HOUSTON - A Heights couple is sorting through outrage and anguish after the unexpected death of their dog Taj.
Casey Shoemaker and Eric Morrison blame City Canine, a northwest Houston dog boarding facility that KHOU 11 News has done extensive reporting on since July.
Shoemaker and Morrison join two other Houston families in saying they should’ve never trusted City Canine with their pets.
All three families are united by a similar heartbreak as they deal with the loss of their dogs.
This latest case involves claims that City Canine waited an entire day to seek care for a critically injured dog named Taj.
“It’s just devastating that somebody can treat something you love so much, like trash,” Shoemaker explained.
Shoemaker and Morrison said one of the owners at City Canine warned them about the KHOU 11 reports when they dropped off Taj on Friday.
The couple said they believed Taj would be all right because he had been going to City Canine for the last three years.
However, just three days after dropping Taj off, Shoemaker and Morrison got a call from City Canine while vacationing in Vermont.
“He said Taj has a puncture wound under his right arm,” Morrison recalled. “He said he jumped on a fence, and he was taking him to the hospital.”
Shortly after Taj arrived at a Houston animal hospital, the couple received a far more serious prognosis from veterinarians.
“It was described as cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds all over his body,” Morrison said. “(They said) he was in critical condition, a low likelihood of living.”
Vets sent Shoemaker and Morrison photographs of the injuries all over the body of their German Short-Haired Pointer.
According to the animal hospital that provided treatment, the injuries appeared to be caused by another dog.
Taj's owners immediately cut their New England vacation short and flew back to Houston.
Shortly after arriving by Taj’s side, this couple made the humane and devastating decision to put him down.
Vets said Cepsis, a blood infection, caused Taj’s condition to rapidly deteriorate to the point of no return.
“Once we got in, you couldn’t recognize him. He was so swollen and cut up,” Shoemaker said.
Shoemaker and Morrison said they were most appalled to learn that City Canine didn’t take their dog to the animal hospital until one day after he was injured.
The owners at City Canine declined to do an interview regarding these new allegations. They said Taj appeared to be all right and did not seem to be in urgent need of care at first.
The owners point to a contract signed by the couple which gives them the right to determine if and when a dog is in need of treatment.
“I can’t imagine someone not thinking this dog was in critical danger. We could hardly recognize him, he was torn up so bad,” Morrison said. “No matter what the injury looks like, the owner of that dog should be contacted.”
Taj's owners are now pursuing legal action with attorney Zandra Anderson.
Anderson is also representing the owners of Luxor, the German Shepherd that vanished without a trace from City Canine.
(© 2016 KHOU)