Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Save Spork!

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February 19th, 2010
The city of Lafayette currently has a 10-year-old weiner dog named Spork targeted for either death or kenneling after he bit a veterinarian technician.

Spork, a 10-year-old weiner dog, during a stressful visit to the Jasper Animal Hospital in Lafayette, bit the vet technician on the face when she tried to cut away something around his neck.
Lafayette is now ignoring state law – invoking “home law”- which states that professionals who work with animals take the risk of getting bitten, and is attempting to have Spork either put down or kenneled for life.

Here’s the full story from the Save Spork! facebook page.
Last August the beloved 10-year-old miniature dachshund, Spork, snapped at and bit a veterinarian technician at Jasper Animal Hospital as he was being held by his owner. He has been at the vet on numerous occasions over the years and had been there just the week before, without ever having any issues except that he is usually very scared and shaking, sometimes defecating (which some dogs do if they are scared at the vet). In fact, he had been there just the week before when he got his shots and examination for oral surgery.
Spork’s owner was doing exactly what she was told and was holding the 17-pound dachshund firmly in her arms when the vet tech suddenly, and without warning, put her face in his, which resulted in the bite. He was shaking badly before this happened which was noticed by the entire staff, and had pooped on his owner just before the accident. Clearly the little guy was just scared to be at the vet and that was obvious.
Spork’s owner was utterly unaware that it had happened until the vet tech stood up. This is a sad accident, but YOU must realize that it is a very common risk at the vet where it is imperative for everyone involved to follow procedures and best practices, including training to avoid being bitten.
Spork, unfortunately, didn’t have the benefit of any of these at Jasper Animal Hospital.
About a month after the bite, Lafayette Animal Control charged Spork’s owners with having a vicious dog in the City of Lafayette. Please look into this for yourself and understand that this is an extremely serious charge and it is a guaranteed risk you face if you do veterinary business in Lafayette.
The owners have spent more than $6,000 dollars already defending their 10-year-old little buddy!
Despite specific and unambiguous Colorado state laws specifically excluding veterinary health care workers, the City of Lafayette will declare ‘home rule’ and can kill your dog, make you relocate or, maybe worst of all, kennel your best friend for long and cruel periods of time, even making you pay for the kenneling and even if you are found innocent!
The staff at Jasper Animal Hospital endorses this action which could very, very easily happen to you today. Dog bites are very, very common in the industry and you have no way to know what provocation could trigger a reaction from your pet.
While HOWLColorado is focused on education about, and the advocacy for, wolves – such stories are particularly interesting to us as it shows, even in the field of animal medicine, there is still a remarkable lack of understanding about “man’s best friend.”
We find this story to be shocking and are hard pressed to see any reasonable explanation for it.
If you wish to join the facebook group, join the Save Spork! group.
If you wish to sign the petition calling for Lafayette to reverse their decision, do so here.
Motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the defendent – the owner of Spork
City of Lafayette denial to dismiss statement
Colorado State Statute
note: HOWLColorado makes no judgements of the vet involved. We have not spoken with the vet, or the vet tech, and are unaware of any policies which were in place at the time of the incident and whether the vet tech followed any of those policies. We are concerned that a trained vet tech would not have received the appropriate training necessary for dealing with animals of this disposition. It is for this very reason that professionals should be exempt – as they are in state law – from the laws covering animal bites. They should know how to avoid such things, and they should assume the risks of working with animals.


This is a post from a blog, Howl Colorado about a dachshund in trouble.  Please read the comments at this site as well as the original posting and join the fanpage on Facebook if you want to.
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