Owner puts out warning after he says vet office neutered dog that was taken in for other surgery

ATLANTA — When you bring your pet into the veterinarian their health is in the doctor’s hands.

But an Atlanta man said he took his dog into a DeKalb County vet for one surgery, and they performed another.

Tony Hughley is sharing his story to keep this mix-up from happening to another family.

Hughley purchased his French Bulldog puppy Chase for more than just companionship, he also planned to breed the dog. The average cost of a French Bulldog puppy ranges from $1,500 to 3 thousand dollars, according to the Canine Journal. That is why a vet mix up has Hughley so upset.

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“I told them that on three separate occasions I don’t want him to be neutered, I don’t want him to be neutered,” Hughley told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray.

“You were very clear?” Gray asked.

“Very clear,” Hughley said. “I told three sperate nurses, [the] doctor, everyone else there.”

Hughley said only when Wellpet Animal Hospital in Doraville called to say chase could be picked up after hernia surgery he learned they neutered the dog too.

“I felt like I was robbed, stolen from, me and him.” Hughley said. “I wanted to breed him.”

Buckhead veterinarian Duffy Jones at Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital said those two surgeries are normally performed together.


Most of the dogs he sees are also spayed or neutered. Jones said that’s why communication and proper paperwork are critical.

“For us that would generate lots of notes and flags and that would also be that morning the nurse would walk back, and we would have no neuter everywhere,” Jones said.

Hughley told Gray that Chase’s veterinary consent paperwork had a blank space when he signed it the morning of the procedure. When he picked his dog up the space was filled in to say “neutered/umbilical hernia repair.”

“You say this wasn’t there?” Gray asked.

“No that was most definitely not there, I would have noticed that,” Hughley said. “I would have said ‘don’t neuter my dog please.’”

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On a phone call recording Hughley shared with Gray, Wellpet promised to change their procedures after this incident.

“I’m actually getting ready to change our complete policy after I speak to you,” the manager on the call said. “Things will be done differently moving forward.”

Wellpet did not return Gray’s request for an interview.

Channel 2 consumer advisor Clark Howard said you should never sign a contract or document with a blank space left unfilled and always get copies of what you sign.

“Anytime you’re signing one and there’s an area not filled in, take your pen and put a slash through it, mark it out, put your initials by it, so nothing can be filled out at a later date,” Howard said.

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Jones said your pet obviously can’t speak for themselves, so you should look for a vet that asks, and answers, a lot of questions.

“If you have questions and we’re not taking time and not answering I would put the brakes on,” Jones said.

Aside from the apology on the phone, Wellpet gave Hughley was a $50 discount on the surgery. Chase’s potentially lucrative future in breeding was over before it began.