Denver vet tells family their dog escaped, story has good ending

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AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora family takes their dog in to get neutered at a Denver animal clinic Friday morning—and it escapes.

That’s what the veterinarian told the owners. But they say the whole story sounds suspicious.

The family of the 4-year-old puggle dropped him off at the Downtown Animal Care Center at 1041 Galapago at 8:20 a.m.

About 30 minutes later, they got a call that Frankie escaped before getting fixed.

It’s as if Frankie knew what was coming and made a break for it.

“She (the veterinarian, Stephanie Dodge) said, ‘Your dog, he’s an escape artist. He ran away,’” says LaShaun, Frankie’s owner, who didn’t want to give his full name.

But Lashaun said something didn’t sound quite right about the escape.

“They let him out of the kennel and he somehow got loose out of three doors inside there, four, being an exit,” says LaShaun.

The family went searching without any luck—and now their hearts are heavy.

“It’s like dropping your kid off at daycare and you come back and your kid is gone … It’s going to be getting used to for him not being around because he was definitely part of the family,” says Lashaun.

When we showed up at the clinic to ask questions of how an animal in their care could just get out, they had nothing to say.

“There’s no comment on that,” says the unidentified receptionist.

But just minutes after our visit, they had plenty to say to Frankie’s owner. They called him to say someone found Frankie and returned him to the clinic.

“I am just glad to have him back, thankful you reached out to us. I’m pretty sure that’s a big part as to why they reacted so quick,” says Lashaun.

Only Frankie knows what really happened. But his owners say they will never bring him back.

Dodge also did not return our phone call for comment.

An email came to FOX31 Denver from "the staff at Downtown Animal Care Center" after 10 p.m. Friday. It read in part:

"Frankie did escape through a series of unfortunate circumstances. He did escape his kennel and while on the loose in the clinic, someone happened to come in. He saw the opportunity of an open door and bolted out the door. Employees and even other clients chased after him. He never listened to anyone and ran faster than anyone could have run. The police and animal control were immediately contacted. The owner was also contacted. Numerous staff members spent the day looking for Frankie, including alerting neighboring clinics and shelters. Fortunately this story had a happy ending and Frankie was returned around 5pm by a good Samaritan. He apparently had spent the day just blocks away."

An animal attorney said if the animal did indeed escape, it sounds like there’s an element of negligence by leaving the doors open.