Keri Levy and her family had already gone through the trauma of putting her dog down once. But she had to do it again five months later.
The New Jersey woman had taken her dog to Briarwood Veterinary Hospital in May because he could not recover from his health problems and she was going to put him down, NJ.com reported.
“She picked up the collar. And actually paid her bill and received, even, a letter from the veterinary offices stating their condolences on the loss of her pet,” Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chief Ross Licitra told Pix11.
Then this month, Levy received an anonymous tip telling her that the dog may actually still be alive, News12 reported.
“It broke my heart in a way like my heart has never been broken,” Levy told News12 of finding out her 15-year-old dog had not been put down and was instead living with a former Briarwood employee.
Levy reported the incident to police, according to NJ.com. Then she went to the animal hospital and was told that the vet who had said her dog should be euthanized did not work there anymore.
According to NJ.com, police told the employee who had taken the dog that she had to return the animal to Levy. Levy said her dog had lost 10 pounds since she’d last seen him in May.
“The doctor said his bones were deteriorating, his body was eating his muscle mass,” Levy told News12. Then she had to put him down for the second time — and tell her kids about it.
"Imagine having to tell a 9-year-old and a 10-year-old this. My 9-year-old was like, when can I see him?" Levy told NJ.com.
An employee at the animal hospital told CountryLiving.com that people involved with the dog’s case were no longer working at the facility. According to Pix11, Levy received a refund for the euthanization that never took place. Police and the Monmouth County SPCA are conducting investigations of possible animal cruelty and theft, Pix11 reported.
A Utah family had a similar experience this year when they discovered the dog they thought they’d put to sleep six months prior was actually still alive. After euthanizing her dog, Tawny Coates told KTVB that she felt like her family was ready for a new pet, so she began looking online at rescue boxers. But one picture looked a little too familiar.
"I see the Boxer Town rescue page and I'm like, 'That looks like my dog.' Then I thought, 'I'm crazy,' but I click on it anyway and zoom in and say, 'No, that's my dog!'” Coates told KTVB.
The vet told KSL that she didn’t think the Coates’s dog needed to be put down and was trying to save its life. The Coates family was able to get their dog back from the rescue group.