Investigation launched after “intelligent and loyal” husky died by another dog at the Canberra kennel

ACT Domestic Animal Services has confirmed that it is investigating the death of a dog in the care of Tara Estate Pet Boarding last month.

The ABC understands that on May 20, Iris, a nine-year-old Siberian husky, was bitten on the neck by another dog while at the boarding school, located near the Canberra airport.

While the investigation into what happened before the dog’s death is still ongoing, Iris owner Luke Fry said boarding staff told him his dog was in an area that was not being monitored when the incident occurred.

A spokesperson for Tara Estate did not respond to specific questions from the ABC, including whether a staff member was supervising the dogs at the time.

On the Tara Estate website, he said the company has strict requirements that dogs must adhere to in order to stay.

“We will set aside a first day of reception for your dog to determine his temperament and individual needs,” the website says.

“Once carefully assessed, dogs are placed in a group according to their temperament and a member of staff is present at all times to enrich your dog’s experience with us.”

In a statement to the ABC, the boarding school said all standard practices and procedures were followed and dogs were segregated based on size, temperament and breed.

“At Tara, all dogs can run freely and mingle socially with other animals in their enclosures, which in turn are closely monitored by trained staff,” said a spokesperson.

“The two dogs were playing happily the day before.”

“A void from which I know I will take years to recover”

Iris has been described as “smart and loyal” by her owner, Luke Fry.(



Mr Fry saved Iris when she was 15 weeks old and said she was part of his family.

He described Iris as “a great sook”.

“She was smart and loyal, always followed me everywhere,” Mr. Fry said.

“She was a social dog who liked to play with humans, dogs and cats.”

Mr Fry was in Western Australia at the time of the attack and said he was “completely in shock” when he heard the news.

He said staff at Tara Estate told him over the phone that Iris was found with significant puncture injuries to her throat and neck.

“I’m too scared to have another dog because the pain I’m feeling is too much to bear again.”

Tara Estate stated that despite all the emergency procedures adopted, Iris could not be saved.

“We are truly sorry for the trauma and injury this tragic incident has caused to the owner of Iris,” the company said in a statement.

“The dog that bit Iris has been removed from the center and will not be allowed to return.”

Boarding facility to review policies and procedures

Tara Estate said Iris’ death was an “extremely rare” event.

“During the 125,000 days of care during which we have operated on Tara, this is only the second time that a dog has died of another animal,” the statement said.

Domestic Animal Services said it could not provide further comments at this point.

“This is currently an ongoing and active investigation,” said a government spokesperson for ACT.

“Dog attacks can be traumatic and distressing for everyone involved.”

Tara Estate said it offered advice and support to staff.

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