A local dog owner speaks out after her dog mysteriously dies

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – “We walked around the reservoir, he was fine and that was on a Tuesday,” Tabitha Christopher said. “Thursday he ended up having unexpected diarrhea, I took him to the doctors and they thought it was a bacteria and then said the puppy should be able to fight that off, but he didn’t fight it off and the next day he went to heaven.”

Tabitha Christopher said it was like any other day when she took a walk around the reservoir at Cobbs Hill Park on Tuesday with her 9-month-old puppy Corky, but a few days later he got sick and after he went to the doctor for treatment, he was sent home and the symptoms got worse.

She said she wanted to get help earlier and tried going to Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services in Henrietta, which was the only 24-hour vet clinic in the Rochester area, but in January the clinic discontinued their overnight hours of operation.

Friday morning she took Corky to the doctor and he died on the table.

“Overnight he got sicker and sicker and I wanted to take him to the doctor, but the animal emergency was closed,” Christopher said. “So and it was very hard to watch a baby go through that and not be able to help them.”

Lab work is being done to determine the exact cause of the death.

“There have been some reports of parvo in Rochester and we’ve seen some cases relatively nearby to the Cobbs Hill area,” Lollypop Farm Director of Communications Ashley Zeh said.

Zeh said earlier this summer they saw an influx in the 14621 area code of parvovirus, a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs and she’s sending a warning to all pet owners to be aware of what their pets get into.

“Things to be also careful of is stagnant water, blue-green algae can be very, very dangerous for dogs, especially bacteria that can be in stagnant water. It can really take a toll on their systems.”

“This is very, very important to me because we’ve got a number of factors. Number one, we don’t want this to happen to any other dog because this is completely insane,” Christopher said. “He was fully vetted. This should have not happened. So whatever it was, it’s something that hit hard and fast. Also, I think it’s very important that the animal emergency opens back up at nighttime, 24 hours, because I could have took him there and possibly saved him.”

News10NBC still does not have the exact cause of death.

We reached out to the city officials and they said this is the first they’ve heard of this, but said they do clean and test their water quality in the park area and don’t treat the grass.

Zeh did acknowledge that there is a veterinarian staff shortage, which could impact getting help for your pet in a timely manner.

She said it’s important to take advantage of vaccination clinics in the area. On Friday, Rochester Community Animal Clinic is holding a walk-in vaccination clinic.

Zeh also said you can find clinics online through sources like Petco.