Family Reunited With Dog Eight Months After Dog Was Taken To Be Euthanized

CandyCandy, a Maltese, is alive and well despite her family leaving her with a veterinarian to be euthanized eight months ago.

The Florida family made the decision to put Candy down because she had painful tumors growing in her ears and they could not afford medical treatments.

Angela Oaks wasn’t sure if the decision to euthanize Candy was the right thing to do, but she didn’t know how to pay for the dog’s surgery. She signed the papers to have her dog euthanized and said goodbye to her beloved dog.

But eight months later, Oaks received a call from the veterinarian that was supposed to have put Candy down. Dr. Peggy Stubblefield said that Candy was never euthanized and was alive. Oaks said that Stubblefield did not really offer a reason to why Candy was still alive despite Oak’s request for the dog to be put down.

“I can say when I see a dog that is vivacious, happy, wriggling, coming up to everybody in the room, my first impulse is to keep it alive as long as possible,” Stubblefield said.

She added that she tried to contact the family to figure out a treatment plan for Candy.

A local news team found out that a fill-in veterinarian took pity on Candy and performed the surgery to fix her ears and rescued her from her the animal hospital.

Stubblefield then called Oaks and told her that Candy was alive but she had been stolen by another veterinarian.

But a letter from Stubblefield’s attorney was sent to the veterinarian that performed the surgery saying that Stubblefield was Candy’s actual owner and she wanted to perform surgery on her and study her recovery.

The vet who performed the surgery reunited Candy with Oaks eight months after Oaks signed the paperwork to have her dog euthanized.

Oaks has not yet filed a complaint against Stubblefield.

If a veterinarian accepts payment for any service, including euthanasia, he/she is legally bound to abide by the owner’s wishes. If the vet fails to do, he/she could be charged with fraud and have his/her license revoked.

Source: Local 6

20 Responses to “Family Reunited With Dog Eight Months After Dog Was Taken To Be Euthanized”

  1. Nancy G. says:

    So is the family happy or not? Will the fill-in vet be penalized for, basically, saving the dog? This story is kind of confusing. A good deed was done, the dog is alive and well and happy, is the family happy or upset to have her back? Pretty weird.

  2. Jenny Bark says:

    Everybody, watch the vidios on the link above, local 6. You can see the vet, dog & family. They said on them it was 10 & 1/2 months & the dog wasn’t treated until a fill in vet treated the dog. The fill in vet then took the dog & sent it to the family. I feel so bad that poor dog suffered for so long & was caged. Poor baby.

  3. Tanya says:

    I realize that for some of you, you will say this was a “good deed” that was done. But imagine if you have a strong opinion about how much your beloved pet should suffer, and a vet decides you are wrong in your choice of “when” to euthanize, and doesn’t euthanize.

    In tihs case, all turned out well. but i think of my cat who i put down, and know that she faced a long road of cancer which some people might have thought i should put her through and i felt that at 16, she’d had a lovely life and shouldn’t have to suffer so much.

    I’d be devastated if i found out my cat had been kept alive against my wishes, adn was fighting the cancer now. What if this dog, after the surgery, was still suffering? I think it’s out of line (and illegal, according to the article) for the vet to do what she did.

    one other thing - not to cast blame on anyone, death is very hard to handle - i held my cat when they injected her, I took her, held her when she was cold, and burried her. So if i do make this decision to euthanize… i know it will be done, cause i’d never want my pet alone at that last moment.

  4. Lynne says:

    Tanya, I agree. How else can one know for certain their pet did not wind up in a research facility?

  5. Cheryl says:

    This is a weird story. The vet can’t get ahold of them to discuss a treatment plan but can get ahold of them to tell them the dog is alive and was stolen?

    This falls under the ‘all’s well that ends well’ heading. The owner didn’t really want to euthanize the dog - and would have had the surgery if she could afford it. Since the vet’s did the surgery and aren’t charging her - she got what she really wanted - her dog in a healthy state - it shouldn’t have taken so long for her to get her dog back though.

  6. Becky says:

    Just an odd odd story….I too find it weird that the vet felt so strongly about not putting the dog down, why wouldn’t the vet discuss payment options, grants that may have been available, etc. when the dog was brought in? And why did another vet actually have to step in a perform the surgery….It’s just all very weird. I’m glad the dog is alive and pain free now, but the original vets behavior is very questionable.

  7. Stefani says:

    While I agree that this is an odd story, and that the vet’s behavior was questionable, I also find it outrageous that this exact kind of case is one of the few cases that Veterinary Boards (the State entities tasked with regulating the veterinary profession) actually take seriously. If you were to obtain the disciplinary records from state boards across the country (as I have) and ask for statistics on the numbers of complaints you would notice a few things immediately:

    1. The majority of complaints are dismissed by the boards
    2. Most of the time, the boards issue “reprimands” or fines so low that they have no deterrent value on future acts of malpractice — even when it is clear and apparent that the vets actions constitued obvious negligence/malpractic/abuase and either killed the animal, or contributed to the animal’s death or injury
    3. In the occasional cases where the vets fail to euthanize an animal after having agree to do so, they punish those vets more harshly than the others.

    I am not saying that what the vet did was ethical. But I am saying that they allow murdering SOBs who overdose animals, butcher them during surgery, or sometimes outright abuse them to go with a slap on the wrist. But if a vet’s conscience doesn’t allow him (or her) to go through with a euthanasia because he or she believes the pet can and should be saved, BOY does the board ever go after those people.

    It seems that when vets actually do something that is pro-animal, their colleagues turn on them, but when they are abusing animals, it’s nod-nod, wink-wink, we good ol’ boys have to stick together.

    I am not talking about vets who fail to euthanize animals who are suffering and dying, thus cruelly prolonging their agony deliberately — or even operating on them to “teach” their staff before killing them. Those people are monsters.

    I am talking about situations like one I witnessed a couple of years ago — where a couple brought in their cat to be euthanized because she was peeing outside the litter box. This had been a problem before, and previously she had been treated for a urinary infection and the problem resoved. Now the innappropriate peeing was back, and so were the owners, requesting NOT a urine culture, but a euth. The vets office couldn’t talk them out of it. And I was told by law, the vet HAD TO euthanize the cat per the agreement. The owners left crying crocodile tears.

    I am talking about vets who fail to carry out agreed euthanasia orders in cases like that as well as cases that are more grey-area, where the vet believes the pet has a condition that can be treated and cured. Again, not saying it is right — but it comes from a good heart. The BAD vets never get punished severely enough, while those who break the rules out of compassion for the animal get creamed by their colleagues.

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is You Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  8. Stefani says:

    While I agree that this is an odd story, and that the vet’s behavior was questionable, I also find it outrageous that this exact kind of case is one of the few cases that Veterinary Boards (the State entities tasked with regulating the veterinary profession) actually take seriously. If you were to obtain the disciplinary records from state boards across the country (as I have) and ask for statistics on the numbers of complaints you would notice a few things immediately:

    1. The majority of complaints are dismissed by the boards
    2. Most of the time, the boards issue “reprimands” or fines so low that they have no deterrent value on future acts of malpractice — even when it is clear and apparent that the vets actions constitued obvious negligence/malpractic/abuase and either killed the animal, or contributed to the animal’s death or injury
    3. In the occasional cases where the vets fail to euthanize an animal after having agree to do so, they punish those vets more harshly than the others.

    I am not saying that what the vet did was ethical. But I am saying that they allow murdering SOBs who overdose animals, butcher them during surgery, or sometimes outright abuse them to go with a slap on the wrist. But if a vet’s conscience doesn’t allow him (or her) to go through with a euthanasia because he or she believes the pet can and should be saved, BOY does the board ever go after those people.

    It seems that when vets actually do something that is pro-animal, their colleagues turn on them, but when they are abusing animals, it’s nod-nod, wink-wink, we good ol’ boys have to stick together.

    I am not talking about vets who fail to euthanize animals who are suffering and dying, thus cruelly prolonging their agony deliberately — or even operating on them to “teach” their staff before killing them. Those people are monsters.

    I am talking about situations like one I witnessed a couple of years ago — where a couple brought in their cat to be euthanized because she was peeing outside the litter box. This had been a problem before, and previously she had been treated for a urinary infection and the problem resoved. Now the innappropriate peeing was back, and so were the owners, requesting NOT a urine culture, but a euth. The vets office couldn’t talk them out of it. And I was told by law, the vet HAD TO euthanize the cat per the agreement. The owners left crying crocodile tears.

    There was another case I witnessed in which a woman came in to have her bunny (a gorgeous lop-ear) and love bird euthanized because she was moving. I’m not kidding. You have NO IDEA how hard the staff worked to talk her out of it, and fortunately, it worked (but the woman was very reluctant, she really wanted them killed). She avoided every option given her — a tech came forward to adopt the bird, and they found a rescue that would take the bunny. I (a client, sitting in the waiting room) agreed to drive the bunny to the rescue organization, if only she would sign the papers allowing it. She asked me if I had air conditioning in my car because bunny’s are temperature sensitive. SHE WAS KILLING HIM. (I had AC). We finally convinced her, and the rescue found a new home within 48 hours.

    I am talking about situations like that — as well as ones that are more of a gray-area where a vet fails to carry out agreed euthanasia orders because the pet has a condition that can be treated and cured. Again, not saying it is right — but it comes from a good heart. The BAD vets never get punished severely enough, while those who break the rules out of compassion for the animal get creamed by their colleagues.

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is You Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  9. Lynn says:

    Something’s really fuzzy with this story.

    Anyone unwilling to be in the room with his pet as euthanasia is administered, I feel, has no business having pets.

    On the other hand, I truly loathe the thought of an animal whose medical problems are not reducing his quality of life to be put down. [I recognize there are some rare exceptions where euthanasia should be performed, but based on the story as I understand it, this is an animal that was not suffering…..it was just a matter of affording the cost of treatment……..is that right????]

    Again, too many questions in the story to form a sensible opinion.

  10. mittens says:

    i agree with most everyone- it’s a very odd story i have very mixed feelings about. i am certainly glad the dog is alive and with his loved ones but i really question the ethics of the vet business as a whole. it’s seems all to true, as others have stated, that compassionate vets get flayed alive while the truely cruel and out of control get a hand slap-if that.

    one thing i am certain of is that i think it’s very important for people to not leave their pets alone when theyre euthanized. i know it’s difficult-ive been through 4 cat deaths this year alone ,2 of which had to be euthanized. i couldn’t imagine not being there for them. they’d undoubtably be there for you if you were in distress. death is scary and sad but it’s part of life and facing it head on instead of in denial will make you a stronger more complete being. who doesn’t want to leave this earth at home and/ or surrounded by your loved ones? i just think it’s the right thing to do and you’ll find that your more capable then you imagined if you deal with it straight forward. western culture’s hiding of death i believe only makes us more fearful ironically of life. you can’t have one without the other. give death her due and life itself will have more value.

    i also can’t imagine my cats in pain-while waiting for the vet i laid on the floor with them praying for their release for hours. the thought of them suffering was near unbearable but as uncomfortable as i was i stayed with them then took them personally to be cremated. i had to be sure they knew i was sending them home to their Mother and i would not leave the job unfinished or up to unrelated people who surely would not value them in death as i could and had in life.

  11. Tanya says:

    2 points that HAVE to be addressed. Lynn, it is egregiously rude of you to assume that a parent who cannot bear to watch a pet die, is not a good parent or should not have pets. One of the single hardest things to do is watch your pet be put down, and not everyone is able to handle that. People often can’t even be in teh room when they turn the machines off for loved ones, or when they decide it’s finally time to let a child or parent pass. That was uncalled for and you really should apologize to all who are out there who have had to put a pet down, but could not face it at that time.

    SEcondly. You have your views of when to put pets down. I fully disagree with you on when to do that. your views are no more right or wrong than mine. you have no place telling parents they should not euthanize when THEY feel it is the right thing to do. You say “rare”, but suffering is not rare. I had decided long ago with my beloved cat that i would not let her live if she had to have injections for the rest of her life, doctor’s visits more often than 1 per month, or would have to have more than 1 pill a day if i couldn’t find it in a form she would take willingly. Why? Cause i can’t explain to her why mommy “inflicts pain on her” each and every day. I personally would not want that for a cat, because it can’t understand.

    Cats and other animals grow to fear you, grow to fear living with you, because of things we do *for their good*. And as a parent, i know what i believe is right and wrong. Telling others what they *should* do is unfair to them, since they know their own views of life.

    I would not tell you that you MUST euthanize when i think you should. You would do well in life granting that same respect to others.

  12. Lynn says:

    Tanya,

    I believe that if you make the decision that your child or pet or spouse should die then you owe it to them to be there to support them. It isn’t about whether or not the survivor “can stand it.”

    It’s all about being there with them FOR them when they pass over.

    I cannot imagine NOT being there, holding my pet as the drug is administered. You suck it up and then fall apart later. That’s life.

    Regarding your statement,

    ” i would not let her live if she had to have injections for the rest of her life, doctor’s visits more often than 1 per month, or would have to have more than 1 pill a day if i couldn’t find it in a form she would take willingly. Why? Cause i can’t explain to her why mommy “inflicts pain on her” each and every day. I personally would not want that for a cat, because it can’t understand.”

    So you’re saying that if you had an insulin-dependent pet it should be killed? Sadly you have not learned that you CAN do all of these things [give pills, injections, and go to the vet more than once a month] and get kisses from the animals after you’ve done them.

  13. MaineMom says:

    I know exactly how hard it is to make the decision to put a beloved Maltese down, because I had to make that decision a few months ago. Put an almost 16 year old lady through surgery requiring removal of jawbone and tongue tissue, chemo and constant monitoring of pain killer for an aggressive squamous cell carcinoma with very low odds of remission at her age, or a peaceful death without further pain while I held her one last time. It may be the most heart wrenching thing you ever have to do in your life, but stay with your pets when you make the final decision in their lives, you will never regret it.

  14. Vettech says:

    You know I work at a large hospital and we do NOT euthanize healthy animals….I worked at a place where a vet told me she HAD To euthanize if the owners wanted her too….WRONG!!! YOu can REFUSE to do this and we do at this hospital. We tell them they can sign the animal over to us or they can take it to the humane society….we don’t need to make money by killing. We do euthanize sick animals that are suffering. But we have animals turned in to euthanize for the stupid reasons…peeing outside the litterbox, had a baby, barks too much, too old and moving. We tell them up front, there is no confusion, they can sign it over to us or they can leave, I don’t fell sorry for them. They can cry their tears, then we tell them no and they get mad, we tell them to sign the dog over and they do and just leave, never petting the animal goodbye. But we take the dog or cat, treat it if needed and adopt it out, some to purebred rescues, some to people, NONE are killed or sent to the pound. That is not what vets and animal hospitals are here for

  15. Jenny Bark says:

    Vettech, I’m with you. My vet or any other vet that fills in for her will NOT put down an animal before it has to be PERIOD. She does not have a large hospital but she does own the pratice. She will put down a pet that won’t get better & lets no animals suffer, but she will not put one down that is treatable or for one of the many other reasons stupid people use. She does not have the techs put them down either she does it herself or the other vet that fills in. Most all pet parents come into the room but so do the techs. They are there not only to say goodby to our babies who they have taken care of over the years but also to support the pet parents that they also have known over the years.

    I can’t honestly say that she takes every pet she refuses to put down because I know they get calls to put pets down all the time. I can tell you she almost always has pets to go to good homes & she & everyone who works for her has lots of pets. I don’t know what I am going to do when she retires because I’m so spoiled & not only to I trust her & the girls that work for her but we consider them friends & think the world of them.

  16. Stefani says:

    Thank you, VetTech. Thank you very much. And those you work with.

    Stefani

  17. Tanya says:

    So you’re saying that if you had an insulin-dependent pet it should be killed? Sadly you have not learned that you CAN do all of these things [give pills, injections, and go to the vet more than once a month] and get kisses from the animals after you’ve done them.
    ==
    that is what *i* belive, yes. i am not you. i do not judge how you view what to do with your pets. but I know my pets, i know what thier life is like when they see you come home, and in thier minds, you come at them for torture.

    simply because of a topical ointment that stung, my cat hid for days and days on end. that is not a good life, that is a life of terror.

    my opinion only. my point to you was that you can say “this is what i would do” but not put down others who do not agree.

    I’ve watched my mother be “put down” at the ripe old age of 38. I know my father could not, simply could not be there with her. it is not for you to judge him as a man, simply because you think you would be fine being there for your spouse. not all humans are the same. not all pets are teh same.

    all i ask is that you show respect for others who do not share your views or are simply unable to come up to your “lofty” stanards of judgment upon other choices that must be made.

    ==
    Vettech - you have the right attitude and luckily a hospital that supports you. what you CANNOT do is LIE to the parents and say you will do the euthansia and then not do it. that is a crime, as it should be.

    but to say “this is our policy” and even to try to convince them out of it is a great thing, cause you protect your own morals, you protect yourself and your patient and their owners legally, AND you don’t have to live with teh truly emotional “blood on your hands” feelings of doing something you truly think is unnecessary.

    i’m glad you work in a place with such a policy. :-)

  18. Tanya says:

    Jenny,
    It’s interesting what you say about “most parents” come in. I read a lot before i put my cat down (and after) about the whole experience of death and how (especially Americans) handle it.

    Statistics from vets say that generally half of the pet parents do not want to be there when it’s done, the other half think it’s a very important part of the cycle. Oddly, few are casual about the choice. they either feel very strongly about being there, or are emotionally ill-equipped to handle it at all. often for reasons of guilt, as in “i’m doing this” but also because they’ve never seen a person or animal die. I’d never seen death in that moment before my cat, and it was strange to watch it right before me. I’d never not make the choice to be with my pet, my child, etc.

    I did read many letters from pet parents who talked with thier children about the family being with the pet as it dies. I think i would do that, if i had to put a pet down, even if the children are young. Death - seeing it, understanding it - is such an important part of understanding of life.

    I have also heard that many pet parents will bring the dead pet home to be sniffed by the other animals in the home, that it helps teh other animals know what has happened. I’ve always wondered if i should have done that for our 2 other cats in the house.

  19. Jenny Bark says:

    Tanya. I can not say what statistics say one way or another about pet parents being with their baby when it is put down. I honestly don’t know any of the statistics, maybe some one out their does, I don’t.

    What I can talk about is what happens at my vets practice and yes most people stay. I am 62 yrs old & have had pets since the day I came into this world & didn’t know what a pet was. I have been threw a lot of vets before I was blessed to find this one & she has been our vet for many, many years. It is not easy for a new client to get her because she only takes what her practice can handle. As I have said in other posts I think (don’t know) that she will retire in the next 5 or 10 years & I don’t know how or who will replace her.

    Most of our pets & human family die at home under vet or hospice care, as long as we can keep the pain away that is how we want it. Some of our pets & people had to die in the hospitals. When one our babies has to be put to sleep at the vets we take all our pet babies with us. We take our baby in & have them put to sleep & then take him or her out to our other babies for a little bit, then take our baby back in to be cremated. I don’t believe most or many people do this but we do. When our pets or human family die at home we are all there with them.

    Tanya you bring up children & other pets being there in death. Honey I would never ever tell you how to handle that. All of my family has a very strong belief in God & a forever life after so death does not scare us as it does some people BUT it still is sad & hurts us. In my opinion every parent should talk to children about death just as they do of birth & life but that is just my opinion. I do believe that it is only the children or pet parents that can & should be the only ones to decide how to handle it.

    Tanya i have been with a lot of people i have loved & also didn’t know who have died. What I post is what has happened or is happening or what I believe in & is just the way I live my life. We are not clones & imo need to all live our lives to the best of our abilty so as to be a gift to this earth. Hope I answered some of your questions stated & not stated.
    God bless you, Jenny

  20. Lynn says:

    A very, very wise veterinarian gave me valuable insight about animals and their pain:

    1 ~ Odds are the animal’s perception of pain is not as “painful as the human’s” ~ too frequently animals appear to react with pain or fear when being injected because they sense the guardian fears the treatment
    3 ~ Routine injections or administration of meds can often be made less threatening or “hurtful” to the animal if you use a little psychology and turn the experience into a positive one - by having a small yummy to give the minute the treatment or injection is completed. They quickly get the idea that there’s a reward for a momentary prick of a needle. That’s how I managed to give my tiny dog twice a day insulin injections for years. He never minded them.


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