A Lincoln man who has launched himself as an skilled canine coach has been sued repeatedly over his enterprise practices and was criminally charged in December with two misdemeanors over the alleged mistreatment of animals at his facility, based mostly on courtroom filings.
Metropolis prosecutors charged Willie Dove Sr. with animal cruelty and animal neglect Dec. 5 — larger than a month after a Lincoln woman reported the 40-year-old to the city’s Animal Administration Division and the Nebraska Division of Agriculture following an hurt her canine allegedly suffered at Dove’s facility, said Steve Beal, the city’s Animal Administration director.
The lady had boarded her 2-year-old corgi-Jack Russell mix on the east Lincoln enterprise, Dove’s Canine Academy & Additional, and took the canine to the vet following its boarding hold as a result of eye points the canine was struggling, based mostly on the criticism filed with the ag division.
A veterinarian determined the canine had been strangled, based mostly on the criticism, obtained by a public data request.
The next citation marked the first time Dove’s dealings as a purported canine coach led to jail costs in Nebraska, based mostly on state courtroom data — nevertheless former prospects have been elevating alarm over his conduct with animals and enterprise practices for larger than two years.
A lady sued Dove in small claims courtroom in December 2020 for $910 referring to her dealings collectively together with his earlier enterprise, Dove Canine Academy, which Dove operated in Waverly, based mostly on courtroom data.
It’s unclear exactly why Dove owed the girl, Melinda Howell, larger than $900. Makes an try to contact Howell have been unsuccessful.
By his lawyer, Sarah Newell, Dove declined to be interviewed for this story, instead offering a written assertion.
“On account of litigation is pending, Mr. Dove sadly can’t comment intimately about these allegations, nevertheless he very so much cares about his consumers and their satisfaction,” Newell said.
“He continues to work diligently to produce top quality service, he denies these costs, and we’re working with veterinary professionals to produce broader notion into these allegations.”
Dove didn’t appear on the small claims listening to Jan. 28, 2021, principal Resolve Laurie Yardley to award a default judgment to Howell for the $910 she sought plus $56 in additional costs, based mostly on courtroom data.
Dove didn’t pay the sum, based mostly on the filings. The courtroom ordered the amount garnished from his paycheck at an Omaha funeral residence.
That January 2021 ruling would not mark the ultimate time Yardley sided in opposition to Dove in a small claims case. The determine did so as soon as extra in April 2022, after Dove sued a former client, Sheri Dempsey, for $1,338.
Throughout the submitting, Dove accused Dempsey of pulling her canine from his teaching program “determining she nonetheless owed a stability … with none warning or notification” to Dove.
Dempsey describes the ordeal another way.
She had employed Dove in February to teach her husky, Huli, in a two-week program that Dove indicated would operate near-constant one-on-one teaching involving Dove, who claimed to be a licensed canine coach, Dempsey knowledgeable the Journal Star.
Nevertheless purple flags began to pop up for Dempsey decrease than per week into this method, she recalled.
Dove didn’t work along with Huli when he first picked the canine up from Dempsey’s residence, she said. He didn’t ask for vet knowledge, meals or a husky-grade harness sooner than asking Dempsey to walk Huli to his automotive herself, she said.
He known as Dempsey an hour after he left her residence and said he had misplaced Huli when he opened his automotive door in Omaha, said Dempsey, who drove there to help look for the canine, in the long run turning Huli once more over to Dove as soon as they found him.
The next day, Dove known as to say he was turning Huli’s teaching over to a enterprise companion, who Dempsey later found was solely paid to walk the canine for 20 minutes numerous events per day, she said.
“I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on proper right here?'” Dempsey recalled. “I’m starting to note I’ve been bamboozled.”
Dempsey took Huli once more from Dove’s then facility at an office space at seventieth and O streets — the place Dove was not at all licensed to board canines, based mostly on ag division data — and took him residence, terrified, lined in feces and, nonetheless, untrained, Dempsey said.
“My canine has not at all been the equivalent,” said Dempsey, who moreover took the matter to police on suspicion of fraud in a criticism that went nowhere.
“My canine is scared to lack of lifetime of everybody, except for my daughter and I.”
Throughout the counter declare she filed in opposition to Dove, Dempsey accused the businessman of falsely presenting himself “as a licensed canine coach and breeder, nevertheless instead left my canine in a kennel for over 15 hours (in a single day).”
At an April 20 listening to throughout the small claims case, Yardley found Dove had misrepresented the businesses he would supply and ordered him to pay Dempsey $1,338 — the amount she had paid upfront for the teaching — plus curiosity.
Dempsey said Dove hasn’t paid.
Dove’s Canine Academy was sued as soon as extra in small claims courtroom ultimate week by a third former client, Brandi Dunning, who’s looking for larger than $2,500 from Dove after her Staffordshire terrier, Izzy, was acknowledged with contagious pinkeye and an ear an an infection after per week at Dove’s facility, Dunning alleged throughout the submitting.
Dunning had paid Dove $2,557 for a three-week boarding and training program that began Dec. 21, nevertheless after per week, she visited the academy to confirm on Izzy following a set of puzzling cellphone calls and textual content material exchanges with Dove and his staff.
“Upon stepping into, we’ve got been met with an superior odor of canine urine,” she said throughout the submitting. “As quickly as we’ve got been lastly allowed to see our canine, she had on her collar, a shock collar and a fragile chief.
“She appeared very scared and sick.”
Dunning took Izzy to a vet and in the long run not at all returned her to Dove’s facility, she said.
She moreover filed a criticism in opposition to Dove’s operation with the Larger Enterprise Bureau, the place a minimal of 5 prospects have filed complaints in opposition to Dove beforehand three years, based mostly on the group’s website online.
In response to 1 criticism in January 2022, Dove threatened approved movement in opposition to the complaining celebration for “slander.”
Dove appears to have taken steps to cover prior complaints in opposition to his firms and conduct from future potential prospects. He has made slight modifications to his enterprise’s title numerous events beforehand three years, based mostly on licensing data and courtroom filings.
Earlier names embrace Dove Canine Academy, Dove’s Heavenly Canine Academy and Dove’s Canine Academy.
Dove’s enterprise has moreover recorded a run-in with the state Division of Labor, which issued a $500 citation in opposition to him ultimate yr over a wage criticism, based mostly on division data.
And, whatever the repeated claims filed in opposition to him and ultimate month’s jail costs, Dove has thus far continued operations, avoiding any licensing troubles with the Division of Agriculture or the city.
Division of Agriculture Inspector Rick Herchenbach twice checked in on Dove’s teaching location in Waverly in 2020 and 2021 nevertheless not at all found any violations, based mostly on inspection critiques.
Nevertheless when Dove opened retailer at 237 S. seventieth St. sometime in 2021, his facility was not at all inspected nor licensed, based mostly on the file of inspections achieved in Lincoln that yr.
Dove moved to his current location — at 6800 P St. — in June 2022, nevertheless didn’t search a license to board animals until late September, when Herchenbach surveyed his new facility and ordered Dove to restore a niche throughout the wall and develop a written emergency vet care plan, based mostly on his report.
By the purpose Herchenbach checked once more in on Dove in early October, neither downside had been remedied, the inspector wrote in his report. Nonetheless, Dove — who had six canines housed at his facility all through that go to — was allowed to take care of working.
Herchenbach gave the academy an “acceptable” rating on his third go to to the P Avenue facility in late October.
Nevertheless the inspector wanted to return to the enterprise decrease than three weeks later following the reported hurt to a canine in late October.
“Emergency vet plan is required,” he wrote in November, highlighting the equivalent downside well-known throughout the September report that Dove had did not comply.
The vet plan isn’t talked about — as each compliant or non-compliant — in Herchenbach’s Oct. 24 report, the one go to that yielded an “acceptable” rating, based mostly on the data.
Reached by cellphone, Herchenbach referred inquiries to the ag division’s public information office. Christin Kamm, the division’s communications director, said investigators couldn’t contact upon the standing of Dove’s license as a result of an ongoing investigation.
Dove’s enterprise appeared to have been closed, a minimal of rapidly, by Thursday afternoon. No one answered or returned a cellphone title on the academy Friday and Dove posted a message on the enterprise’s Fb account Thursday evening time thanking prospects who had supported him.
“I do know we cannot meet everyone’s expectations and everyone’s desires, nevertheless with that being said, for people who’re 100% devoted and put inside the time and effort, man, it has been a blessing and an honor and privilege to work with you guys,” he said, partly.
Dove did not level out throughout the video whether or not or not the enterprise had closed.
In response to explicit questions over whether or not or not inspectors had shut the flexibility down, Kamm said she could not comment, as soon as extra citing the continued investigation.
Beal, the top of Animal Administration, said that whether or not or not the enterprise remained in operation was utterly beneath the purview of the Division of Agriculture. The one license the city may downside a canine boarding operation is a grooming permit, Beal said.
“If he truly is doing pet grooming, then he has to have a permit for that, and he wouldn’t have one correct now,” Beal said. “So we’re nonetheless involved in that aspect of this whole issue. On account of he can’t operate a pet grooming enterprise with out having that allow from us.”
An automated cellphone menu that performs for Dove’s Canine Academy & Morelisted 4 firms as of Friday: expert canine teaching, licensed canine strolling, licensed pet-sitting and grooming.