In a bizarre tragedy, an English Bulldog named Cowboy, was found dead in a New York City kennel after care givers and vets allegedly ignored its distressed calls.
While vets initially said the dog had died of heart failure and there was nothing that could have been done to save him, an autopsy following legal action filed by his owner found it had, in fact, barked so much it managed to suffocate itself.
The owner, Marie Moore, claims vets at the Riverside Animal Clinic tried to cover up their failings by painting the death as congestive heart failure.
“Defendants ignored obvious signs of Cowboy’s distress, allowing Cowboy to continue barking for days without proper care or intervention, until his severely swollen throat suffocated him and caused his death,” court papers filed by Moore alleged
“Moreover, the X-rays Dr Ramos claims to have relied upon to substantiate his claim that Cowboy died from heart failure actually show that Cowboy’s heart was normal.”
According to the suit, Cowboy was “in good health” when Moore took him to Riverside to board on March 9. She said she told staff at the kennel that her dog had never stayed away from her for an extended period of time and “was assured that Cowboy would be well treated“.
Moore called to check up on her dog on March 13 and “was told everything was fine“. The next day, Cowboy died.
Moore alleges she was not even called to be informed of the death. Instead, the kennel emailed her mother, who also had a dog at the kennel, and asked her to phone them back. The mother was then told on the phone that Cowboy had died.
When Moore later called to find out what had happened, she was informed the dog had suddenly developed breathing problems and an x-ray “showed an enlarged heart“.
Dr Ramos therefore had concluded “Cowboy was having congestive heart failure and he could do nothing to save Cowboy,“ court papers state.
An autopsy which was performed at a later date however, showed Cowboy had not died because of heart failure but had, in fact, barked so furiously he had killed himself.
“Correct diagnosis of severe laryngeal edema and airway obstruction, followed by proper emergency procedures, would have saved Cowboy’s life,” the suit contends.
Moore’s father-in-law, Carlos Moore, said the death was “very shocking, just awful“.
“Everybody loved Cowboy,“ Moore added. “He was a wonderful dog.”