Woman finds 'euthanized' dog alive with new owner

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by JILEN, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

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    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/ar...217new-mexico-woman-finds-euthanized-dog.html


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

    Rob Beach Bum

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    So this vet charged the euthanization fee and then turned the dog over for rehab? I wonder how many more times this has happened.
  3. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    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.
  4. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    They should have done that no matter what the situation.
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  5. duane

    duane New Member

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    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!
  6. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    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?
  7. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    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.
  8. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    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.
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  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    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.

    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.
  10. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    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.
  11. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    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.
  12. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    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.

    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?
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    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.)
  14. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    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.
  15. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The vet just wanted to cover his butt when he did something that the owner didn't initially sign for.

    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. :)

    :lynch: for the owner but :cheer: for the vet!
  16. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Then why take the money? Why say ok? He could have just said he could find the dog a home. Taking money for a service that you don't actually do is fraud. The guy took the dog to a vet, he didn't just dump it. True asshats dump their animals, or worse. The vet should have told him he had other options, or even taken a fee for finding the dog a new home, but taking a fee for a service, and then not doing it, is wrong.
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  17. Yehudi

    Yehudi Well-Known Member

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    My dog had to be put down a few months ago and although I was in the room, i had my eyes closed because I could not to watch the point where she just stopped breathing.

    Of course, the experience was worse because we got presented with a bill before the dog was even dead...
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  18. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i have no problem with the vet charging him. there should be a fee for being an asshat. i dont really care if he was defrauded.
  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :rolleyes:
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  20. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    some day your eyes are going to get stuck like that
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  21. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :p
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  22. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you. The vet's fee could have gone towards an exam, new shots and the cost of rehoming the dog.

    I have a friend who called her vet to get her 3 year old Maltese put down. Dog was a pet store leftover who had allergies. The vet had her sign over the dog and the tech took him home. She had another dog at home, he's now with me. Woman should not have ever had a pet.

    As for the original vet, I hope he gets investigated and sanctioned. And I hope Lola/Tinker has a happy life.
  23. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Completely different situation.
  24. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    How do you know it didn't? Did the vet stash dollar bills in his pocket while gleefully cackling about how he can go to Vegas now? :rolleyes: indeed.
  25. Scintillation

    Scintillation New Member

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    This is just making me realize how good our vet is, and how right we were to have our dog and cat put down a couple of years ago. They were so ravaged by cancer that they were dead within 20 seconds of being injected. And they let us stay in the room to say goodbye.
    Ugh, those were bad days. The only form I remember signing was about whether we wanted them to be cremated or not. They also made clay paw prints for each one, which was nice.
    I'm happy the dog is alive and well, but that vet should be sanctioned for pulling something so shady.
  26. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Because a lot of those people will just go and dump the animal, find a vet who'll kill it in front of them so they know it's dead, or they'll find a do-it-yourself way of killing it or trying to. Most vets have a pretty good idea which "client" will listen to reason, and which is, as my little pony accurately puts it, an asshat.
  27. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    I totally agree with you. Defrauding an asshat (or not) is still fraud.

    I wonder if that is common practice in the vet business. Surely there's a regulation against that?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  28. moojja

    moojja Active Member

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    What would happen if you just don't have the money to save the dog? For example, cancer drugs or surgery cost a lot of money. People might love their pets, but not be willing to give up their retirement funds. Do they automatically lose their pets to a richer family?
  29. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I'm quite comfortable calling someone who'd pay to kill a healthy animal merely because the animal has become inconvenient to them a true asshat.
  30. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Um, I was siding with the vet who saved the dog (And agreeing with mlp). :confused:

    I'm outta this thread, too many :rolleyes: for me...
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  31. duane

    duane New Member

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    I totally agree.

    And who knows what the vet eventually did with the dog. Perhaps he took it to the humane society, where the same outcome (the healthy dog being put down) was likely considering 4 million dogs and cats are put down per year. If that happened, the vet was paid for a service that the humane society performed.
  32. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Because while they are trying to find the dog a home it has to be looked after and fed. I would have charged the man double and told him our prices just went up. Maybe not, as I wouldn't want him to leave and take matters into his own hands. I can't believe anyone would find a problem with what that vet did, especially when the owner admitted he just didn't want the dog and nothing was wrong with it and it wasn't violent or aggressive.

    Who cares if he did eventually have to put the dog down or take it to the Humane Society where they put it down? At least he TRIED to find the dog a home. This is a living thing we are talking about here, how can some of you be so cruel? I am getting very upset that all you want to think about is how the doctor was lying and committing "fraud." WTF!? How about focusing on the fact that the doctor tried to SAVE this perfectly healthy animal?

    Life is not black and white, there are many shades of gray. Sometimes we do something that is wrong because it is right.
  33. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    ITA. I'm normally a very honest person, but that is one kind of dishonesty I can get behind. :shuffle:
  34. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    A quick thanks to everyone who responded about my former vet and Buddy. I feel better now about the experience and will also be more careful regarding my current sweet, goofy, hopefully healthy forever companion.
  35. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    Nobody here is arguing that the vet should euthanize a perfectly healthy animal.

    I just think that the doctor should be upfront about it. If the vet said "we don't kill a healthy animal, but we can help you find a new home for that dog" and charged the guy accordingly, wouldn't he have accomplished the same thing?


    Indeed, it is not. There are many choices in life. The vet didn't only have two choices.
  36. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    In that case perhaps it would be best to be honest and advise the person to surrender their pet for rehoming.

    But there are some people who can't even afford relatively small veterinary bills. I'd like there to be some support for those people, but yeah, where do you draw the line? For example, homeless people can benefit from having pets, but they usually aren't able to provide pets with proper care.
  37. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I'm not disputing that, I'm saying that the man paid for a service that wasn't delivered, he was defrauded. If he really wanted to get rid of the dog, why didn't the vet just charge a housing/upkeep fee? Why did he say it was okay to euthanise? Why did he feel the need to lie? What else does he think it's okay to lie about in his profession?

    From what mlp said, the man went in saying he didn't want the dog and wanted it put to sleep. The vet said okay. If it's not okay (and I agree with the vet, it's not okay to put a healthy animal to sleep), the vet should say so, and provide other options (like the vet himself finding the dog a home, for a fee if necessary). That's his (or her) job.
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  38. clarie

    clarie Well-Known Member

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    Well, it worked out well for both healthy young dogs, didn't it!! I could care less about how the people felt. If a young dog gets a second chance at life in a loving home, then that's what is most important IMO.
  39. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

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    In all of these, IMO the vet could have been more honest as suggested by few other posters as well.

    Look, the problem isn't that the dog is alive, that's a great and wonderful thing, the problem is that the owner was told that the dog had died when the vet clearly did not intend to put the dog down at all. Why not let the patient's owner make an informed choice? We have that requirement for humans, for crying out loud, so it would make sense to hold veterinary care professionals to the same standard.

    The vet told her the owner the dog died, and she and her little girl mourned the loss of their pet.
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  40. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Well, I won't roll my eyes, but you're saying the end justifies the means? I don't agree. It's great the dog was given another chance - but the vet was in the wrong, IMO.