Justice For Jet
This petition had 31,094 supporters
On October 12th, 2016, I took my beloved pet rabbit, Jet, and my foster rabbit, Finn, for their neuter surgeries. This is an invasive procedure that my veterinarian of choice was to perform. That veterinarian was Dr. Phillip Curry, who has his own practice- the Animal Care Clinic of Titusville located in Titusville, FL, in which I have been going to for approximately 1.5 years. Without any complications, Dr. Curry performed Finn's neuter.
At 1:02 PM, I received a call from Dr. Curry stating that Jet had died shortly after closing. I immediately rushed to the clinic and demanded an explanation. Dr. Curry had told me that everything went smoothly in surgery. Jet was taken off of oxygen "a few minutes" after the anesthesia was turned off. According to Dr. Curry, Jet then went apneic. I asked more than a dozen questions- including who was also in the room during surgery. Come to find out, the vet tech and the daughter of Dr. Curry were present. He explained that his daughter is a 4th year veterinary student at University of Florida and was STRICTLY there for observation.
Something didn't seem right. Thursday morning, shortly after 8AM, I called the vet office to speak with the technician who was responsible for the monitoring of Jet. From start to finish, the technician explained the surgery. Along with the significant detail that Dr. Curry's daughter, Catie Curry, performed Jet's surgery, with Dr. Curry "popping in and out". She had planned to perform Finn's neuter but was not comfortable doing so; so she observed Finn's neuter before using my baby Jet as practice- all for her own personal benefit. Her first exotic neuter. Her first rabbit neuter. And she killed him.
Thursday evening, I drove to the clinic to have a meeting with Dr. Curry. I explained what the tech had told me and questioned why he lied to me the day prior. He said I must have misunderstood or misinterpreted when I asked who performed the surgery.
Dr. Curry then confirmed that his daughter did perform the surgery, but under his direct supervision (monitoring and telling his daughter what to do.) He offered to do a free autopsy in case Jet had an underlying problem. I ended up refusing the autopsy. Jet has never had any past medical problems.
Dr. Curry's wife, who was present during the meeting, noted that the technician left a note under her office door shortly after lunchtime, that he is leaving the practice because he "cannot work for someone who lies to their customers".
Friday afternoon, I received a call from the tech for more details. Catie had taken the scrotal approach; as it is easier, but more time-consuming. She failed to make a proper (and correct) incision in order to remove both testes. She had no choice but to make another incision. This had caused Jet to be under anesthesia longer, which I believe greatly contributed to his death. Shortly after closing, Jet was kept on oxygen for a minute to a minute and a half, and picked up to be transferred to recovery. He had kept a strong heartbeat of 220 BPM the entire surgery. After the tech placed him down, he went to feel his chest. Nothing. He went to listen. Silence. CPR was performed for 5 minutes. Jet was pronounced dead at 12:35 PM. I was not notified until 27 minutes later at 1:02PM.
I believe this is strictly negligence and malpractice. I am hoping this petition will be the start of 'Justice For Jet'. A veterinarian and his daughter, outside of her clinical setting, took advantage of my animal and myself. He allowed his daughter to perform a surgery in which she's never done and not qualified (or skilled) to do so, on my baby, without my knowing or my consent. That surgery cost him his LIFE. Jet was only 4 years old and had never had any medical problems in his short life.
I am asking Ruthanne Christie, Executive Director of the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine, to investigate and take any necessary legal action for violating board rules and/or Florida laws.
If anything is to come out of this, at least it would be sharing Jet's story. I hope this will inform other rabbit owners to be careful who you trust.
And for anyone reading this... Always tell your pets how much you love them. It may be the last time. And remember, "they might only be here a part of our lives, but to them, you are their whole life."
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