Mass. kennel's A/C blamed for 9 dogs' heat deaths

July 13, 2012 - 5:44 PM

WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An investigator says a malfunctioning air conditioner at a Massachusetts kennel has caused nine dogs to die from heat stress.

Westfield animal control officer Kenneth Frazer tells Springfield's The Republican newspaper (http://bit.ly/Mrftzc) the deaths were "a tragic accident."

Frazer says he, a Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator and an air conditioning technician found the unit's coil frosted over, causing it to blow hot air.

MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin also said Friday it appears the July 5 deaths were an accident.

Coggin Creek Stables owner Brenda Coggin says the air conditioner was emitting a mist and chemical odor when she found her Australian shepherds. The dogs bled through their noses, likely from broken blood vessels.

Frazer says the dogs were well cared for but he may give Coggin a written warning for an unlicensed kennel.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/