Storybook Farm dogs removed from carer
A FOSTER carer has been left devastated after a rescue group refused to return two disabled dachshunds into her care following a vet visit.
The two dogs, who use wheelchairs, where among almost 40 animals seized from Storybook Farm Sacred Animal Garden in March.
Cody, 8, and Daisy, 7, were placed with Safe Haven Animal Rescue Inc, who in turn fostered them out to Peregian Beach woman Traci Evans on July 2.
Ms Evans, 44, said her dachshund-owning family had hoped to adopt the pair.
A spokeswoman for Safe Haven Animal Rescue, who asked not to be named, declined to comment except to say that the group was following a vet directive to not return the dogs.
But in a private, online message to Ms Evans on November 11, the volunteer wrote that due to a number of medical issues, the dogs would not be returned.
"Our vet has said they are not to return to your care, and we will be reported if they do," the volunteer wrote.
"At the moment my priority is their care over your feelings, so whilst I am sorry that this message will upset you I need to focus on getting them back on track."
The veterinarian the rescue group said ordered the directive was not the same vet Ms Evans had taken the dogs to previously.
The first-time foster carer, who called Daisy and Cody her "kids," had even set up an Instagram account where she highlighted the lives of the dogs.
In the fortnight prior to November 8, Ms Evans said she had asked Safe Haven to organise a vet appointment for Daisy as she had a yeast infection under her front leg, a lump under her jaw and she also appeared to be having an issue with her back leg.
On the way to that veterinary clinic on the afternoon of November 6, Ms Evans said they got stuck in traffic and rang to let them know they would be 15 minutes late.
"But the vet turned us away," she said. "It was a 90 minute round trip to that vet for us so we said we would be happy to go last but they said 'no, sorry'."
The vet clinic's owner told The Courier-Mail they were booked out for that same day and asked Ms Evans to reschedule.
He said she had also missed one other appointment.
Due to the original vet not having available appointments when Ms Evans could get there the next day, the rescue group administrators then organised for both dogs to be taken to a different Sunshine Coast vet on November 8.
Daisy and Cody were dropped off with plans for them to stay with another carer overnight.
In a message from the Safe Haven Animal Rescue volunteer two days later, Ms Evans was told "the vet visit wasn't great".
The rescue group volunteer wrote that both dogs were now overweight, which had contributed to Daisy's hind leg deteriorating, and both needed therapy to help gain muscle tone.
She said the vet told them Cody also needed full dental work and had luxating patellas, which had worsened.
The Courier-Mail has sought comment from the second veterinarian.
Fighting back tears, Ms Evans said the dogs had been improving in her care, which included cooking special "anti-inflammatory" meals.
"The kids didn't need rescuing from me," she said.
"It was me that initiated the vet appointments and in the meantime, I had been treating the yeast infection at home while waiting for the appointment.
"To me, they're my babies and this is not a vendetta. I just want my kids back.
"Everything was great. I honestly can't understand why it's gone so horribly wrong."
The owners of the Storybook Farm were charged with 84 animal cruelty offences in April.
They are scheduled to appear in Pine Rivers Magistrates court on November 22.