April Bernhardt, the owner of The Hydrant Regency, a dog kennel in Rowley, Massachusetts, USA, has been charged with 40 counts of animal cruelty after allegations that dogs were kept in unsanitary conditions in a facility with a lack of electricity. Bernhardt was charged with 39 counts of animal cruelty by custodian and one count of animal cruelty. She was arraigned later in the day in Newburyport District Court and was released on bail. The kennel, situated on Route 1, is a daycare and boarding facility owned and operated by April and Marc Bernhardt for over 30 years.
On 27th August 2022, police found 37 dogs living in cramped conditions in a trailer. Meredith Underwood, Assistant Essex County District Attorney, said, “They observed wire crates lined up next one another…There were mattresses across the top of the crates, which were being used as storage; there was an AC unit on the wall, but officers noticed that it was not turned on; they did not notice any water accessible to the dogs in those crates…Some crates had multiple dogs inside to include dogs of vastly different sizes. Dogs that were bigger in size did not appear to have enough room to stand up in the crates or turn around.” Ted Cranney, Bernhardt’s attorney, said, “Not once in all of those years has an animal control officer either brought it to Ms Bernhardt’s attention, filed a report of neglect or misuse, or had an investigation conducted.” A former customer of The Hydrant Regency told NBC10 Boston about her experience with the kennel, which she said nearly killed her dog and ended up with about $6,000 costs in veterinary bills.