CROWN POINT | A local kennel had its operating license suspended while the Lake County Sheriff's Department conducts an investigation into a dog's death after its stay.
Buster, an 8-year-old Boxer, died Saturday, five days after its stay at the Westwind Kennels in Crown Point.
The dog was boarded at the kennel from March 27 to April 7.
"(The dog's owners) came in last Monday and found the dog unconscious in his cage covered in feces and urine," said Patti Van Til, spokeswoman for the Lake County Sheriff's Department. "The owner took it to Calumet Emergency Vet Clinic, where it was cared for until early (Saturday) morning."
Information regarding the investigation has been turned over to the Lake County prosecutor's office. Initial charges of animal neglect were filed Thursday.
Deborah Mandich-Nowland, director of Lake County Sheriff's Animal Control and Adoption Center, said the dog had lost about 16 pounds and was dehydrated when the owners picked it up.
The dog's body was taken to Purdue University in Lafayette for an autopsy.
Mandich-Nowland said the kennel was no longer allowed to board animals as of Tuesday.
The kennel owner, Henry Ruhweidel, said the dog was treated kindly and was given plenty of food and water. He believed the dog was suffering from a medical condition not previously diagnosed, and had grown increasingly violent toward other animals and people.
"It tried to bite its way through the fencing to get at another dog," Ruhweidel said.
The dog had stayed at the kennel twice before without incident, he said, but it was more aggressive in its more recent boarding in February.
Ruhweidel said his kennel is still boarding three rescue animals, but he is not accepting new clients.