Richland Couple Drops Off Three Dogs to Boarding Facility and Co - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Couple Drops Off Three Dogs to Boarding Facility and Comes Back From Vacation to the News of One Dead

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UPDATE- Washington State Department of Health confirms on Friday, February 26, there is an ongoing investigation into the Animal Hospital of Pasco. The case was instigated by Terry Gunter's push for the state to look into her dog's death. 

The Department of Health investigator tells us he expects the investigation to take about one month. 


RICHLAND, WA- It's every pet owner's worst nightmare, and Terry and Dale Gunter lived it. The Saturday before Thanksgiving, they dropped their three dogs off at the Animal Hospital of Pasco, two Dachshund and one Boxer. 

Six days after they had dropped their dogs off they received a phone call around 4 p.m. the following Friday. When we talked with Terry Gunter she told us, " they told us that Barron had died that morning and there were complications and they tried to get a hold of us it was GDV complications of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus it was a twerked stomach I guess". 

It came as a surprise because that wasn't the first time they talked with the Animal Hospital while on vacation according to Terry, "we called during the week periodically to see how he was doing and how the other dogs were doing, they were great, no problem". After the news, Terry instantly began to question how this happened so she met with Doctor Hank Oliver, the lead veterinarian at the Animal Hospital, "they found him that morning he was not well, not himself not eating his color was bad i said why didn't he try to get help, and they said they did everything they could to save him". 

For Terry and her husband, it still wasn't adding up, " I said what happened to him he was as healthy as a horse and all he said was yes he was". Dr. Oliver even tried consoling her, "my dogs have had it to and I've had to bring them in, exactly, my dog was here". They did their own research to find the answers to their questions. She said, "I mean it is a fatal condition but it can happen but there are now surgeries that can be done but there are signs that states get him to the vet as soon as possible well how much closer could he be". 

The more she researched, the more questions popped up, "if indeed a dog can have this condition here at anytime why isn't there someone here to watch them". 

After talking with Terry Gunter we reached out to the Animal Hospital of Pasco, numerous times. Over a week and a half of calling and trying to sit down with Dr. Oliver, they continued to make themselves unavailable until finally telling me they have been advised by their representatives not to comment on the situation. 

Terry told us, "the way we feel is that our dog is gone it's not going to bring him back what we want is justice we want to find out what happened". Trying finding the right boarding facility for your pets is not easy and looking back she thought she asked all the right questions, "I even told Dr. Oliver I didn't want to come here but your staff had us convinced. I said was the food maybe a problem and he said well maybe and I said No, your staff told me the food was fine we didn't need to bring our own food". 

According to the American Kennel Club there are some major things to look for before deciding on where to board your pets. Some of the things to be aware of are the general appearance of the facility including how clean they keep it. They suggest also asking about the staff and supervision including if they provide 24 hour care along with health care when necessary. When looking over the sleeping areas for your pets, you want to make sure there is proper ventilation, temperature control and a lot of natural lighting. For more information on how to find the right boarding facility for your pet visit the American Kennel Club website here.