In the time since you received our last Humane News, we’ve received many inquiries as to Patrick’s whereabouts and his well-being. We would like to share with you the following updates.
Bruce Sanchez brought Patrick outside to play with some toys. This is the last photo that we were allowed to take of Patrick and could no longer bring him outside. We could only meet him in an exam room while someone from the vet hospital had to be there.
State Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III recently made the decision to leave Patrick where he had been convalescing for about 16 weeks following his rescue and ensuing re-birth -- at the veterinary hospital where AHS brought him for treatment. He subsequently modified his ruling to allow the hospital owners to take him home until the conclusion of related legal matters. We had appealed that decision and rightly so — AHS is a longstanding client of this veterinary hospital. We have brought them many animals in urgent need of life-saving measures as well as specialized surgeries for over a decade, spending tens of thousands of dollars annually to heal dogs and cats in need like Patrick.
This is the first time, however, that the hospital has taken one of its client’s animals – Patrick - and promoted him as if he were their own dog. We have been, understandably, at a loss as to why this hospital would behave in such a way after our being their loyal customer for so many years. Without ever consulting AHS or requesting our permission, they took the liberty of creating multiple social media sites for Patrick, posting YouTube videos of his surgeries and daily activities, and then attempted to sell photos of their client’s dog on a commercial photography site, (until we had to have our attorney intervene.) Again, without consulting us, they took Patrick - their client’s dog - home for a weekend. They later put multiple restrictions on visits to Patrick by Bruce Sanchez, our Tinton Falls shelter manager, who had bonded with Patrick, visiting him at least once daily during his entire recovery. AHS was then barred from taking photographs of the animal we had brought to them. Is this an acceptable way for a hospital to treat a client?
When Patrick first came into our hands, as you know, we revived and stabilized him, and as we have done for scores of other animals, brought him to our longstanding and trusted specialized veterinary hospital of choice. As with all cases preceding Patrick, AHS committed in advance to complete payment of all Patrick’s medical bills, whatever they might be. In turn, they undertook a massive publicity campaign for Patrick - their client’s dog - something they’d never done with any other AHS animal needing urgent care in the past. We felt betrayed and angered. Patrick was not their dog to raise money for nor so widely publicize – he was not their dog – he was brought to them by AHS, their client, for specialized care.
Our question was then, and remains, why did they assume it was their place to determine Patrick’s future rather than planning on returning him to their client as they had always done in the past?
This is the basis for the legal battle, of which you may have heard, which surrounds the true ownership of Patrick. We have had many people argue with us, and post malicious comments on social media sites, about where Patrick should go, yet it seems few have yet grasped the most basic facts we’ve stated above. The AHS has always had Patrick’s best interests at heart or we would not have elected to save him in our own medical department and then rush him for further life-saving measures. It never occurred to us, bringing him to this hospital, that they would take a client’s dog and create the ensuing problems they have created for the Society. It never occurred to us, bringing him there in good faith, that they would block Patrick’s return to the very people who first saved him
It is not our desire to waste Society funds in lawyer’s fees nor to waste precious time we could better use to help animals on continually refuting the lies, malicious gossip and rumors being spread as a result of this hospital’s actions and subsequent involvement with other organizations and individuals. It is our desire, however, to have Patrick returned to his rightful owners, AHS – their client -- and to make what we deem are the best choices in his interest. The problems created by the hospital’s numerous actions have resulted in an intrusion on our efforts to save animals. However, we continue to save lives daily, and will continue to do so, always hoping that the public will, at some point, realize what is truly at the heart of this matter.