MOYOCK, N.C. (WAVY) — Four Academi Training Facility employees in Moyock were fired after several dogs died earlier this month. The dogs were left in a hot van, according to officials.
On July 8, officials say two employees took 28 dogs out of the kennel for routine cleaning. The dogs were crated and six of them — made up of German Shepards and Belgian Malinois — were put in a van with the air conditioning turned on.
Paul Donahue, COO of Constellis, who owns Academi, says only four dogs were supposed to be out of the kennel at the time.
Thirty-five minutes later, the workers went to go check on the dogs in the van. They were all dead.
Donahue tells 10 On Your Side the air conditioning failed in the van and the dogs died from the heat. Super Doppler 10 Chief Meteorologist Don Slater says temperatures were in the low 90s that day.
Donahue did an internal investigation and four employees — including the two who handled the dogs — their manager and the director of the program were all fired.
The handlers were fired for violating the “four at a time” rule. They were reminded of that rule just three weeks before the incident, according to Donahue.
The investigation determined this was an accident and there was no malice by the employees.
10 On Your Side talked to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, who tells us Animal Control is looking into the incident. We also contacted PETA, who is trying to figure out what happened as well.