Summer Thatcher recalls the day her 13-month old English Mastiff died in her arms. Athena bled to death after being spayed at
Veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Ford explained that Athena was alive before Thatcher decided to move her to an emergency veterinary clinic in
When the necropsy report didn't give a clear reason why Athena bled to death, Thatcher decided to put her story out on Facebook.
“I had no idea so many people were going to come forward with stories,” said Thatcher.
One of those stories comes from Trina Gerry.
Gerry told ABC 4 Utah "It made me sick to see Quail Pointe and Dr. Ford and Dr. Smart’s names…Everything that happened to Athena there were so many similarities."
Gerry’s dog Karli passed away this past January after an emergency C-section and spay at Quail Point. Gerry said Quail Pointe's other veterinarian Dr. Mary Smart did the surgery. When Karli began to bleed internally a second surgery was needed
Gerry said, “They found an intestinal bleed and they fixed that and Dr. Smart said she went though and re-tied everything else that she had done in the original surgery to make sure."
But it didn't work; one by one Karli and all four puppies died.
"I don't want to believe that they're doing anything malicious, but if there's a vet there that's not competent to do surgery,” said Gerry.
Dr. Ford wasn't able to comment on Karli's case.
Dr. Ford told ABC 4 Utah, "If she would like to release her records then there is so much to say. I would love to comment on that."
However Dr. Ford did say this: “I have never lost a dog for a spay, at all, never.">
Hearing that, Trina Gerry broke down in tears. "She obviously forgot about Karli,” said Gerry.
Now Trina Gerry is just one of dozens who have come forward after Summer Thatcher’s story was publicized on Facebook. Deidra Meier, a former Quail Pointe employee, says she quit because of what she says was going on at the hospital.
Meier tells ABC 4 Utah, "At the time it's hard to question the veterinarians when they're telling you what to do because they're your boss."
She says in the year and a half she worked at Quail Pointe she saw some questionable practices that were signed off by Dr. Ford.
Meier said, "We would get samples, primarily of arthritis medication, and she would tell us to open up all the bottles and drop them into the big bottle that we would keep in the pharmacy that we would use to fill prescriptions that we would sell the clients."
Dr. Ford says the samples were included in the price of a spay or neuter surgery.
"When we have a spay or neuter it's taken out of the sample medications and that is sent home with our clients as a free sample,” said Dr. Ford.
Dr. Ford also says she has never used expired medication as Meier alleges.
"No ma’am, we do not,” said Dr. Ford. “It's pulled off the shelf and put in a box labeled Angel Fund."
Dr. Ford says the Angel Fund medications are given to other non-profit animal charities or for those animals in the vet that are abandoned, but Meier told ABC 4 Utah, "I have never seen her give anything to animals in need, ever."
Dr. Ford says she doesn’t know of any investigation but welcomes the state to take a look at her records.
“We welcome an investigation by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing,” said Dr. Ford. “We have nothing to hide. We are open for an investigation. Our records will reflect we did everything in our power to provide the best outcome we could."
DOPL would only tell ABC 4 Utah they wouldn’t confirm or deny an investigation is underway, but according to Thatcher’s lawyer DOPL has opened an active investigation into the claims. The case number is 65443. Contact Senior Investigator John Sims at (801) 530-6301.