Family blames emergency clinic for the death of their puppy

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - A family is blaming an emergency vet clinic for the death of their dog.

Julie Michaels took her 1-year-old poodle puppy, Guinan, to Animal Emergency Clinic on Grape road in Mishawaka Saturday night.

Michaels said that her puppy was throwing up and had terrible diarrhea that she thought was caused by the change in food that she was feeding her.

'They gave her fluids and tole m it was just an infection, they didn't do any blood work," Michaels said.

Michaels left the clinic around 7 p.m. Saturday night and told that her dog would get worse before she would start feeling better, an accusation that the clinic denies.

Michaels was charged $90 for the initial visit and the end cost came to $172. Money that she just didn't have.  In fact, all she was able to pay was the initial $90. The clinic says she still owes them a balance of $82.

"Come Sunday, she was worse. I called them back they said it was going to get worse before it got better."

That call was made at 9 p.m. Sunday. Michaels said that Guinan wasn't getting better and she wasn't sure why. Guinan was given a shot for vomiting, although she continued to throw up well after the office visit.

Michaels said she called back again around 11 p.m. on Sunday, "She became really bad and I called them again and they said just to do what you are doing and she will get better. On Monday at 5 a.m., she was dead.

"Guinan was still alive at 3 a.m. Monday morning. When Michaels woke up at 5 a.m. she found Guinan dead in her crate. "She isn't here anymore and I don't think they treated my pet accordingly like anyone else."

Michaels thinks that the Animal Emergency Clinic should have done anything they could to keep her puppy alive at whatever cost. She said she would have raised the money needed.

"I wasn't offered any other treatment to say she was going to make it or not. I wasn't offered whether she needed to be euthanized or not or how much it would cost," Michaels said.

The vet that treated Guinan, Dr. DeAnn Kumm declined to go on camera Thursday evening, citing client confidentiality, but did say that Guinan was very sick when she came in.

Kumm said that the dog should have been taken to the vet long before Saturday and that there was little more than they could do other than emergency aid. Kumm said it would have cost at least $1,000 to get Guinan "well" and even then there was no guarantee that she would live.

When asked about money, Kumm said they are running a business and that they are not able to offer services for free. There was really nothing more they could do without getting paid. She also pointed out that they were not the only emergency care facility int he region and that Michaels had other resources.

Kumm said that Michaels has been harassing her and her staff. She says Michaels has called cussing at them, and even threatening them. Kumm didn't elaborate on what was said in those conversations.

Michaels admits to calling daily in search for answers on why her dog was allowed to die. She said that she didn't cuss at the staff and other than saying she was going to contact the media has never threatened the staff.

Michaels has already met with an attorney and is considering filing a lawsuit against the Animal Emergency Clinic for neglect and for not sharing all the options that were available at the time for her puppy.

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