A couple who left their beloved £2,000 pet dog with a breeder to look after were horrified when they learned the healthy animal had been put down without their knowledge after the breeder called in the vet after the animal had viciously attacked her.
Former paramedic Marie Dowling and her husband Daniel feared breeder Racheal Bailey had left their seven-year-old dog called Dodge to die alone in a cage after being given a lethal dose of sedatives by a vet.
The Dowlings had bought Dodge as a puppy from Ms Bailey, who is an expert in his particular breed of Czech wolf dogs, an unusual mixture of German Shepherd dogs and Carpathian wolves.
Last August Ms Bailey called the couple and told them the dog had attacked her, but they say they were not told a vet had been called to put their beloved pet down.
Marie Dowling and her husband Daniel left their beloved dog Dodge with a breeder for a few weeks
The couple were shocked to discover that Dodge had been put down when they went to pick him up
The Dowlings drove two hours to Ms Bailey’s farm in Lincolnshire to collect the dog, only to learn the shocking news that he had been euthanised, finding his body they say by their car.
After Daniel, 52, lost his building job last summer the couple faced financial hardship and were temporarily homeless, so asked their friend Ms Bailey to temporarily take in Dodge for a few weeks.
‘She was happy to help and as she knows the breed better than almost anyone else, she was the perfect choice,’ said Marie, 49, from Northampton who works as an NHS phlebotomist, taking blood samples.
But three weeks later in August the couple received a call one evening from Ms Bailey at her farm near Boston, Lincs, saying that Dodge had bitten her.
‘He’s always been a very gentle dog and it sounded so out of character,’ said Marie.
‘She told us the vet was on his way, but didn’t explain why and we were concerned and asked to come and collect Dodge the next day.
‘We found Racheal was evasive and kept putting us off and saying she had to go to hospital and wouldn’t be available to hand him over until the evening.’
When the couple arrived at the farm after a two-hour drive, Ms Bailey finally told them she had summoned a vet to have Dodge put down because he had attacked her, said Marie.
‘She told us the vet hadn’t been able to administer an injection, so had laced his food with sedatives, but hadn’t given him quite enough, so had to return in the morning to give him an injection.
Dog breeder Racheal Bailey had the couple’s dog put down after she said he bit her
Marie and Daniel said they were ‘absolutely devastated’ by the breeder’s revelation their dog was dead
An inquiry into the case found that the action of the vet who put the dog down were ‘entirely appropriate’
‘We were absolutely devastated. This was the first she told us that he was dead – we’d gone there expecting to take our dog home, but instead she’d had him killed.’
Complaints to the police and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons were in vain, said Marie.
‘Lincolnshire Police said that as the dog hadn’t suffered, there was no crime and as the vet said he thought that Dodge belonged to Racheal, he’d done nothing wrong, and the RCVS agreed.’
MailOnline has seen the decision of the Royal College of Veterinary Standards inquiry into the case by its Case Examiner Group (CEG), which ruled that actions of the vet, Alistair Mitchell, were ‘entirely appropriate and did not consider that there was an arguable case of serious professional misconduct.’
The College was told by Mr Mitchell that Ms Bailey called him and said she had been feeding the dogs when Dodge ‘jumped up and bit her on her face and shoulders. She was on her way to hospital and requested for him to attend to put Dodge to sleep.’
The CEG agreed that Ms Bailey sustained ‘substantial injuries which justified the decision to euthanise Dodge.’
They added: ‘Mr Mitchell explained in his response that he believed Ms Bailey was the owner and he had obtained appropriate consent. He told the College that had he been aware that the Dowlings were the owners, he would have discussed the options with them and sought their consent to euthanise the dog.
The vet told the CEG that the dog was lunging at the cage when he arrived and he decided to put pentobarbitone in his food as he considered it too dangerous to approach Dodge.
He advised that Dodge should pass away overnight, but he received a call at 6am to say the dog was unconscious but breathing very shallowly and he gave the dog a lethal injection of pentobarbitone.
Racheal Bailey told MailOnline: ‘There’s been a police investigation and an in-depth investigation by the Royal College of Vets who supported the euthanisation of the dog and the police have taken the matter no further. Those are the facts. As for the rest of it, there’s nothing to discuss.
‘It’s a serious incident that’s occurred and I don’t think it’s sensible for anyone to be discussing this as some kind of inflated story for the media to get a frenzy on.’