Monday, May 20

6th dog’s sickness allegedly linked to Pawsitively Paradise as necropsy complete of another

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office told WPTV Monday the necropsy for one of the dogs sent off to the University of Florida is now complete, but is being reviewed by additional professionals for a second opinion.

Deputies said the dog was a 2-year-old golden doodle that died last week after four hours in the care of Pawsitively Paradise and its owner, Nikki Camerlengo, launching the agency’s third investigation into the dog training and grooming facility.

The update comes as Alexis Kaclik went to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office on Monday to file a report on an incident that happened with the dog training company in 2018.

She’s the latest person to do so.

“I feel like she should be held accountable for all of these deaths and she shouldnt be allowed to run her facility anymore,” Kaclik said.

Kaclik is now the sixth person WPTV has reported on who said they have had horrific experiences with the dog training facility.

All but Kaclik told WPTV and/or deputies their dogs died in Camerlengo’s care.

“I am beyond grateful. It could have went way worse,” Kaclik said.

Kaclik said a friend recommended Camerlengo for training in 2018. After Camerlengo trained the dog for a week, Kaclik said she dropped off her dog for boarding, but came back to find her dog seeming to be extremely sick and having trouble breathing.

“I just, I knew from when I picked her up something was wrong, so I had brought her into the vet and she ended up having a partially collapsed trachea,” Kaclik said.

Oakley survived, but still isn’t back to normal nearly six years later.

“She cant wear a collar anymore, she can only wear harnesses,” said Kaclik.

Like a few others WPTV spoke to, Kaclik didn’t keep a copy of the vet records, and didn’t think to file a police report at the time, so we may never know what actually happened.

“Obviously this was before all these stories came out, so I was just like, well, maybe I don’t know. I don’t know,” said Kaclik, shaking her head. “And when I reached out to Nikki, she was very defensive, saying she didnt do anything wrong.

WPTV tried to reach Camerlengo to address these new allegations but she hasn’t returned Hussey’s calls.

Camerlengo’s brother, John Camerlengo, did talk to WPTV and denied any wrongdoing in Kaclik’s case.

He also told Hussey the dogs that died had pre-existing conditions, referring specifically to a retriever that died in 2022, telling WPTV the dog had pneumonia.

“Youre investigating the ‘Dog Murder?’ Nikkis been training dogs for 24 years, shes got over 1,500 people that, never a dog [died] until a couple years ago,” Camerlengo said.

“I’m going to push back on that a little bit because the necropsy report we have shows the dog didn’t have a pre-existing condition,” Hussey replied.

The necropsy report states the dog was perfectly healthy when it died, and tested negative for viral and bacterial pneumonia. We showed Camerlengo that report, and also asked him to address the multiple allegations of dogs dying in the facility’s care going as far back as 2014.

“Thats six dogs. How do you explain that? Hussey asked.

“I think its funny that when this dog died, others came out of the woodwork and said, oh, I had a dog die! Camerlengo responded.

Chief Deputy John Budensiek of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said he didn’t think it is funny, nor a coincidence.

“Theres nothing funny about this,” Budensiek said. “Its unheard of. It’s absolutely not a coincidence. We dont get these incidents back to back to back. A lot of these witnesses are now coming out, victims are now coming out and saying this happened to us also. We know of three in the last year and a half and this is not normal.”

Budensiek said deputies have taken a look at the necropsy that’s now complete for the dog that died last week, but said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which paid for the necropsy, needs some clarification before moving forward.

“There are some concerns that they have within the necropsy but need a second opinion, so theyre now working with the University of Texas and some other organizations,” Budensiek said. “In the interim, be extremely cautious where you take your pet, dont take it to Pawsitively Paradise. Period.

Kaclik said she hopes that warning hits home.

“She should have gotten in trouble from the first death. but five or six now? That’s crazy,” Kaclik said. “It’s going to keep happening if something isn’t done.

Deputies are also waiting on the necropsy results for another dog they say died in the facility’s care in February.

One of the other issues we’re tracking is a lack of checks and balances in the dog training industry.

Camerlengo has already been cited eight times for improper care of animals, and Martin County Code Enforcement told Hussey there is no limit to the number of citations she can get. They don’t have the power to pull a business license.

We’ve also learned there are no specific standards required for dog training. There is no federal or state certification required, and thus no one holding dog trainers accountable or enforcing humane training procedures.

We’re working to address the problem with local legislators.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *