A California woman has filed a $1 million lawsuit against a veterinary office after allegedly being threatened with getting reported for animal cruelty after she was unable to pay for an expensive surgical procedure for her dog.
Karen Kelly says she took her dog, Mojo, to Advanced Critical Care and Internal Medicine Inc., a 24-hour veterinary clinic, in her hometown of Tustin, Calif., after the dog was hit and dragged by a car in July 2011.
The Mail Online reports that in a matter of a few hours, Kelly racked up more than $1,300 in veterinary bills. She was told Mojo would need surgery that would cost an additional $10,000 and there was no guarantee the dog would survive, according to the lawsuit filed in Orange County courts.
Kelly did not have the money for the procedure and wanted to bring Mojo home to see the dog’s regular vet the next day.
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She was reportedly told that "if she insisted on taking her dog home, that she would have to sign a form that it was against" their medical advice, "and that they were going to report her to the authorities for 'animal cruelty,' which is a crime," the lawsuit states, according to ABC News.
Kelly chose to take Mojo home and it is unknown what care Mojo received after leaving the clinic, but he is still alive at age 15 – more than two years later, according to the suit.
However, the day after Kelly left the vet, an Orange County animal control officer nailed an orange notice to her day stating that she was being investigated for animal cruelty. The investigation was later dropped, but not before Kelly sustained considerable emotional distress, her lawyer said.
The clinic, which has since changed names and ownership, reportedly declined to comment to ABC News.