Shelter failed to notice dog's broken jaw before adoption, woman says

Brittany Costello
May 19, 2017 06:46 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Tens of thousands of animals pass through Albuquerque's shelter every year. Almost all of them find forever homes.


But one woman says the problem is people might not always know if something's wrong with the animals. Hollye Custard is out hundreds of dollars after fixing a health problem she said the shelter failed to catch.

Custard adopted her dog Boris from the shelter on April 18.

“Forty-eight hours later I got a call from my vet, I had taken him in for a checkup, and she was concerned about what his jaw looked like,” she said. “She did x-rays then called me at work. She had determined he had a broken jaw.”

So she called the shelter to see if they could fix it.

“She said ‘Well, they'll do the surgery soon,’ and I said, ‘I need a little more specifics,’” Custard said. “She said ‘Maybe at the end of this week, but probably next week,’ which calculated to approximately 10 days.”

Custard argued the surgery couldn't wait because Boris was already 10 pounds underweight.

“It's in the contract I signed with them, that I would take him to a follow up vet and that I would treat him humanely,” Custard said.

So what is the process dogs go through before being deemed adoptable?

"Before adoption, what we'll do is we'll take dogs that are adoptable, ones that are appropriate to put out in the public and we'll take them and run them through our vet check and check to see if they have any obvious injuries," said Paul Caster, director of Albuquerque Animal Welfare.

Now Custard wants to know how this injury could fall through the cracks.

Caster claims the jaw injury was caused by optional dental work done after the adoption. However, his medical papers show that may not have been the case. Even so, he said anyone adopting has ten days to take their pet to the Animal Welfare vet. Something Custard didn't do, because of that, he said she's stuck with the bill.

"We are not able to reimburse you for anything you take to a private vet clinic unfortunately," Caster said. "The really unfortunate thing is the dog had to go through some pain for a little while."


Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved




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