Hillsborough Co. veterinarian failed to help save dogs

Tampa, Florida -- Hillsborough County Animal Services has once again made mistakes, not treating dogs that needed to help, and then left them to die.

As a result, a full-time veterinarian has been placed on administrative leave.

Hillsborough County Pet Resources Director Ron Spiller said that veterinarian did nothing to help a female dog going through a distressed labor.

On Saturday, an animal control officer found the female stray pit-bull mix going through a painful labor. He brought her to the shelter.

"The vet tech looked at the animal and informed the veterinarian of her observations," said Spiller. "The veterinarian did nothing to help the dog. The veterinarian did not follow up on it, did not examine the animal. That was on Saturday. On Sunday morning when the staff came in, they found a puppy dead in the kennel with the mother dog. She had bled during the night, and it was determined she has to be euthanized for humane reasons. It is very disappointing"

Spiller said the veterinarian has been working for HCAS for over a year.

Off camera, several volunteers at HCAS said to 10 News this particular veterinarian often makes poor decisions about the animals heath conditions and they want someone else with better judgment to take her place immediately.

"Certainly there was a failure there to take action that should have been taken in not examining the animal right away," said Spiller. "Why that happened, we are not sure. But it's unacceptable."

Spiller said he is pleased with how quickly everything was handled and how quickly HCAS made the information public.

Animal services had faced a lot of trouble in the last year. They had several accidental euthanizations and even had to shut its doors last fall for a disease outbreak at the shelter.

Recent Hillsborough County Animal Services stories:

The county hired a new director out of a Jacksonville shelter that has about an 87 percent adoption rate. His name is Scott Trebatoski.

"We are making some big strides already in the last two months since we hired Scott," said Spiller.

He said Scott is working on changing policies so that dogs and cats can be spayed and neutered before they are looked at to be adopted.

"That way, the customer does not have to wait to adopt the animal they have chosen to adopt to be fixed and they can take them home that day," said Spiller.

He is looking forward to more growth and improvement from Scott and the staff he is slowly moving into the department, including another veterinarian.

"It's really uplifting to see where the progress is, and that is what makes this situation even more disappointing," said Spiller. "And it's a distraction from the positive direction the shelter is now headed."


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