Taika the neapolitan mastiff underwent surgery on Monday night at a Hamilton veterinary clinic. He disappeared early the next morning.
A Gisborne dog’s misadventure in the big smoke has a happy ending with him found safe and well.
Taika went missing from a Hamilton vet clinic while recovering from hip surgery.
The clinic is staying tight-lipped about how it lost a neapolitan mastiff, but the owner says she was told he walked out an open door.
Kayla Wells said her Gisborne veterinarian recommended she get treatment for her dog Taika’s fractured hip at The Referral Centre, a veterinary hospital on Hamilton’s Anglesea St.
She received a phone call at 6.30pm on Monday night telling her the surgery had gone well, but another call about 6.45am on Tuesday brought devastating news.
“He had got out of his cage and escaped,” she said.
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Wells said there was no apology, just a request for her partner, who had taken Taika to Hamilton, to look for the missing dog.
“[Taika’s] not even meant to be doing any exercise for six weeks,” she said.
News of the disappearance was also upsetting her 4-year-old.
After hearing of Taika being missing, a lot of people were out searching for the large dog, who had a bandage on his leg.
Wells said he had been found Tuesday evening near the river.
“Around eight people found him, but he wouldn’t let them catch him. So they had to put me on speakerphone and I called to him.”
Wells said she appreciates everyone’s help in searching for him.
“I didn’t catch the lady’s name, but she had been searching for him since early this morning, and drove nearly 430km looking for him.”
Wells said that Taika was back at the vets, he had ripped off his bandage but had not damaged the stitches.
“The vet said he was in pretty good condition for being gone all day, but would have an x-ray tonight to see if there was any damage to where the surgery was.”
She is relieved that he has been found.
“It’s been a huge, huge, long day. And looking forward to getting him home to his boys.”
When Stuff contacted the surgery, clinical co-director Virginia, who declined to provide her surname, confirmed the disappearance.
She was not on the premises at the time.
She did, however, confirm to Stuff that the premises is staffed 24 hours a day, and was asked if she had discussed the matter with anyone who was present.
She said: “I don’t know what I can legally say,” and then said she wished to end the conversation.
Kayla Wells’ sister Leighanne Wells told Stuff: “It is not good enough that a vet can let a dog get out while in their care.”
Taika was a big dog so would be easy to spot. He was wearing a pink cast and would be limping, she said.