Owner of animal hospital lashes out about dog's death
LEE COUNTY - The owner of a Fort Myers animal hospital lashes out saying she did not mishandle a dog that died in her care. Instead, she says the dog's owner is the one who's being negligent. The dog's owner claims the clinic refused to hand over her pet's medical records and won't tell her where her dog's body is but now we're hearing another side of the story.
Paige Reilly says she’s reeling from the recent death of her miniature Pomeranian named Bentley, "It's devastating, I have video of him on my phone. I wake up and watch the videos. That's the only type of closure I have."
Bentley died after having surgery at the Affordable Animal Care Clinic in Fort Myers earlier this month. Reilly says, "I just want closure, I just want to hold him and tell him goodbye if he really is dead. I just want to say goodbye."
Reilly claims she told clinic workers she wanted to see her dog's body but soon after Bentley died the clinic had his body cremated without her permission. But clinic owner, Gina Brashear, says that's not true.
Brashear says her staff called Reilly numerous times to have her come and pick up Bentley's small body, but Reilly sent her mother to the clinic instead. Reilly's mother was then told she's not authorized to pick up Bentley.
Brashear says her worker told Reilly’s mother, “She said have your daughter come pick your dog's body up.” Brashear says she can’t legally release the dog’s body to anyone who is not listed as the dog’s owner. She says, “No, but if her mother's name had been on this sheet I could've have released it to her but she's not."
After waiting four days Brashear says she had Pet Angel Memorial Center in Fort Myers pick up Bentley's body for disposal. She says, "After so many days it's abandonment, the owner never picked the dog up. I held it four days for her."
Brashear also says Bentley's X-rays prove the dog had serious injuries requiring emergency surgery and she claims Reilly refused to pay for it. Brashear says at least she cared enough to have her vet do the surgery for free, "When you do one free and you do a free X-ray and I have to have the vet tech call and say bring the dog in please because you didn't book a surgery, we'll do it free, then you kind of get emotionally involved."
We called Pet Angel Memorial Center and confirmed they did pick up Bentley's body.
Brashear says Reilly is not allowed at her clinic but can send someone else to pick up Bentley's records.
Reilly still plans to hire an attorney and sue the clinic, we'll let you know how it turns out.