Owner in stand-off at DSPCA site over return of dog ashes
Gardai were called upon to try and resolve a stand-off between a Dublin woman and the DSPCA over the ashes of her three-legged dog.
The dog, Lily, had to be put to sleep earlier this month.
"Lily was a rescue greyhound. I adopted her four years ago and she was around eight or nine when she died," said loving owner Carmel O'Dwyer (36) from Rathmines.
Lily had only one back leg, and when her owner was out in Sandymount on Friday September 5, her other back leg became very problematic, the dog was in a lot of pain and couldn't walk.
Carmel brought her to the DSPCA's 24-hour on-call service.
"Lily couldn't get up and I requested that they put her to sleep," Carmel said.
Carmel said that Lily had insurance. However she paid the €360 fees to have Lily cremated and the excess on the insurance that would not be covered for the treatment.
However, she got a call from the DSPCA last week stating that a bill from a previous 2013 treatment was outstanding.
"She had injured her leg in the mountain. She had undergone treatment with the DSPCA the year before for a serious injury."
Carmel said that Lily was insured and she had paid the excess due. She was not aware there was any issue to do with this bill.
However, just yesterday morning, she rang and the insurance company said that it had not settled €350 of the bill - it had sought clarification in relation to why the dog had to be hospitalised, which Carmel believed had been provided to it.
Meanwhile, she said she rang the DSPCA on Thursday to find out when Lily's ashes would arrive. A courier was bringing the remains from Antrim.
She said she was invited to come up and collect the ashes. However, she was subsequently informed she would have to clear the account before getting the ashes. A dispute arose and Carmel insisted upon remaining at the DSPCA premises until the matter had been resolved to her satisfaction. The DSPCA called the gardai but they declined to intervene, describing it as a "civil matter".
A spokesperson for the DSPCA said: "This lady has an outstanding bill for veterinary work carried out on her dog at our private veterinary hospital amounting to €807.29. It turned out that her claim was rejected by her insurers and that she was therefore liable for the bill.
"We urge clients holding pet insurance to check that their insurance policies cover their pet's veterinary requirements."