TERRELL, Texas — The explanation of what happened to her Chihuahua just didn't make sense to Linda Erwin.
"My mouth dropped," she remembered. "I said, 'What? How in the world can you lose a dog in a vet's office?'"
Erwin took her nine-month-old dog named Sugar to get spayed in September at Dr. David Snyder's office in Terrell.
"He said, 'There was a family in there. Maybe they took her. Maybe she was abducted by them. I know nobody would have abducted her from here. Everybody loved her,'" Erwin said.
What's worse, Erwin said, Snyder never notified her about the abduction until her husband went to pick up their pet the following day.
Terrell police Capt. Arley Sansom said there's no record Snyder ever reported the theft before the Erwins asked detectives to launch an investigation.
Officers didn't find Sugar at the other client's house, and without new leads, Sansom said the case is now closed.
Snyder apologized to the Erwins, and offered to replace their Chihuahua, but has yet to do so.
Snyder backed out of a scheduled interview with News 8, saying he had a veterinary emergency and had to deliver a calf. But Snyder was actually due in court a short time later on a felony charge of drug possession.
He deflected questions on why he was there.
"We were in here for our son's hearing," Snyder said.
But Kaufman County court records show it wasn't his son, but Snyder himself facing a felony charge for possession of methamphetamines.
He didn't want to discuss that — or the dog that was stolen from his office.
WFAA: "Do you want to level with us about the other dog? The Erwins' dog? Sir, were you charged with possession and indicted in June?"
SNYDER: "We're switching from one subject to another. I can't even keep up with which one you're saying."
WFAA: "Well, do you want to talk about either of them?"
Snyder had no further comment.
The vet pleaded not guilty to the possession charge. His attorney told News 8 the drugs were found in someone else's car, which Snyder had been borrowing.
But records show Dr. Snyder lost his veterinary license for five years in the early 1990s for another felony drug conviction.
Then last year, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners reprimanded him, saying he "ripped out a tumor in a dog's chest ... causing a lung to collapse."
Records at the state board itself were the focus of a critical audit recently.
Among other things, the audit revealed the board did a poor job of protecting its computer system. Employees often shared passwords and six former workers still had active user IDs.
But the board insists it has no reason to believe anyone tampered with official records and has already taken steps to address the audit's findings.
"These numbers have to do with our performance measures, not with whether we are doing accurate investigations in cases," said Nicole Oria, executive director of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
Still, it all makes Linda Erwin wonder about the integrity of the state's records on veterinarians.
"I've never done homework on a vet ever in my life," she said. "I've never had this problem ever in my life."
Police haven't pinpointed who took Sugar. The Erwins hold Dr. Snyder responsible, but they doubt they'll ever see their dog again.