A Saint Cloud family says they experienced their worst nightmare. They were forced to put down their 14-year-old dog because of sudden health problems, and claim the pet cemetery they entrusted with final life arrangements left them further traumatized.
The 14-year-old Australian shepherd was like another child for Pam Jenkins. The dog was healthy up until the day she was taken to the vet for a possible urine infection. The vet came back and said she had gotten "considerably, severely worse,” Jenkins told investigative reporter Daralene Jones.
The vet recommended Greenbrier Memory Gardens in Apopka to coordinate a private cremation.
Jenkins said when she didn't hear from Greenbrier, she called them. “She apologized over and over again and said they were sorry. The driver brought her back and it said on the paperwork from the vet's office that she was to be communally cremated, so that's what we did, and sprinkled her. She’s in our memory garden,” Jenkins said.
9-Investigates has reported on similar mix-ups over the last year-and-a-half. Greenbrier officials told us the facility cremates about 10,000 animals a quarter from several states, and mistakes account for fewer than one percent of their customer load. This week, we found new managers who acknowledged the mistake and didn't hesitate to explain the mix-up with Molly.
“It started out as a communal cremation and along the way was changed to reflect the pet owner's wishes. It was changed to a private cremation, and when that happens we have to make sure that decision catches up with the pet,” Paul Seyler said.
Seyler is charged with implementing a digital system, replacing traditional paperwork. When we stopped by, he was meeting with the new operations team to help train them on the new system that will likely be implemented sometime in the next month.
Seyler showed us how it will work:
Pets will be scanned at the hospital, and entered into a computer database, so changes are reflected immediately.
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