in-law, Carlos Moore, said the death was “very shocking, just awful“.

“Everybody loved Cowboy,“ Moore added. “He was a wonderful dog.”

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files

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Sherry Mcchesney
9 years ago

its a major DAMN shame that NO ONE at that place can now say they love their job, i HOPE LIKE HELL this owner, SUES the hell out of this vet and makes him/her to SHUT DOWN AND CLOSE up shop, NO ONE should EVER IGNORE any animal NOR human beings signs of distress…..To the OWNERS…. SUE THEM, and take everything they have, sorry for this is how i honestly feel, but there is no reasons to lie, it was just LACK OF THEIR OWN BS to go check out what the cause of this baby to bark soo much and then LIE to cover up their butts!!!!!!!!!!!! this ticks me off badly, thank goodness i dont live where this vet is at, or i would literally go to them and literally shake their heads til the TRUTH came out and they ought to b ASHAMED for now being a friggin vet office, i am now curious to know, has this ever happened b4, and how many times has it……OOOOOOOO I AM MAD AS A HORNET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maxinecovington
Maxinecovington
9 years ago

That is so wrong!!! Maybe they will suffocate to death then they will know how that poor dog felt.  May they rot in hell!!!!!!!!!!!

Electra53
Electra53
9 years ago

Then every dog in a kennel is in distress!

judy stanley
judy stanley
9 years ago
Reply to  Electra53

 not really,but kennels should take note and be aware of heath issues in each breed of dog..and also the nature and problems these dogs in their care have.

judy stanley
judy stanley
9 years ago

 this is just so sad….these babies r just that babies,any flat faced breed can have problems this way,the eng bull is very special,he’s needs extra care and love,i have rescued and owned them for years,i adore them,but i do agree it is sort of cruel to keep producing a dog could cannot breathe,have u ever experienced not being able top breathe,it is terrifying…they live it every minute unless u keep a fan and ac running for them in the summer and spring, and r susceptible to pnemonia in winter,they cannot regulate their body heat like other canines…please be careful with them…

guest
guest
9 years ago

…And this is why I will only own dogs that are able to breath properly. English Bulldogs and any other breeds with smashed in faces are incredibly delicate. They can easily suffocate to death and even outside temperature can be a threat to them due to it.(this is why airlines won’t transport them.) An English Bulldog barking itself to death isn’t surprising to me. I’ve witnessed one pass out cold and almost leave this world(had to be resuscitated) simply because of too much excitement…which tells you, he wasn’t breathing too well in the first place. I’ve worked in a kennel, I have seen how upset dogs get when owners leave them. They’ll start all sorts of weird behaviors. Starving themselves, barking, pacing, not wanting to go to the bathroom.. the list goes on. I feel bad for what happened to Cowboy but I also know how susceptible these dogs are. They maybe the imagine of “toughness,” but in reality they are far from it. Why breeders thought creating dogs that can’t breath are cool, I will never know. It’s cruelty to purposely breed in handicaps.. Truly. 

Maxinecovington
Maxinecovington
9 years ago
Reply to  guest

asshole

Kate
Kate
9 years ago
Reply to  guest

They’re in business to take care of animals — they did not do their job and should be held accountable.  

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago
Reply to  guest

Bulldogs did not have cleft palates until the AKC bastardized them.  Because of their preference for physical malformations at the expense of health and betterment of a breed.   AKC German Shephards are a national disgrace with their malformed hips, Dalmation urinary tract anomalies, etc …   However, despite the genetic respiratory failings of the breed and Cowboy – the kennel employees and management were woefully complicit in this sweet pup’s death.  RIP Cowboy and my condolensces to his guardian.

Guesst
Guesst
9 years ago

Agreed! Sue the breeder then, because english bulldogs are just a mess- of course they can’t breathe properly, their muzzle is jammed into their head, their palate resting on teh back of their throat.  Their hips are in such a bad state that they have be be artificially inseminated and then have c-sections to “give birth.”  Breeders should be ashamed of creating such a poor creature, as well as AKC and all associated parent kennel clubs.     It’s a tragedy for Cowboy, but such is the nature of the breed. 

Kate
Kate
9 years ago
Reply to  Guesst

Whether you like or agree with the breed, this company was in business to take care of animals — they did not do their job and should be held accountable.

judy stanley
judy stanley
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

 yes they should kate

Beanieblueeyes
Beanieblueeyes
9 years ago
Reply to  Guesst

Well said Guesst……

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago
Reply to  Guesst

I LOVE you, Guesst!!  Well said.  RIP Cowboy.

judy stanley
judy stanley
9 years ago
Reply to  Guesst

 en bulls don’t always have bad hips,its the size of the head
 of the pups that prevents natural chidbirth…

Guesst
Guesst
9 years ago

Agreed! Sue the breeder then, because english bulldogs are just a mess- of course they can’t breathe properly, their muzzle is jammed into their head, their palate resting on teh back of their throat.  Their hips are in such a bad state that they have be be artificially inseminated and then have c-sections to “give birth.”  Breeders should be ashamed of creating such a poor creature, as well as AKC and all associated parent kennel clubs.     It’s a tragedy for Cowboy, but such is the nature of the breed. 

Jeanette
Jeanette
9 years ago

This is one time that a lawsuit should go forward.  I cannot believe that people who supposedly loves animals would ignore a dog that is barking constantly–it is a sign that something is wrong.  We had a golden retriever that was the most docile dog–hardly ever barked.  I left him alone in our fenced-in backyard one day to run some errands.  I got home to find a policeman waiting for me–the neighbors had complained that the dog was continually barking.  Instead of checking to see what was wrong with the dog (the neighbors knew that the dog hardly ever barked), they called the police.  The dog died of a heart attack several months later.  I am still angry the none of neighbors bothered to go into the yard to calm the dog as I think he was having a heart attack when he was barking.

Morgan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeanette

Why would you expect your neighbors to go into your yard and calm your dog? Not only would it technically be trespassing, they may not have understood that your dog was in physical distress. Or, frankly, they could have been afraid of being attacked – especially if they weren’t “dog” people. Your anger in this isn’t reasonable. 

guest
guest
9 years ago
Reply to  Morgan

Also why would you leave your dog unattended in the backyard? That’s dumb. It isn’t your neighbors responsibility to care for your animal.

Electra53
Electra53
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeanette

So by going into your yard, your neighbors would have known your dog had a potential heart condition? And could have prevented a heart attack? That’s ridiculous. So you think people should go into their neighbors yards to calm barking dogs? That’s ridiculous too.

Guest
Guest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeanette

With all due respect Jeanette….I don’t think this incident had anything to do with your dog passing because of a heart attack several months later……totally irrelevant to the dogs death….I’m very sorry for your loss tho….

Lmk8268
Lmk8268
9 years ago

Dogs are supposed to be taken care of at the vet. I hope that vet gets whats coming to them. I am a animal lover especially a dog lover and it pisses me off when people neglect and mistreat dogs. Dogs are only here for a short time. They deserve a good life and to be loved.

Brandy Lynn Grigg
9 years ago

Having worked in a kennel and knowing some dogs get stressed out and bark constantly I wouldn’t think a dog could bark itself to death…….. but after hearing that it can happen and that it happened to an English Bully isn’t that surprising…. Having worked in a kennel I wouldn’t think too much of an incessant barking dog, some do this….. why I am now a pet sitter and advocate to keep your pet at home hire someone to come to your house. This is sad I feel for Cowboys’ family and the distress he went through……. there are other options to keeping your dog in a kennel……. far from an optimum situation. The kennel I worked at we got in at 7:00 and left no later than 4:00. Messes were cleaned in the morning.

Boris
Boris
9 years ago

This story is quite revolting. Hope they shut this kennel.

Electra53
Electra53
9 years ago

So what was the kennel supposed to do about a barking dog? Every dog barks at a kennel! Was an employee supposed to take it home with them? Should they have called the owner and made them come back from vacation because the dog was barking? If the owner knew the dog would be stressed, they should have hired a dog sitter to come to their home. It’s very sad the dog died, but what should they have done? What would you sue them about? Ignoring a barking dog? Then every kennel needs to be sued over every dog. The article says that the dog was barking for help, but that’s ridiculous, it was barking because it was anxious about being in a strange place. Again, that’s sad, but the kennel couldn’t have known the barking would kill the dog.

Electra53
Electra53
9 years ago
Reply to  Electra53

I will add that the vets shouldn’t have tried to cover up the reason for the death, that part was wrong, and I could see a law suit about that.

Yvette F
Yvette F
9 years ago
Reply to  Electra53

Or, do as we do, and take the dog(s) with us. Why kennel/board a dog who is so stressed out because it’s never been left alone, so it can learn to calm itself when alone? That makes no sense. 

Grnpea
Grnpea
9 years ago

This story is just disgusting!!  I think that those vets should all loose their veterinary licenses and the animal hospital should be closed immediately!!!!!! 

Deborah_powell
Deborah_powell
9 years ago

Bloody savage … this is disgusting and the cover up even worse -its bad enough to loose your dog and put him in kennels as you always feel guilty when we leave them somewhere ,but to think he was so distressed and left to pine that badly is appalling. Thoughts are with the owner :*( 

Kathie_kn56
Kathie_kn56
9 years ago

 If a dog is barking a lot it usually means he needs you. i never ignore my dog even if he is just barking at the moon. teach them you love them not you ignore them. this dog shouldn’t have been ignored that way, it is so sad!

Beanieblueeyes
Beanieblueeyes
9 years ago

Since the dog wasn’t used to being without his family, he probably was having separation anxiety….he should have been comforted even more by the staff…..poor Cowboy…very sad…:(

Lynn2011
Lynn2011
9 years ago

My Doberman had a similar anxiety attack when  boarded. The Vet called me and explained the situation to me. We agreed to sedate her the first day and calm her with Rescue Remedy.A kind young man who worked there got into her kennel and held her. The next day she was fine. The hurricane evacuation was lifted and all turned out fine. SZometimes you can not have a pet sitter as some reader posted. If a Vet can not adquately board a pet then that’s really bad. They need to be sued.

Vet nurse
Vet nurse
9 years ago

Don’t ever board your dog! ALWAYS get a certified and bonded, trusted pet sitter. Just because you board your pet at a vets office does not mean they are safe. Most vet offices hire convicted felons as kennel attendants to walk the dogs, feed and clean up their kennels. Vets need this continued, steady income and will board multiple pets in a small area to maximizes profits. Trust me, I worked at the ER vet clinic that took all the horror cases that resulted from boarding at “trust worthy” vets offices. Your pet is rarely actually seen by the vet during their stay, even seen by a tech is rare. Instead your pet is taken care of by people who would rather smoke a joint behind the clinic then to take your dog out to pee! Or make sure your pet is safe and ok.. This is so tragic! Owning two bulldogs myself my heart breaks for this owner. I hope she takes each of every one of them for everything they have! Personal and all!

TobyBlum
TobyBlum
9 years ago

I really don’t think that vet clinics hire felons, that is ridiculous to say that … I know there are none in the clinics I use, however they don’t board dogs except for overnight from surgeries .. this is just a tragic situation .. it said the dog was barking for DAYS and no one attended to it … these people should NOT be in the business of having a vet clinic or being a caregiver to animals … yes, bulldogs do have special needs because of their short muzzles (I have one) but still, I would never let my dog bark like that so it goes into such a state it is at risk. Someone should have called the owner … then to try and cover it up is just horrible … so I guess Vet nurse, they will be charged, and if what you say is true, become felons and be hired to work in another vet clinic …

Elaine
8 years ago

Words fail me as far as that vet and the kennels are concerned. They should have capital punishment. But please let this be a lesson to all bulldogs owners and carers to be very aware of their special needs. So very sad that a dog – any dog – had to die this way. And there are far too many ignorant people in possession of bulldogs, and too many vets/kennels who haven’t a clue what they’re dealing with.

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