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JILEN
02-22-2012, 09:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico woman who was told months ago that her Chihuahua needed to be euthanized after it was viciously attacked by another dog has discovered that the dog is alive and has been living with another owner. Lisa Gossett of Albuquerque was originally told by a veterinarian that the outlook was grim for the injured one-year-old Lola. Gossett was given two choices.

"'Pay out all this money and there's a 20 percent chance that she'll live or euthanize her,'" Gossett said. "So, it was hard."

Gossett said she didn't want Lola to suffer so she signed on the dotted line and said a painful goodbye. It hit her 5-year-old daughter Bianca hard, she said. KOB-TV reports that Gossett got a call earlier this week from a company that programs the ID microchips that go into pets. The company said a woman was requesting to switch Lola's chip over to a new owner.

"And I said, 'Oh no, you're mistaken. Lola is not alive. We had her put down,'" she said.

Turns out, the vet had turned Lola over to the foundation "Second Chance" which rehabilitates dogs. Gossett immediately called the vet demanding answers.


http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/2012/02/17/20120217new-mexico-woman-finds-euthanized-dog.html


It's very rare to find the story that makes you equally :) and :(.

Rob
02-22-2012, 09:26 PM
So this vet charged the euthanization fee and then turned the dog over for rehab? I wonder how many more times this has happened.

reckless
02-22-2012, 09:40 PM
My initial reaction was to be outraged, but there were some interesting comments that made me think a bit. First, it depends on what the actual agreement was. In some cases, the owner may think the plan is to euthanize, but they are actually signing the dog over to a group like the Humane Society that will make an independent assessment. If that's the case, I think the owner has no cause to complaint.

Second, someone posted that it's possible that the plan was to euthanize, but the dog was used in a training surgery and survived, despite the long odds. Ethically, I'm not sure how I feel about that since the owner did not want the dog to suffer. But if her concern was mostly financial -- she didn't want to pay a lot when the odds of survival were small -- I have less of an issue. If that did happen, I do think the right thing would have been to tell the owner and let her reclaim the dog.

MacMadame
02-22-2012, 09:56 PM
If that did happen, I do think the right thing would have been to tell the owner and let her reclaim the dog.

They should have done that no matter what the situation.

duane
02-22-2012, 10:10 PM
First, it depends on what the actual agreement was. In some cases, the owner may think the plan is to euthanize, but they are actually signing the dog over to a group like the Humane Society that will make an independent assessment. If that's the case, I think the owner has no cause to complaint.
I disagree. If the plan is to euthanize, then the dog should be euthanized. Sure, people should always read what they sign, but why would the owner think she was signing anything else? And, at such a difficult moment, she likely just signed what was put in front of her.

Wow...On the one hand, ecstasy that the dog is alive; OTOH, outrage that the dog is alive!

Cachoo
02-22-2012, 10:25 PM
Okay I have a question regarding something a former vet did. I have since changed vets and am ecstatic with the new vet and would not go back to the old vet even if the gut feeling I have is wrong.

My elderly dog Buddy fell in the kitchen and broke his hip. I took him to the vet and this man had helped me save Buddy's life a year earlier when he was having liver problems. With the vet's help and patience and lots of $$$ Buddy improved and whatever was wrong seemed to evaporate. But this time the break was bad, Buddy was suffering without pain medication and we agreed it was his time. He gave me all of the time I wanted with him to say good bye and Buddy was drugged and already out of it but the vet insisted that I not be in the room when he euthanized him. He said dogs react differently to the "cocktail" that stops their heart. I left the room.
I have NEVER felt right about that decision and have never heard of anyone else asked to leave the room. Have you?

Wyliefan
02-22-2012, 10:29 PM
I'm sorry, Cachoo. I've never heard of a vet asking that. In my experience, the vet will let you stay or leave, whichever you need to do.

Cachoo
02-22-2012, 10:35 PM
I'm sorry, Cachoo. I've never heard of a vet asking that. In my experience, the vet will let you stay or leave, whichever you need to do.

That is what I believe. At the time there were so many times I wanted to go in and ask him why but I didn't. I didn't mean to hijack the thread--it just brought that day back.

Japanfan
02-22-2012, 10:42 PM
My initial reaction was to be outraged, but there were some interesting comments that made me think a bit. First, it depends on what the actual agreement was. In some cases, the owner may think the plan is to euthanize, but they are actually signing the dog over to a group like the Humane Society that will make an independent assessment. If that's the case, I think the owner has no cause to complaint.


But, getting an independent assessment is completely different than agreeing to have the dog put to sleep. If the vet stood behind his/her assessment, there would be no need for another.



Second, someone posted that it's possible that the plan was to euthanize, but the dog was used in a training surgery and survived, despite the long odds. Ethically, I'm not sure how I feel about that since the owner did not want the dog to suffer. But if her concern was mostly financial -- she didn't want to pay a lot when the odds of survival were small -- I have less of an issue. If that did happen, I do think the right thing would have been to tell the owner and let her reclaim the dog.

I would think she should have been informed if the dog was going to be used in training surgery. To proceed with that and put the dog at risk of suffering without her consent is highly unethical.

Japanfan
02-22-2012, 10:43 PM
He gave me all of the time I wanted with him to say good bye and Buddy was drugged and already out of it but the vet insisted that I not be in the room when he euthanized him. He said dogs react differently to the "cocktail" that stops their heart. I left the room.
I have NEVER felt right about that decision and have never heard of anyone else asked to leave the room. Have you?

No, I've never heard of that.

And nor have I heard of anyone having to sign a form before their pet is put down.

Garden Kitty
02-22-2012, 10:47 PM
I'd like to hear from the other parties involved to hear if they acknowledge these facts or have a different view. On the face of it, I'd find it very objetionable that the vet charged a "euthanasia" fee, and then didn't euthanize the dog. However, it's possible that the vet would say the fee was for the office visit and evaluation, and wasn't a fee for euthanasia. They may feel that they explained to the woman that there was a chance of survival, but the cost of the surgery was high and the likelihood was low and the woman elected not to proceed.

I know that when an animal is injured and you have to make a decision that it's a very emotional time and perhaps you're not hearing all the details and reading the documents.

In any event, I'm glad the dog survived and appears to be with a loving home, but I'd hate to think the vet was making money off people in a difficult emotional time when he knew he wasn't going to perform the services they paid for.

genevieve
02-22-2012, 10:50 PM
Cachoo - I've been present a few times when an animal has been put down, and it can be disturbing (on top of being totally :wuzrobbed), but yes, your vet should have left that decision up to you. It's unfortunate, sicne you had a good experience with him the previous year, but ITA with your decision to go to a different vet from now on.


Ethically, I'm not sure how I feel about that since the owner did not want the dog to suffer. But if her concern was mostly financial -- she didn't want to pay a lot when the odds of survival were small -- I have less of an issue.
I don't know.... It would be completely heartbreaking to have to make a life or death decision on one's pet based on finances. To find out later that the vet lied to you, and gave your pet to an organization that would fix him or her and adopt them out to someone else is just SO wrong. That option should have been presented to the owner.

OTOH, I can see - what if the medical need wasn't that expensive, or was simple and routine, and the owner just didn't want to bother and would rather put their pet down? I can see allowing that person to think you were following their wishes and saving the pet...but where do you draw the line?

danceronice
02-22-2012, 11:59 PM
Some vets really, really prefer that the owners not be present for euths as, while it's less common in small animals, there can be things like spasms and agonal breathing and twitching, plus things like, well, voiding of the bowels and bladder. All normal, and the animal's probably not feeling anything at that point, but it can be extremely disturbing. Large animals, it can be a safety issue as well, plus the unpleasant things happen more often as it takes longer for the horse or other large animal to die. (Some vets and horse owners as such will still prefer a Bell gun as the horse dies instantly, but most 'pet-horse' type owners don't like the sight of blood.) Sometimes vets will suggest that an owner might not want to be present for the actual lethal injection. I've HEARD of some vets straight-out not permitting it but it's usually more an offer/suggestion.

I don't think, in this case, the vet could have had her sign a form consenting to the dog's destruction but then turn it over to a teaching hospital or rescue/rehoming group without that being in the contract. Now, I HAVE heard tell, and I don't know if it's true, but even if it were I wouldn't narc on the vets in question by name, of cases where the owner wants a CONVENIENCE euth and the vet clinic tells them they'll do it and rehome the dog instead. (IOW, the owner is tired of the dog, dog is peeing on the carpet, doesn't want to take it to the pound, dog is no longer cute widdle puppy, etc. and they just want it put down. Honestly in that case I don't have a moral problem with lying and passing the dog on, though I'd hope that they'd have the sense to remove/deactivate a chip if there were one.)

my little pony
02-23-2012, 01:17 AM
once when i was at the emergency vet, some guy came in to have his dog put down. it was healthy but he didnt really want it anymore. they said ok, he paid and left. a little later, the dog was walking around. the vet said, "i'm not euthanizing a healthy animal because the owner is an asshat, i'll find him a new home." of course that isnt the same situation, but i was glad the vet didnt put the dog down.

Anita18
02-23-2012, 01:28 AM
My initial reaction was to be outraged, but there were some interesting comments that made me think a bit. First, it depends on what the actual agreement was. In some cases, the owner may think the plan is to euthanize, but they are actually signing the dog over to a group like the Humane Society that will make an independent assessment. If that's the case, I think the owner has no cause to complaint.

Second, someone posted that it's possible that the plan was to euthanize, but the dog was used in a training surgery and survived, despite the long odds. Ethically, I'm not sure how I feel about that since the owner did not want the dog to suffer. But if her concern was mostly financial -- she didn't want to pay a lot when the odds of survival were small -- I have less of an issue. If that did happen, I do think the right thing would have been to tell the owner and let her reclaim the dog.
I agree. The vet just wanted to cover his butt when he did something that the owner didn't initially sign for.


I'm sorry, Cachoo. I've never heard of a vet asking that. In my experience, the vet will let you stay or leave, whichever you need to do.
Yes that was my experience too. The vet did explain honestly that it's not uncommon to have animals defecate or twitch or spasm from the injection cocktail, and that it's actually a bit of the bother for the animal because they take him away to put in an IV in the leg first, then bring him back for the real injection. When the animal is euthanized out of the room, the vet can take all the time in the world finding a vein, but often the owner gets worried watching the vet find the vein.

We had a short discussion and agreed that we wanted to be with our Goldie as he passed on. And it was very peaceful and beautiful, actually. He passed quickly, no trouble at all, and he was in Mom's arms like he would have wanted. :)


once when i was at the emergency vet, some guy came in to have his dog put down. it was healthy but he didnt really want it anymore. they said ok, he paid and left. a little later, the dog was walking around. the vet said, "i'm not euthanizing a healthy animal because the owner is an asshat, i'll find him a new home." of course that isnt the same situation, but i was glad the vet didnt put the dog down.
:lynch: for the owner but :cheer: for the vet!