Dog owners are taking legal action against the training center after their beloved pet died of heatstroke during a 10-day stay


HOUSTON – For Devin and Jessica van der Hahn, Einstein and Kramer are their pride and joy.

“He was a bit of a creepy cat. If someone rang the doorbell, he would run upstairs and hide behind the tub, basically,” van der Hahn said.

On May 25, 2022, the pair boarded Underdog Training together to help address Einstein’s social fears and reinforce skills Kramer had previously learned.

“I actually did background research on the principal, Sarah Reyes. We researched customer experiences. She has a great Instagram. We were very careful because Einstein was very, very important to us,” said van der Hahn.

The couple’s beloved pets were supposed to leave for a 10-day stay, but only one of them made it home.

“Einstein was delivered dead to the veterinary clinic,” van der Hahn said.

According to court documents, Einstein collapsed and died of heat stroke while in Reyes’ custody. Her body temperature was 110 degrees.

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“What she told me repeatedly was that it was a freak accident and it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” van der Hahn said.

As for Kramer, he was not well.

“Kramer was sick. Kramer went home with Giardia,” Jessica van der Hahn said. “I actually acquired Giardia as well,” Devin van der Hahn said.

When the couple wrote a review online, the floodgates opened.

According to court documents, other patrons have come forward to report deaths, illnesses and abuse.

“Our best data shows four dogs died in Sarah’s care,” van der Hahn said.

Court documents also indicate that countless dogs were either malnourished or returned to their families with illnesses.

“One after another. Every day. Multiple reviews. These were alarming reviews,” Jessica van der Hahn said.

After the loss of their beloved Einstein, the van der Hahns said they felt morally responsible to take legal action to spare others the insurmountable grief they had to endure.

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Reyes, the owner of Underdog Training, referred KPRC 2 to her lawyer for comment. The attorney declined our request for comment.

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