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Hopewell woman blames animal rescue for $2,500 vet bill after adoption

Updated: Jul. 28, 2017 at 6:54 PM EDT
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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A woman called 12 On Your Side after she says she adopted three kittens from the local animal rescue group, Forgotten Tails, but she ended up paying $2,500 in medical bills, right after.

Emigdia Ruiz, of Hopewell, says kittens Brownie, Gaia and their brother, who now lives with a friend, battled a slew of problems since she adopted them from Forgotten Tails, based in Colonial Heights.

She paid $125 per kitten for adoption.

Emigdia says she rushed Gaia to an animal hospital the day she adopted the cats, after her eye was showing signs of infection. Ultimately, the three cats were treated for parasites, respiratory infections, and fleas, totaling more than $2,500.

"They had coccidia, which is like parasites in their stomach when they eat feces. So, obviously, they weren't being well taken care of," said Emigdia.

Forgotten Tails is a foster-home based rescue and charity.

Lin Fox, the director, says she offered to refund the adoption fees and take back the kittens.

"I said, 'Of course not," said Emigdia. "I would never give them back to them if they were in that kind of condition."

Fox also said the kittens had some vaccines and that Forgotten Tails planned on paying for spay and neuter in upcoming weeks. The Forever Tails contract requires the adopter to agree to get additional vaccinations if needed.

Emigdia says the vet she took her kittens to said the cats had not been adequately treated for fleas and parasites.

Animal care experts say anyone adopting a pet should ask for proof of what shots and treatments the animal has had. There is no state law that requires rescues or shelters to vaccinate, aside from rabies. However, they are required to spay and neuter and give the animals adequate medical care. That said, the law is vague as to what "adequate medical care" means. Experts warn it's not entirely clear what treatment any rescue animal may or may not have received.

The three kittens are now doing fine. NBC12 contacted local animal control agencies and confirmed that Richmond Animal Care and Control will no longer work with Forgotten Tails, citing issues it had with the rescue.

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