Kennel owner charged with animal cruelty

A couple left their pets with an animal boarder. One later died

Graphic: South Ala. family finds boarded pets in distress; One later died

ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WSFA) - The owner of a south Alabama animal boarding business has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty, according to the Enterprise Police Department.

Donna Michelle Lindgren, 43, owner of Kountry Kennell, was arrested on May 17, several days after police opened an investigation into reports of animal abuse at her business.

The investigation started after Aubrey Held and her husband, Stephen, reported they’d boarded their two dogs at Kountry Kennel Doggie Boarding and Daycare on Freedom Drive from May 8-12.

Held said that while away, she tried repeatedly to call and text about their animals’ well being but didn’t get a response. When they returned to pick up their pets, Kennedy and Butkus, the animals could barely walk and were in noticeable distress, she said.

“Kenny, our girl dog, was so bad off that Donna’s son carried her out to my husband’s truck, not walked...,” Held wrote in a Facebook post that has since been shared more than 5,000 times.

Stephen Held stands over Kennedy, one of the family pets left at Enterprise business Kountry Kennel.
Stephen Held stands over Kennedy, one of the family pets left at Enterprise business Kountry Kennel. (Source: Aubrey Held)

Once home, the pet owners recorded video of their dogs. “We got home and Kennedy was limping so bad she fell right to our floor,” Held stated.

Butkus was more responsive, but he “was so hungry he ate two of his normal serving sizes,” Held wrote. She said it appeared he’d been sitting in feces for some time and his bottom was raw. She later reported he was sunburned and had a chemical burn on one paw.

The couple said in the video they were preparing to take the animals to an area animal hospital. However, they shared another video a short time later to say Kennedy had died within 20 minutes of the first recording.

On May 15, detectives, armed with a search warrant, entered Kountry Kennel and found “numerous dogs housed in unsanitary living conditions,” according to the police department. One German shepherd was found to be severely emaciated.

Two days later, Lindgren was arrested on a second-degree animal cruelty charge, a misdemeanor. She made bond at Enterprise City Hall and was released.

WTVY in Dothan reports nearby Fort Rucker has since issued a memo to its staff instructing them not to use Kountry Kennel, warning of punishment if they do. Meanwhile, Enterprise police have confirmed Kountry Kennel’s business license is now under review.

Held said she’s awaiting results of a necropsy on Kennedy’s remains before deciding what to do next. She added that Butkus is doing better.

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