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Pet owners: take this good advice

To the Editor: On October 2nd at around 8 a.m., I picked up a dog that had been hit by a car and left on the side of the road. The dog was alive. I drove the dog to a veterinary clinic. Upon arrival I informed the veterinarian and the vet tech that I would accept full financial responsibility for the care of the dog. The only obvious injury the dog had was to his hind leg. The Vet assured me that they would take care of the dog. I called the clinic around 10:30 a.m. to check on the dog and was informed that they had identified the owner of the dog and that they had left a message on their home answering machine. They had also taken an x-ray of the broken leg and informed me that the dog also had a fractured pelvis. I again repeated my desire to help the dog and said that I would accept financial responsibility. I was told that nothing could be done for the dog without the permission of the owner. I called again at 2:30 p.m. to see if the clinic was able to get a hold of the owner and was told “no”. I was also told at that time that the dog had died from shock. A broken leg is not usually life threatening. My guess is that the dog possibly had an internal injury and “bled out”. This could have been anything from ruptured blood vessels, a leaky artery, ruptured spleen, lacerated kidney and/or liver injury. Depending on the injury the dog’s life may have been saved however, because the people at the veterinary clinic could not reach the owner we will never know. I learned a great deal that day and am appalled by the lack of action taken to care for this dog. The owners of the dog cared enough about it to have it micro-chipped so it could be identified if lost. It was wearing a collar. These people were probably at work or possibly even on vacation. I mentioned this possibility to the veterinarian during my second phone call. Yet nothing was done because they could not get in touch with the owners to get permission from them to treat the dog. My advice to pet owners: If you are going to be gone, leave your animals with a reputable kennel or with someone you know you can trust the life of your pet with. Ask your veterinarian what the clinics policy is if your dog is taken there by someone other than you, the owner. Better yet, find a veterinarian that puts compassion for animals before the threat of lawsuits and possible financial losses. Also, ask your vet and other local vets if you can sign a consent form to be placed in your pet’s file incase of emergency. To the owners of this dog, I tried. And I am very sorry for your loss. Stephanie Cooper Prineville