UPDATE: Vet Clinic Receives Death Threats, Tells Their Side Of Surrendered Puppy Story

Update 6/13/2022 –

Jaxx’s story quickly grew more attention than Rachel Mullen or Maine Veterinary Medical Center (MVMC) could’ve imagined. The news articles thoroughly discussed Mullen’s point of view, but the vet decided not to comment because they knew it was a traumatic experience for Mullen.

However, since the story blew up, the vet center has received lots of backlash, so they’ve shared their side of the story on Facebook.

“Our staff are now faced with a social media maelstrom that includes hourly threats to burn down the hospital and to kill our staff and their families,” MVMC wrote. “We’ve had to have police guarding the hospital around the clock. Our phone lines have been deliberately jammed so that real emergency calls cannot get through.”

No matter the situation, it’s heartbreaking to see a vet threatened like this, especially when it’s preventing them from saving pets. In the statement, MVMC went on to explain what happened with Jaxx because the news stories didn’t share the vet’s side at all.

Puppy expensive vet bills
screenshot, ky3.com

MVMC stated that Jaxx appeared to have been in distress for 24 to 48 hours before he arrived at the vet. After taking a test for his abdominal pain, they found a skewer penetrating his insides. The estimated cost was raised to around $10,000 at that time, which included all the prior tests and medications.

Around 9:30 am, the vet talked to Jaxx’s owner and suggested a few credit options. They also explained that they could start the procedure if half the payment was received upfront. The owner claimed she could get a loan by 3 pm, but by 4 pm, she hadn’t given a clear answer. When Mullen revealed that she didn’t get the loan, the vet suggested she surrender Jaxx to a different owner who was able to pay for his care to ensure he survived.

“The pet owner signed a legal document surrendering ownership. The document also ensures the privacy of the new owner and based on social media vitriol that has run wild since the news story aired, we’re thankful for that,” MVMC wrote.

MVMC explained that Mullen never raised and offered them the $10,000 as she claimed in interviews. The only GoFundMe account they’re aware of closed with only $100 after she surrendered Jaxx.

Jaxx has had the surgery and is now recovering. He seems happy and healthy with his new family. While it’s heartbreaking that Mullen’s family said goodbye to their puppy, what’s most important is that Jaxx is alive and in a home that can fully support his care.

There’s more than one perspective to every situation, and sending hateful messages and phone calls won’t fix anything. MVMC did the right thing by sharing their side of the story.

Read the MVMC’s Full Statement Below:

MVMC Statement Page 1
MVMC statement page 2
MVMC statement page 3

Original Post –

A woman was forced to surrender her puppy after she couldn’t pay his emergency vet bill. Yet, she assumed she’d have an opportunity to get him back if she quickly raised the money. When she reached out to the vet only hours after she surrendered the puppy, they said he wasn’t there. She has no idea if he’s even alive.

The vet explained that the woman signed a legal contract to surrender her dog, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get an explanation. She deserves to know where her dog is and if he’s okay. Hopefully, she’ll be able to reunite with him soon.

Puppy with expensive vet bills
screenshot, ky3.com

“Pay or Surrender Him”

Rachel Mullen had only had her German Shepherd puppy named Jaxx for two months, but she had already formed a close bond with him. So, when he started acting ill, she rushed him to the 24-hour Maine Veterinary Medical Center. Upon arrival, she learned that Jaxx had somehow gotten a wooden skewer in his belly and would need emergency surgery.

“The last thing I did was gave him a hug and a kiss and told him to go get better,” Mullen said.

However, Mullen soon found out that the surgery cost over $10,000. The vet requires half the payment up front and half when the surgery is complete. Mullen didn’t have that much money available, and she didn’t think she’d have enough time to raise it before the procedure. The staff members told her she either needed to pay it or surrender Jaxx.

German Shepherd puppy snuggling

The clinic informed her that Jaxx needed surgery urgently, so Mullen didn’t have much time to think. She surrendered the dog electronically to ensure he received care. She still ended up paying around $2,600.

No Sign of Jaxx

Mullen started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jaxx’s medical bills to hopefully get him back. Lots of friends and family supported her, so she quickly earned enough. Yet, when she offered the money to the clinic, they wouldn’t take it. They said Jaxx wasn’t there anymore. It had only been a few hours since Mullen surrendered him.

“My kids cry and ask about him every day,” Mullen said.

German Shepherd playing outside

Sadly, Mullen has no idea where Jaxx is or if he’s even alive. When news sources reached out to the clinic’s corporate owner, they only said that surrendering a pet is a “legally binding contract” and that they work with shelters and rescues. They didn’t say anything about where Jaxx is.

RELATED: Stranger Pays For Dog’s Vet Bills To Save Her Life

The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland said they don’t have Jaxx, and they believe the clinic’s behavior is unusual. The shelter always has a conversation with the dog’s owner in this situation, so they’re shocked that the vet never gave Mullen any information.

Mullen refuses to give up on her beloved puppy. She filed a police report and plans to bring her concerns to the state’s board of veterinary medicine.

Featured Image: screenshot, ky3.com

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