Ruby’s Story – CO

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.”

-US Senator George Graham Vest (1830-1904)

Meet Ruby, a 7 year old mixed breed from Denver, Colorado. She was a special dog rescued from the Denver Dumb Friends League Animal Shelter with a gentle soul and a heart of gold. Ruby died on June 17th, 2010 at the age of 7.

It is a phone call we will never forget. You would never imagine a tragedy like taking your dog to the vet for symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting and for your dog to be hit by a car and killed while she is the care of a medical professional. Ruby was dropped off the morning of Thursday, June 17th, 2010, at the 29th Avenue Animal Hospital in Stapleton (Denver, CO) and two hours later she was hit by a car on Interstate-70 and killed. Yes, she was killed on the interstate in the care of her Denver vet.

*To see the news stories on Ruby: Fox31 News Story: Vet Allows Dog to Escape , 9News Story: Pet Escapes , Denver Post: Little Solace after Dog Killed Under Vet’s Care, YouTube Ruby’s Fight Against Vet Negligence.

Our dog and loyal, gentle companion of 7 years died due to the negligence and carelessness of the vet and her staff (Denver Vet Michele Smith at 29th Avenue Animal Hospital at 7305 E. 29th Avenue in the Town Center of Stapleton, Denver, CO). While this tragedy was not intentional, it could have easily been prevented and should not have ever happened. This was not an accident. It was careless and negligent and when our loyal companions are taken to seek medical help, their safety and security should never be a concern.

The kennel Ruby was put in the back of the Denver vet office had a broken latch, so she could get out of the door easily, as could any pet (see picture of broken kennel below already with another dog in it) With an IV catheter in her arm and an Elizabethan collar on her head, she pushed the broken latch open on her kennel.

Meanwhile, a vet tech had propped the back door open. Ruby left through the open propped back door unsupervised. There was no fence to guard the back exit, no double doors, she just wandered out of the back door of the vet with no one to catch her. The back door was only two feet from her kennel and it had been propped open. There was no way to stop her and no measures in place to keep her safe and secure.

Ruby traveled 18 blocks north (1.5 miles from the vet office) and got struck by a car on the interstate. Yes, my dog went to the vet for what seemed like a bacterial infection and got hit and killed by a car. We trusted our loyal companion family member in the care of a vet, and the vet failed miserably. Isn’t the vet supposed to ensure your pet is safe, secure, and getting healthy? Two good Samaritans, complete strangers to Ruby, stopped after seeing her hit and took her to their vet 15 minutes away. Ruby died on the way to another vet in the arms of a saint that stopped to try and save her. We received a phone call from the other vet saying that someone had brought Ruby in and she was dead on arrival. Within less than five minutes, the 29th Avenune Animal Hospital was calling to let us know Ruby got out and was hit by a car. Why did it take them so long to call us? At this point she had already been out long enough to travel 1.5 miles and get struck on the interstate.

We lost a wonderful, gentle, loyal, and loving family member because of the negligence of a vet and the unsafe/unsecure veterinary practice in operation. This was not an accident, as it could have easily been prevented. After further research, it was discovered this kennel door had been broken and had not been replaced or repaired for a while. In addition, a few hours after Ruby’s death, there was another dog already back in the broken kennel. His paw was bleeding and his paw was sitting in a small pool of blood on the bottom of the kennel (see below, this photo was taken just hours after Ruby’s death, check the right latch that is broken and had been broken already with another dog).

Our helpless, unprotected Ruby left her kennel because the lock was broken. She walked out the back door of the vet because the door was left propped open. With a catheter IV in her leg and an Elizabethan collar on her head, Ruby could not see anything but straight, as the collar blocked her peripheral vision. The last memory we have of our sweet gentle Ruby is being helpless and scared, and not being able to see where she was going with no one to watch over her and protect her.

The only good that we can make of this is to share this story with you so you too avoid making the same mistake we made and select your vet based on convenience. Make it a commitment to yourself and your faithful companion to check out these tips when selecting a vet: Click here for Tips on Selecting a Vet

Please help us spread the word and ensure you are aware of the facilities, security, and history of your vet. Don’t let this happen to your pet. If Ruby can do good after her tragic death, it is to ensure this sort of unexpected tragedy never happens again and that vets are held more accountable for these types of tragedies.

There are plenty of good vets out there and to them we are grateful, but you have to do your homework to find them. You owe it to yourself and your faithful companion. Ruby would still be with us today had we done a better job at our vet selection and not chosen a vet based on convenience. Follow this story to see what happens and if justice is ever served for Ruby.

We want to share this story with you to ensure you ensure this does not happen to you or your pet companion.

*To see the news story on Ruby: Fox31 News Story: Vet Allows Dog to Escape , 9News Story: Pet Escapes

This website was developed as a tribute to Ruby, as well as to create awareness about vet selection, animal resources, and pet welfare.

Source:Ruby’s Story – CO

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