Sick dog doesn’t see vet at Hillsborough animal shelter for 6 days, intestines perforate

Investigations

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) –  Did veterinarians at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center drop the ball when they didn’t examine a 10-year-old boxer-mix named Clyde?

Mike Miller thinks so.

So does Lithia veterinarian Ellen Alence.

Mike spotted Clyde on a Facebook post.

The post stated the dog was on the euthanasia list at the Hillsborough PRC.

“He actually reminded me of a dog that I had as a child,” Miller said.

When Miller traveled from his home in Pinellas County to meet Clyde this past Saturday, he says the dog he met was much different than the one in the video.

“He was very lethargic,” Miller explained. 

Clyde came into the PRC April 2.

On April 8, records show “kennel staff reported dog ate a blanket and now has severe diarrhea with pieces of blanket in his stool.”

“A dog showing symptoms needs to be examined right away because it can be fatal,” veterinarian Dr. Ellen Alence explained.

PRC records show Clyde wasn’t seen by a vet for another six days.

“For this dog to have just lingered without the benefit of professional staff looking at it, in my opinion is unacceptable,” Dr. Alence added.

Dr. Alence contends this is one incident of many.

She rescued a cat that PRC staff said had a dislocated leg.

“The cat had bone sticking out the bottom of its leg and was walking on exposed bone, no bandaging, no attempt to give this cat basic first aid,” Dr. Alence explained.  

Its leg damaged so badly, Dr. Alence was forced to amputate it.

Tripod, as the cat is now know, survived and was adopted.  

Clyde wasn’t so fortunate.

“Are they just letting the dogs sit and suffer?” Miller asked.

Miller adopted Clyde last Saturday.

He couldn’t take him home until a PRC vet cleared the dog.

Sunday, Clyde took a turn for the worse.

Emergency surgery showed in the six days, the blanket worked its way into the dog’s intestines.

“It had tore his intestines apart,” Miller learned.

“This would be a very painful event,” Dr. Alence surmised. 

Clyde stopped eating. 

“I can’t even imagine what that could have been like to go through,” Miller said.

The dog lost a quarter of his body weight. 

“There’s no reason this dog should have been left the way it was for six days without calling in a vet,” Dr. Alence added.

His intestines damaged beyond repair, the PRC euthanized Clyde Sunday.

PRC claims once staff notified the veterinary staff that the dog had eaten part of its blanket, the veterinarian ordered seven day monitoring of the dog for diarrhea and vomiting.  

“Staff checked each day on the dog’s well-being for the next several days. No issues were noted until the morning of Sunday, April 14, when a veterinary technician noticed the dog was lethargic in his kennel, was not eating, and had a nasal discharge,” an email from the county stated.

According to the PRC, there were materials found in Clyde’s intestines that were not consistent with the toys or items at the shelter.

“You don’t let animals suffer,” Miller stated.

“They take dogs away from people for being treated like that and then they do it themselves right here.”

If you know of something that you think should be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808. Contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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