Vet gives wrong animal’s ashes to Paso Robles dog owners
September 9, 2016
After paying to have their beloved dog put to sleep and cremated, a Paso Robles family received the ashes of someone else’s pet. It is unclear whose ashes the family received, and it is suspected that their dog was not actually cremated. [KSBY]
Penny and Stan Weber learned they had received the wrong ashes after they lost a second dog. Following the cremation of the second dog, the Webers received a nice card from the crematorium, which they did not receive in the first instance. When asked, the crematorium informed the Webers that it had never received the first dog, Pluto.
On May 26, the Webers took Pluto to the Creston home of veterinarian Dr. James E. Aarons, of Oak Country Veterinary Services, to put the dog to sleep. The Webers also paid Aarons $170 to have Pluto cremated through Oak Hills Memorial Pet Care.
Aarons says he does house calls and sees patients at his own home when his practice is closed.
The Webers later received what they thought were Pluto’s ashes. The office clerk at Aarons’ Paso Robles practice gave the Webers the ashes in a box with no note and no cremation certificate.
After Oak Hills Memorial Pet Care informed the Webers that it had not cremated Pluto, Aarons admitted he made a mistake. Aaron said he does not know what happened to Pluto’s body, but his best guess is that it was taken to the local landfill, which many vets use as a low-cost alternative to cremation.
Aarons also said his practice needs to tighten up its records. He did not realize this kind of a mess would happen, Aarons said. The veterinarian said his practice is now getting an extra freezer and three layers of paperwork, and he is refunding the Webers for the cremation that never happened.
In 2013, the California Veterinary Medical Board issued a fine and citation to Aarons for not seeking a more conservative alternative before performing colon surgery on an animal. But, the board says Aarons’ license is in good standing.
A representative of the veterinary board said she had never heard of a case involving animal remains getting mixed up.