When a family from Austin, Texas, took their dog into the vet’s for a routine procedure, they had no idea it would end in tragedy.

They thought their trusted family veterinarian was supposed to spay their Blue Heeler, Nya. Instead — he accidentally euthanized her. Not only did the Briggs family lose a beloved pet, but a little boy lost his best friend.

Source: KXAN

Completely shocked and heartbroken, Tina Briggs reached out to the vet and demanded to know why he killed their their dog. Unfortunately, she didn’t receive any answers…only a callous response about Nya’s body.

“He just offered up no real explanation,” Tina Briggs said via KXAN. “Just said she’s here in the fridge for you whenever you want to pick her up.”

Tina was already heartbroken…but then she received an email from an employee at the veterinary office that just highlighted the vet’s incompetence. The email, which was meant for another vet tech at the office, simply said that “we don’t know what happened, but we put euthanized.” Nya died because of a clerical error that no one cared to double-check.

Instead of questioning why a young, healthy Australian Cattle Dog was to be euthanized, the vet simply went through with it.

Source: KXAN

When Landon, Tina’s son and Nya’s best friend, heard the news, he was devastated. “I wanted to collapse on the floor and scream because I was really sad,” he told KXAN.

Because of the family’s despair, Tina wants to find answers, but it’s proving difficult. The accused vet, Dr. Vandermause, says the family is simply mistaken.

“The allegation that I euthanized their dog is absolutely not true. I’ve been a veterinarian for over 40 years and this is something that just can’t happen in practice. There are too many variables and details that have to be completed before a dog is euthanized,” Dr. Vandermause said. “That e-mail has nothing to do with the dog being euthanized in any way.”

The vet has since refused to respond to the family’s questions, so Tina Briggs filed a lawsuit. She needs to know why their beloved family member was killed. She also wants to find out how other families can protect themselves from this kind of tragedy in the future.

Source: KXAN

A representative from the Texas Veterinarian Medical Association said that most animal hospitals require a family member’s signature before euthanasia can be performed (for safety’s sake). Unfortunately, it still doesn’t answer the question at hand: why did the vet kill Nya without checking with the family first?

Nya’s death and so much despair could have been easily avoided.

Needlessly losing a family member like this would be beyond heartbreaking. Nothing will help the Briggs Family grieve and heal, but hopefully answers can be found. For now, Landon and Tina can only remember Nya fondly when they pass her grave in the back yard.