Pet owners protest outside veterinary hospital

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CLINTON, Utah -- A couple dozen protesters gathered in front of Quail Pointe Veterinary Hospital in Clinton Saturday morning, and many had stories involving sick or dead pets they said received poor care from the facility.

“They’re about the money not about the care, and I don’t feel like they care about what’s going on with these animals,” Protester Susan Charter said. “Yes, my animal. That’s my baby. These are my kids.”

Summer Thatcher organized the protest after she created a Facebook page called Athena Justice in order to spread her dog’s story.

“After dozens and dozens of stories coming forward, it was obvious to me something was going on and some stories date back ten years, and she’s had this practice for ten years,” Thatcher said.

Back in April, Thatcher brought her English mastiff, Athena, in for a routine spay, and despite Thatcher spending thousands of dollars when complications arose, the dog bled to death.

“They held her here when we knew she was critical and still bleeding and dying,” Thatcher said. “They wouldn’t let me take her to the ER until I paid a $3,000 bill, which they knew I didn’t have at that time.”

Kathleen Ford owns and operates the Quail Pointe Veterinary Hospital, and she responded to Thatcher’s assertion.

“Our time clock shows she stamped out here at 4:42, she claims we kept her here until 6:30,” Ford said. “We only had her pay the amount we agreed on that morning. We know no one comes in expecting to pay for additional procedures, but we were willing to work with her on that and collect another time.”

Ford said the dog suffered from a blood disease and nothing else could have been done. She said procedures don’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean they made a mistake.

“We aren’t in this business to lose a pet,” Ford said. “We help hundreds every year. Ms. Thatcher’s loss was sad, and we’re very sorry about that, but sometimes no matter how hard we try for the best outcome, we don't always make that.”

Thatcher said a petition is in the works and she’s hired an attorney, but she isn’t interested in taking the vet to court just yet. She said she is hoping the state will investigate the practice.

Dr. Ford said she has nothing to hide, and she said she welcomes an investigation.