Warning: This article includes a graphic image.
VIRGINIA BEACH — After a brief stay at a boarding service, a local dog is fighting for its life in the critical care unit of a Richmond emergency veterinarian hospital.
What happened to the 10-month-old Australian Shepherd in the hours before it was severely injured? It depends on who you ask.
According to Newport News resident Jason Fox, his wife Jessica dropped their dog Fenway off at Coastal Dog Services on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News on Friday morning.
“We’ve used them every time we go out of town for a long time,” Jason said. “My wife had questions about them in the past, but we’ve been using them for a while and didn’t have serious concerns.”
After dropping Fenway off, the couple left town for the weekend. Unbeknownst to Jason and his wife, the dog’s health would take a drastic turn over the next two days.
According to a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, Jason said the dog had been attacked while at Coastal Dog Services.
“Our poor baby boy was attacked and basically left for dead and they tried to tell us he had his collar stuck in a fence,” Jason wrote online. “Then they just dropped him off at the emergency vet and basically said not our problem.”
Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, an employee from Coastal called the couple and said that Fenway’s collar had gotten stuck in a fence on the property. The dog had a “small abrasion” over his eye, Jason said the staff member told him.
Fenway was soon on his way to at the Animal Emergency Center in Yorktown, where Jason was told the dog would be receiving treatment.
Coastal Dog Services did not respond to repeated calls Monday morning, but a Facebook post made by Rick Tvelia, a trainer at Coastal Dog Services, said that Jason’s post about Fenway’s injuries was false.
“The dog’s collar got stuck in a fence and the dog ‘in a panic’ injured itself trying to free itself,” Tvelia wrote early Monday morning.
According to Jason, the veterinarian had trouble initially gauging the extent of Fenway’s injuries, because he was covered in mud at the time he was dropped at the clinic. Calls to the Animal Emergency Center were not immediately returned Monday.
Jason said Fenway was sent into surgery Saturday night. When the couple saw their dog Sunday morning, they were alarmed at his appearance, Jason said.
Jessica took several photos of the dog, in disbelief of what had happened in the hours they were away from him. Staff in Yorktown suggested that Fenway should be taken to an emergency care center in Richmond, where the dog was being treated Monday morning.
The canine’s potassium levels had dropped to dangerous levels, Jason told Southside Daily.
“There’s a lot of infection,” Jason said. “The doctors are worried about his kidneys shutting down, so they are pumping him full of fluids. It’s looking like the infection is spreading.”
Veterinarians were still running tests on the young dog Monday morning, Jason said. The couple has tried to contact the boarding service several times, but have been unable to reach them. The company’s Facebook page had also been deactivated.
Reviews for the company posted on Judy’s Book in 2007 indicated that another dog had been bitten through the fence by dogs on the same property.
The Foxs started a GoFundMe campaign on Sunday to cover the costs of Fenway’s medical treatments. The initial goal of $5,000 was met around 10:30 a.m. Monday, and has since been increased to $7,000. Jason’s original Facebook post had been shared more than 8,000 times by Monday afternoon.
Jason said no matter the outcome, he intends to take legal action against the boarding company.
“This is so not right and our poor dog is in very bad shape,” he wrote. “I am definitely going to take this to court, so beyond words right now.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as information is made available.
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