Pet owner mourns dog and questions animal hospital

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- On the morning of September 18 Loretta Knight brought her chihuahua, max, to Comprehensive Animal Hospital in Lansing. She says he was scheduled for a neuter, and hernia surgery to be done at the same time.

Later that day she received a call from the hospital letter her know that the neuter was finished. She discovered that there was a miscommunication, and the doctor didn't know he was supposed to take care of the hernia as well.

When she picked up Max from the animal hospital both surgeries had been completed. It wasn't until she got Max home that she noticed his behavior wasn't normal.

"Then he started doing this weird breathing thing, and I'm like something's not right, something's not right, so that's when I decided its time to bring him in" Knight said.

Knight says she brought her dog back to Comprehensive Animal Hospital because they advertise 24-hour service. They have an emergency number for an on call doctor, but the phone line wasn't in service.

"Tried it three times because I was in denial, I cared about him, I loved him, that was my best friend." Knight said, frustrated that she couldn't get the help she needed. That's when she took Max to MSU's emergency clinic.

Sadly, it was too late for Max. "They tried to resuscitate him with chest compressions and hook him up to oxygen and couldn't get him back. They asked if I wanted to continue and I said no, and they returned him in a cardboard box."

Knight says she went back to Comprehensive Animal Hospital later that morning. She was devastated, and seeking an explanation. She says the hospital shifted blame onto her, "yelling at me, arguing with me."

Dr. Agbona, the hospital's owner and veterinarian, offered to do an necropsy (an autopsy performed on an animal), to find out exactly what went wrong, but Knight said at that point it didn't interest her. "To hold his body when I was trying to call the emergency number and he was limp and lifeless and his tongue was hanging out his mouth, I thought I had gone through enough and he had gone through enough."

When News 10 reached out to the hospital to speak with Dr. Agbona he declined to comment. He referred us to his office manager who confirmed that the surgeries on Max were not done at the same time because of a miscommunication, and paper work not being filled out properly.

The office manager tells News 10 that they are sorry for the loss of Max, but they do not feel they are responsible.

News 10 is tracking this story, and will have more next week.