14 dogs perish in ‘tragic accident’ after AC fails

By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@civitasmedia.com

A malfunctioning air conditioning unit caused the death of 14 golden retrievers from Wellington’s Lakesyde Kennels on July 22.

The dogs were taken by truck to South Bend, Ind., for the American Kennel Club dog show.

After the vehicle was parked at a hotel for the night, kennel owner Cortney Corral-Morris hooked it up to an outlet to keep the cool air running before taking a two-hour nap inside the building.

When she awoke and checked on the dogs, she found them dead inside of the truck. According to the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office, a tripped electrical breaker caused the AC to fail and the driver was not at fault.

An investigation conducted by the Roseland and St. Joseph County police with assistance from the St. Joseph County Humane Society deemed the affair “a tragic accident” and concluded no charges will be filed.

A press release said some of the dogs will be sent to the Humane Society for necropsies. If they produce additional evidence, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office will reexamine the case.

The American Kennel Club has suspended Corral-Morris over the incident.

Lakesyde Kennels could not be reached for comment.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier