Family discovers 'euthanized' dog still alive 6 months later

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 13:24:30-04

(KSL) It's one of the hardest decisions you can make: knowing when it's time to put your pet to sleep.

For the Coates family of Farmington, Utah it was very sad when their dog, Zoey, got sick. The family decided to take her to the vet to be euthanized.

Last fall, the boxer breed, started having seizures. The dog also had a large mass on her side. The family thought it was cancerous and that it was slowly taking her life.

Tawny Coates, Zoey's owner, said her family had been through a very hard time over the past year. Her husband robbed a bank, the family lost their home after he went to prison, and then the family dog got ill.

"This felt like a final stab," Coates said. "Like it was just one too many things. I knew it was going to be what pushed my kids to their breaking point."

On November 29, 2016, Coates asked her father to do what she could not: take Zoey to Bayview Animal Hospital in Farmington to be euthanized.

But the veterinarian says she told the father the dog did "not" need to be euthanized and says she discussed options that could save the dog.

The father denies the conversation happened.

In any case, the veterinarian took the money and put it toward surgery and saved Zoey, but did not notify the family because she thought the family did not want the dog.

Six months later, Tawny Coates thought her family was ready for a new dog just like Zoey.

"I knew we wanted a boxer," she said. "I knew a boxer would help my son heal."

She started looking online and came across a rescue page for boxers. It was there, in the photos, that she saw an image she will never forget.

"I see the Boxer Town rescue page and I'm like, 'That looks like my dog.' Then I thought, 'I'm crazy,' but I click on it anyway and zoom in and say, 'No, that's my dog!'" Coates said.

The family is now making up for lost time with Zoey, ironically because of the vet's choice to save the dog.

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