Local News

Family says Dunn vet lost their dog

Posted July 25, 2012
Updated August 4, 2012

— A Smithfield woman says a Dunn veterinary clinic lost her family's 7-year-old Labrador-German shepherd mix while the family was out of town.

Kim Croonquist says she boarded Ewok at Vets for Pets on July 4, but when she went to pick him up last Tuesday, she found out he was missing.

"I don't understand how this could happen," she said Wednesday. "Our son cries himself to sleep every night."

Croonquist says she checked in with the vet often and received good reports about Ewok. She says she has been left without an explanation that makes sense to her.

"It's one thing, if somebody took him out to walk him and he got loose, but we're getting no answers, no closure, no cooperation from them on getting answers as to what happened to them," she said.

Croonquist says the vet held an adoption clinic while Ewok was staying there, and she fears he might have been adopted.

"We're very upset, also," Dr. Guy Beretich, who runs Vets for Pets, said Wednesday.

He says Ewok fought to escape from his kennel the night before he was to be picked up.

"Either he manipulated the door, or the door wasn't shut correctly," he said. "Every dog put in any boarding facility wants to get out, and he was more determined than most." Dr. Guy Beretich Family says Dunn vet lost their dog

He says he has no explanation for what happened.

"It happened on my watch, and it's my responsibility, but I know of nothing that I or any of my collaborators did wrong or didn't do right," he said. "But obviously, something happened."

Croonquist says she believes it's negligence.

"I'm completely furious with these people," she said.

This isn't the first issue with Beretich, who was the subject of three complaints in 2009.

In 2010, the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board ordered Beretich to surrender his license after investigators found what they called "evidence of incompetence."

In one case, the board found he chose an inappropriate surgery on a dog's eye and then did the procedure on the wrong eye.

In another case, he was accused of failing to properly diagnose a dog and then inadequately care for it.

Beretich chose to fight the allegations, and he's scheduled to appear at a hearing on Aug. 7.


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  • CLS-NC4 Aug 1, 2012

    "Vets for Pets FB says "Ewok has been found and returned to his owner." Vets for Pets comment is misleading. One of the V4P staff called the owner Sunday morning to say they had seen a dog that looks like Ewok in the fields off the 95 access road behind the vets. Some of the staff did come out with the owner & several of his friends to assist with trying to catch him, but it wasn't until Ewok's "Dad" went off in an area alone that Ewok came to him on his own away from everyone else. The post makes it sound like V4P found & returned him to the owner. As I was there, & thankful to witness the happy reunion, I just wanted to clarify. I do find it fishy that Ewok just happened to be there nearby,(that area was well searched)& although thinner, in decent shape for missing ? weeks. Whether dropped there after the news story or located & set loose out there, or ?, the family is just extremely thankful he's home. They'll never know what really happened. But he's home. Thanks WRAL for airing.

  • LorettaNC Jul 31, 2012

    Vets for Pets FB says "Ewok has been found and returned to his owner."

  • Anneleise Jul 27, 2012

    All we want is for our dog to be back in his home and the truth to come out!! The staff can not give an answer of when he went missing! No one can seem to give us a answer on anything we ask them! All we get is a run a round when we ask. I can give you good stories of the vet myself but this trumps any of the good that was done. If you take your child to a daycare you expect them to give you your child back that is the same thing when you board a dog you want to get him back also. We board our dog once a year to take a family vacation which was in July he was dropped off on July 4th. We want someone to step up for there mistake I understand they happen that is what life is about but admit to it is all we want plus WE WANT OUR EWOK BACK WITH HIS FAMILY!!! Slam us if you want think we are crazy all our animals belong to our family they are our four legged kids. For all of you that support us thank you for the others well ...
    This is EwoksDad not Ewoksmom don't have an acount

  • resitton Jul 27, 2012

    no excuse for losing a boarded animal... however I LOVE this practice and it has completely changed life for my dog. He's alive, happy, and healthy... they tried when others wanted to give up and are very affordable pet care. I hate that they lost someone's pet but thankful that I feel like I can take my dog to seek treatment without worrying about how much its going to cost.

  • tiam167 Jul 27, 2012

    Folks, lets put all of our energy together and help this family find their beloved pet instead of spinning our wheels talking about the facility however negligent. Email me to assist locating Ewok.

  • thedkprincess Jul 27, 2012

    For those of you commenting based on this 'news' piece please know that Vets For Pets is a great service to Harnett County. There are numerous vets, vet techs as well as clerical staff in the building. Please stop pointing the finger at Dr. B like he did it; yes it is his practice and he is ultimately responsible but the only problem with Dr. B is he loves animals and he trusts people to do the right thing. It is sad that this 'news' piece has to show the negative stuff not the good stuff. If you have never been to this clinic please keep your judgments and 'tar and feathering' to yourself. No, I do not work there and yes I am a client who has taken many animals to Dr. B. I love that he cares the way he does and has given so much of himself to this community. He is a vet in it for love not the 'all mighty' dollar. Shame on you folks trying to tear down this honest hard working group of folks.

  • ladyblue Jul 26, 2012

    Mistakes are made, that is why it is called "Practicing Medicine" it is not an exact science.

    mistakes are one thing but telling lies is another.how does one tell another their animal is doing fine and not even have the animal, nor know where it is.. yes mistakes is one thing-mistakes due to chronic incompetence is another..

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 26, 2012

    Have posted on Twitter and FB daily since the news broke. Anyone else able to do the same, please do.

  • St Ives Jul 26, 2012

    Please people workers at shelters in the area anyone who can help these people. I would sue the pants off of this incompentent kennel. If I lost one of my dogs it would be like losing a child to most people. i know others feel the same. Han anyone defend this vet after hearing what happened, just because you got your dog back dosesn't mean they were treated right.

  • nimueowl Jul 26, 2012

    As a private rescuer I used this vet for their bargain prices on several occasions. Once a cat of mine returned home traumatized. Another time a routine neutering of a male became infected because they did not bother to shave him. Before I became disillusioned I encouraged my mother to take one of her cats there since she was nearby, and not only did she catch ringworm off the front counter (the place is noticeably dirty) but she repeated to me that the vet thought I was insane for doing what I do (taking care of FIV and feline herpes cats). That did it.