Saturday, August 05, 2006

How Does this Happen

The plan for today was to take our beloved little Ranger dog to the vet to begin her series of pup shots, look into getting her microchipped, and maybe a flea dip. I had petitioned for taking her to my vet, the Beverly Virgil Animal Hospital. My two cats have been there, Bink for a check up and teeth cleaning, Pumpkin for his shots and neutering. They've always done alright by me and my animals. And it was there that I took ol' Minney when she passed. The staff are very nice, it's convenient, they're open on Saturday,I've never had to wait long, and the doctor is very kind and caring.

However, Will's been taking his animals to Gateway Animal Hospital. But agreed to take Ranger to mine and we discussed consolidating the pet care from Gateway to Beverly Virgil. But then I looked up Gateway on CitySearch, and did a search of local Animal Hospitals within 5 miles, and checked their ratings and comments.

Beverly Virgil Animal Hospital - 1.38 miles - 7.4 rating
Gateway Animal Hospital - 3.42 miles - 9.0 rating

I considered a facility all-together different:
Echo Park Animal Hospital - 0.67 miles - 8.7 rating

So when I saw the rating, even though I've never had a problem at Beverly Virgil, I suggested Gateway be the one for Ranger and our future pet care. They have Saturday hours and we would take Ranger together. We got there just after 9:00 am this morning and waited about a half hour to get in to see a doctor. In addition to the shots we decide to go ahead with the microchip and a flea dip. The doctor said we could come back after 11:30 to pick her up. We spent the hour and a half making a Trader Joe's run on the way home, came home and had a car towed that was blocking our driveway, had a sandwich and checked out my Mom's blog.

On the way back to pick up are beloved little Ranger dog, we stopped at the bank and the local U-Haul to get a refill on the BBQ's propane tank. Made it to Gateway and after a few minutes were called back to Room #1 to collect our pup.

This is where it all goes wrong. First the doctor says something about an injury at the base of the dog's tail...and since he doesn't know...well, he has to ask us if we noticed an injury at the base of the dog's tail before bringing her in today, or if it might have happened here??? We said there certainly was NOT an injury of any kind when we left her here an hour and a half ago. The doctor said something about this never happening before and he doesn't know how it happened, but there is a, and he spreads his fingers about 2 inches distance, a gash, did he say gash, a serious wound, at the base of the dog's tail. He says they stiched it up using a local anesthetic, and they've put her in a cone!!! We'll need to giver antibiotics daily and bring her back in two weeks to remove the stitches.

Then someone else brings our beloved little Ranger in to the room and sets her on the table in front of me and I immediately wrap my arms around her and tell her we're there and kiss her head.
She looks as though she's been crying and the base of her tail is shaved and there is indeed a gash, stitched up and red and swollen. She's got the awful plastic collar on her and I'm saying to myself: How does this happen? After all she's been through to make it here, after all the love we've given her, we bring her here for some shots and a dip, and they've cut our pup!!!

She's resting now in her favorite spot on the cool tile floor of my bathroom. Her little tail damaged, coned head resting on her big puppy paws. And as I search the internet all I can find out about Veterinarian Medical Malpractice is that unfortunately in this country, an animal is considered an item of personal property, and most courts limit the Veterinarian's liability to the pet owner as the cost of replacing the animal with another animal. She'll be fine, I'm sure. But it was negligence, I'm also sure. A slammed cage door, a sharp instrument, something happened and somebody's not saying.

I also found a few organizations, the California Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine, and the California Veterinarian Medical Association, and the Animal Defense League that we will be reporting this to and asking for advice on what, if anything, we can do about this. At the very least they must investigate Gateway and hopefully whoever caused this injury will be properly dealt with.


East Coast Girl said...

Oh, Susan, no words can adequately express my sympathy for Ranger and for you and Will over this injustice you have suffered. I cannot believe the audacity of those people to try and suggest you brought him in that way. You might also check with your local Humane Society for advice on successfully charging those people with animal cruelty. Thank God you did not have to leave him there any longer than you did. May St. Francis watch over Ranger and help him through a speedy recovery.

Mom said...

Poor, little, innocent Ranger. Just a few weeks old and all of this trauma in her life. I'm so sorry that this happened to all of you. At least Ranger has a very rosy future ahead of her with you and Will and all of her new brothers and sisters.

Cinnamon Thoughts said...

We will definitely file complaints with requests for investigations with the organizations available. There was an instant when the Doctor said "serious injury" that Will thought she was dead.

But Ranger is taking it all in stride. She's one tough pup, and this hasn't slowed her down in the least (which we're happy to see). I just can't wait to get that damned cone off her head. She had breakfast and a game of fetch and she's rompin' right now trying to get Pepper to play with her.

We're also serching the Better Business Bureau's website for ratings and information on veterinarians. Which rated Gateway with a AA (AAA being highest, F lowest). Then we're going to call the one's we've selected and interview them.

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