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Two Dogs Saved by Ethics, not Medicine!

November 7, 2010

yellow lab mix


Veterinarians Often See Accusations of Abuse or Human Mental Illness

A few days ago, Doc Truli came across a Phoenix Examiner article about Antifreeze Poisoning in three pet dogs.  One of the anonymous comments caught her eye:

Anonymous wrote:

The owner Jasmine is a nutcase.  She makes pet profiles at, says they died, gets sympathy, then removes the pages.  A few days after these dogs died she got a new dog named Aldo.  Guess what?  he got poisoned too behind a fenced in patio! and his page is now gone.  She either did this herself or knows who did it because she never does anything about it and states that her family hates her new dog Aldo so anyone could have poisoned them!  She needs to be stopped and never get a dog again because she endangers the life of every dog she comes near.  How many more dogs will suffer die at this mad woman’s hands?

Of course, we do not know if there is a “Jasmine” or three dead dogs, or an anonymous poster, or a new dog named “Aldo.”  Perhaps the exchange is a fiction created for scintillation and attention.  But every veterinarian who has practiced medicine more than a few months has seen or heard amazing things that would not be believed if it wasn’t real.

Doc Truli will share some of these stories with you, from time to time.  Many, many animals are saved by ethics, not medicine.  Here’s one stunning example.

Woman Schedules Euthanasia for 2-Year-Old Lab Mix Dog

“Really?” said Doc Truli.  “Did she say why she scheduled euthanasia for a two-year old dog?”

“No,” said the animal hospital receptionist.

“Let me know when she checks in, we have to see what’s going on.”

Doc Truli worked at a hospital under the mandate that pets are property, according to US law, and the person who brings the pet for services and signs that they are the owner or guardian, decides what services the animal will receive.

The owner of the animal hospital said, “If a pet owner requests euthanasia, you are ethically bound to follow their wishes regarding their property.”

While Doc Truli thought something sounded “off” with this narrow interpretation of medical and property ethics, she was about to be put to the test.

Woman Arrives With Not One, But Two Dogs for Euthanasia

“What?” said Doc Truli.

The nurse had just gone into the consultation room.  She came out shaking,”She says the three-year-old dog needs to be put down, too.”

“Go find out why,” said Doc Truli.

“The boss doesn’t like it when we ask why,” said the nurse. “It’s already a sensitive subject.”

“Two lives are on the line.  I’m hard-pressed to imagine a legitimate reason to euthanize two young dogs on the same day,” replied Doc Truli. “Find out if they are sick, or what.”

Woman Claims Dogs “Have No Quality of Life”

The woman said that the dogs belonged to her and her ex-boyfriend and when the humans broke up, she had no money to care for the dogs, so she left them with the ex.  She claimed the dogs were tied out all day with no food or water and they had a terrible life, therefore, she thought the best thing for the dogs was to have them put down so they would not suffer.

“That sounds fishy.  Tell her to take them to an animal shelter,” said Doc Truli.

Woman Swears Animal Shelters are “All Full”

The nurse came back after a few minutes.  “She says she called four shelters and they were full and could not take the dogs.”

“Oh, yeah!  Let’s call those shelters,” said Doc Truli.

All four had space.  Plus, all four said they would never turn away any animal.  Now the woman was caught in a verifiable lie.  Doc became concerned that the dogs would suffer a terrible fate if their paws ever left the animal hospital that day.

Doc Truli Adopts the Dogs

“Tell her we’ll take the dogs and find them good homes.”

Now the woman was stuck in her lies.  She signed the dogs over to the hospital.  Two healthy, young lab mixed breed dogs.  Actually calm, patient, and well-behaved.  They dogs bedded down in the kennel for the night and enjoyed their supper.

The next morning, the boss came on shift and asked (rightfully so), “Who are these dogs in the kennel?”

Upon hearing the start of the story about how the woman had ordered euthanasia, he grew very concerned that the woman’s rights had been trampled, “A pet owner has the right to euthanize their dog.”

Doc Truli explained, “Yes, but something didn’t seem right.  So I had her sign the dogs over.  I suspect, she’s not even the rightful owner of the dogs.”

Real Owner Finds the Hospital!

Two hours later, a gigantic, tattoo-covered, grey bearded, leather-wearing Harley guy showed up at the front desk.  He had red bags under his eyes.  He asked if a woman had come in with two dogs.


As it turned out, the motorcycling gentleman was the owner of the dogs.  One dog was on daily anti-epilepsy medication.  He had a regular vet who confirmed his regular up-to-date visits over the telephone.  The woman was a vindictive ex-girlfriend who fought with him, stole the dogs, and then called him and told him they were dead.  She had planned to throw their dead bodies in his front lawn in order to hurt him!

You never saw a more grateful, happy man in your life!

Doc Truli’s boss puffed with pride and said, “Here come look at how safe they are; we saved your dogs!”

Saving Animals, One Logic at a Time

Doc has saved many others pets over the years and will share their stories on VirtuaVet from time to time.  Most people do not know how abhorrent ill people came be.  That’s just the way things are.  But you can still keep a clear head and help the pets in need!


Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society founded by animal ethicist Dr. James Serpell.

Pet Law has become a specialty and area of interest within the practice of Law.  This is an example of a specialty Law firm with thought-provoking articles.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 1:15 pm

    Maybe an owner can decide they want their dog euthanized, but I don’t have to do it. As a vet, I can put my foot down and say “Not me, I refuse to euthanize this animal.” These cases tend to be those where the animal is no longer convenient for the owner and they are too lazy to do anything else. Hell, I have to euthanize enough animals per shift that if the reason is not good enough, I will not do it. There is nothing in any law that makes it impossible for me to say no to a euthanasia. If a young healthy dog comes in for a euthanasia, I will make every attempt to find out why that animal is being euthanized. I have no problem with animals that are healthy, yet have aggression issues being euthanized, I consider that to be a disease in and of itself. And to rehome a known aggressive animal is like putting a legal target on your back. But a healthy dog with no real issues? Nope, not going to do it. They can march themselves somewhere else.


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