Durham vet helps pet owners after vet skips town, steals records

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- A veterinary hospital in Fayetteville is in ruins after the owner skipped town with pet records and equipment.

Sources said just weeks ago, the owner of All Pet Hospital For Animals, Dr. Dennis Johnson, abruptly closed down, snatched the equipment and pet records, leaving nearly 3,500 pet owners to start over or pay a fee to get their documents.

The owner of the building, Dr. John Lauby, told ABC11 that Johnson was behind on his payments; however, Johnson had previously told ABC11 that was not the case.

The men said that they're hoping to work out the dispute in civil court.

In the meantime, pet owners are scrambling to find new vets, a struggle 92-year-old Rosa Grice knows too well.

Grice said she and her 17-year-old deaf, blind, and diabetic dog were in limbo for days before they found a new doctor.

"We had to pay new client (fees), you know I had to pay to be examined and see all the shots she had and what was missing," Grice said. "When you live on social security and have to buy your own medicine it's hard but I would rather buy hers because she's my little girl."

Once Dr. James Miller, the owner of Durham Animal Hospital, heard about the incident he and a staff member took Tuesday off to help clean up.

The good Samaritans said their hearts are broken knowing that someone could abandon local pet owners who trusted them with their animal's care.

"It's pretty heartbreaking that they're knocking at the door and this is what you can offer them, this nothing, this devastation," said Durham Animal Hospital vet technician Jessi Skubic.

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"My heart goes out to the clients that relied on this place," Miller said. "They're lost, they're out there with no place to turn to to try to get help that they used to easily get."

Miller said it's Grice's struggle that inspires him to invest in the shuttered clinic.

"If need to, I'm willing to drive from my home every day, it's an hour and a half away, to help get it going if need be," he said.

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