Newcastle vet criticised for putting down missing dog

A Gosforth-based veterinary practice has been criticised for putting down a dog, only two hours after it went missing from the owner’s back yard.
Their beloved dog, Winston, had been found by a local resident who then took him to Blythman and Partners, the veterinary practice located in Gosforth.


Winston’s owners had called several dog shelters after discovering that he had gone missing from their backyard. They then contacted Blythman and Partners, a local vet, to see if anyone had handed him in. They were delighted to be told by the receptionist that he was at the surgery and that the vet would call them back shortly as they were very busy at the time.
Blythman and Partners located in Gosforth
Blythman and Partners located in Gosforth

An hour went by without a returned call, so Mr Spencer contacted the surgery again, but was horrified to discover that Winston had been put to sleep, without his permission.
Mr Spencer said,

You don’t put a dog down without attempting to find his owners, it’s just wrong.
They didn’t think somebody would come and collect him.
They should have kept him at least over night in a kennel but that was too much trouble.
There was no rush to put him down – he was not in any pain.
Of course he was distressed – he had been taken to an unfamiliar vets by a stranger. He was completely out of his comfort zone.
I don’t think the vet thought he belonged to a loving family.

The vet thought that 13-year old Winston had health problems and was distressed and that was the reason he was put down.

Ms Slater said,

Like most old Labrador’s, he had wonky back legs which meant they weren’t very strong but he was in relatively good health for a dog of his age.
We would take him for three mile walks most weekends and he wasn’t in any pain or discomfort.
I burst into tears when I found out he had been put down. We were both absolutely distraught.
They obviously thought he was a stray dog and stray dogs don’t make vets any money.

The couple went immediately to the vets to pick up Winston’s body to take him home to be buried. They received a call the next morning from the vet who put Winston down, who tried to explain why he made the decision.
Mr Spencer and his partner, Ms Slater
Mr Spencer and his partner, Ms Slater
Mr Spencer said,
When I asked the vet what time Winston had arrived at the practice and what time he had been put down he said it was probably mid-afternoon.
That is impossible as he was in Kate’s garden at quarter past six.
It is not the first time that Blythman and Partners has been criticised for putting a pet down under questionable circumstances.
In 2011 a lady from Kingston Park made a complaint after her pet cat was put to sleep just three hours after it went missing from her home.
Mr Spencer has urged people to take any lost pets they find to a shelter rather than a vet, to avoid something like this happening to them.

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