An inquest into the death of a pet in North Dakota has found no criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner, but the coroner recommended the state’s medical examiner charge the pet owner with animal cruelty.
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DCA) found the dog was in good health, but was not in distress and did not have a medical emergency.
The coroner said the dog’s death was not the result of an illness, but due to negligence.
The dog was found unresponsive in the middle of the night, a few hours after a friend had brought the animal to the DCA’s veterinary clinic.
It was removed from the property, placed in a crate and then put back in a barn.
It was discovered that the dog had a severe neck injury, and the dog died of hypothermia, the coroner found.
It has now been confirmed that the Dca veterinarian charged with the investigation, Dr. Brian Calkins, did not properly record the dog in his medical record, as required by law.
Dr Calkens has since been suspended, and is scheduled to appear in court in October.
The North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, which represents veterinary surgeons, called the investigation “shocking” and “an affront to veterinary medicine”.
It said it was “deeply disappointed” by the findings.
“The findings of this inquest reveal that there was no criminal act by Dr Calkons, nor any attempt to mislead or cover up this incident,” said the association’s president, Michael Rieck.
The association has called for an investigation into the actions of the veterinary surgeon.
The DCA is investigating the circumstances surrounding the dog being euthanized.
The veterinary surgeon was not immediately available for comment, but in a statement released by the agency, the surgeon said he “acted appropriately” and was “pleased that this matter has been resolved”.
He also said he was looking forward to the day when he could return to the field.