How safe is your pet when you board them?


How safe is your pet when you board them?

By Frank Sausedo

All pet owners love their furry little pets and consider them part of the family. We would do anything for our pets. I know mine has more toys than I did as a kid.

Annie was a happy little dachshund who loved to play with her toys, and I would come home from work early as many times as I could, just to throw her toy of the day and have her bring it back for more. This could last for hours. She was a rescue; we got her when she was just three months old, and she is now 8. Now the horror story.

My wife and I are business owners in Ponte Vedra, and it’s very hard for us to get away on a vacation. It’s been almost five years now. A few weeks ago, we finally got some time off and decided to go to Myrtle Beach for a week of golf, great restaurants, and shopping. We dropped our pets off at a Jacksonville vet as we have done several times in the past. We paid extra for the bigger room with a camera and better care.

One day on our vacation, we got a call from the vet’s office saying that Annie had been overdosed on her meds, receiving 10 times the amount she was supposed to be given, and was rushed to the ER down the street. She had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. We immediately packed up and headed home in a hurry.

The owner admitted that it was their fault. The tech was supposed to look at the intake card and the bottle. If there was a discrepency, he was to call a doctor immediately. The intake girl typed in 4.0 when the bottle said clearly .40, so the tech only read the intake card, not following procedure.

Annie fought for her life for several days. After six days, the ER released her to us. Annie is starting to walk a bit, but she is blind, deaf, has brain damage and cannot bark. I will give praise to Dr. Zach Bissell, who happened to be in the area when this happened and rushed her to the ER. There, Dr. Bissell and Dr. Jones, owner of the ER, worked on her for hours trying to get her stable. The care Dr. Jones gave her was way beyond exceptional.

But what now? Annie still suffers, my wife and I are suffering and crying daily that she is not our Annie anymore. No one is sure if she will recover, but it’s not likely. There are no laws that protect our little pets.

This is not to hurt one boarding place, because it can happen at any facility. How safe our your pets? We give them to people we trust to care for them, but when they don’t? I have written to our state senator, congressman, U.S. senator, to change the laws for our pets. They are not personal property, they are our family. I urge all of you who have pets to #1, be careful where you board them, and #2, please email your congressman and anyone who will listen. We never thought this could happen to us, and it could very well happen to you.