A family in Cape Breton, Canada was left devastated after their dog, an 8-year-old husky named Cooper, was accidentally euthanised at a local walk-in veterinarian clinic. The dog was brought to the clinic Tuesday to treat a sore paw, and was instead mistakenly put to death due to an administrative mix-up, Canadian news outlet the Chronicle Herald reported.
Cooper’s owner Arlene Fougere brought him to the Highland Animal Hospital walk-in clinic after she noticed that his hind leg appeared sore. “I was washing it down with saltwater and putting Polysporin on it every day and it would heal and then be sore again, so I decided to take him to the vet to find out why this was happening,” she told Cape Breton Post.
Once they had arrived at the hospital, Fougere was made to fill out a form with basic information about the dog. Many of the animals were being treated outside to ensure that social distancing norms were followed amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A veterinarian then came outside and asked her to lay Cooper down in the back of her truck.
“He said he was going to give him a needle to relax him because he had been bitten before and didn’t want to take a chance of that happening again,” Fougere recalled. After 15 minutes, the doctor directed her to hold Cooper’s head while he administered an injection, which ultimately resulted in the dog’s death.
“All of a sudden he got stiff and I looked at his face and noticed blood on his lip. A gurgling noise came out and that was it. He wasn’t breathing,” Fougere explained to the local media outlet. The veterinarian apologised and told her that there were three dogs at the clinic that were scheduled to be put down, and he had accidentally assumed Cooper was one of them.
The clinic offered to cover the cost of the dog’s cremation, but Fougere refused. She has contacted a lawyer and has reached out to the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association to report what happened.
When Fougere had taken Cooper to see the veterinarian, she did not think she would have to carry her dog’s lifeless body back home. “I took Cooper there so the veterinarian could look at his paw, not kill him,” she said.
Fougere, a mother of six, adopted Cooper in 2012 as a gift for her daughter to reward her for doing well in school.