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Rockville kennel sued after dog dies during care | News

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Rockville kennel sued after dog dies during care

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- In the fall of 2015, Mark and Yumi Klionsky decided to visit Paris. They coordinated flights and looked for a place to board their toy poodles - Peanut and Pumpkin.

A friend recommended Life of Riley. It's a family owned business that describes itself as "boutique pet care"- offering services like doggie daycare, grooming, and doggie hotel suites. 

"It doesn't look like a kennel. I mean they've got these fancy suites with curtains and fancy cushions," Mark Klionsky said.

Ratings on Yelp and Facebook were stellar and the Klionsky saw the majority of reviewers said they loved sending their pets there.   

The Klionskys say they only had one concern: big dogs.

"Peanut is very tiny. She was less than five pounds," Yumi Klionsky said. "She is afraid of big dogs."

So, by their account, they brought it up to the owners, Paul and Laura Abbott - more than once.

Photos of Peanut

"She assured us that the small dogs are always kept separately from large dogs and she showed us where they would be most of time," Mark Klionsky said.

The Klinoskys dropped off the dogs - and headed to Paris. Two days later - they say they got a call from Paul Abbot.

"He said Peanut was attacked and killed,” Mark Klionsky said. “Attacked by another dog."

According to an investigation by the Rockville City Police Department on the night of November 7 – an employee took Peanut outside. In a written statement, provided to police, the employee explained, "I was letting all of the boarding dogs outside to go to the bathroom before I put them into their rooms for the night. I was outside in the turf area and had my back turned when I heard Peanut, the poodle, screaming.”

When she turned around, the employee said she saw Peanut running towards the building – with the other dogs chasing her. “[Peanut] stopped just short of the door,” the employee wrote and “fell over.” Then a 100-pound bullmastiff “pinned Peanut down with her mouth.”

The Klionskys describe Peanut's death as an avoidable tragedy.

"Accidents happen but this was not an accident. This was completely avoidable, if they had let the dogs out in the separate area - that they had - this would not have occurred," Mark Klionsky said.  

And they believe the blame lies with the owners of Life of Riley.  

"They kept telling us that they keep them separately so I trusted them," Yumi Klionsky said.  

"She was just so sweet. And she was a head turner."

Peanut was taken to an emergency hospital immediately after this occurred, and Paul Abbott contacted Rockville City Police to conduct the investigation.

At the end of it, police determined this was a civil - not a criminal case.

The Klionskys filed the lawsuit on Monday morning. They say the amount they’re asking for covers the cost incurred when they cut their trip Paris short. 

Abbott declined to speak on camera w/out first getting an attorney. Two days ago, he told WUSA9 he wasn't aware of this lawsuit. 

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