Wild animals aren’t typically the patients veterinarians treat and it’s likely very rare that one is brought in. But that doesn’t mean it never happens. Last June, 47-year-old Colin Lowes brought an injured and bleeding seagull into a veterinary office in Ireland. BBC reports that Lowes had found the bird and thought the decent thing to do was to bring it to the veterinarian; he also came into the office shirtless, having apparently wrapped the seagull in it.
When staff told him they could not treat the bird because it was a wild animal, and to take it to the Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) in Belfast, Lowes left with the seagull, damaging the veterinary office door on his way out. The unnamed clinic filed a criminal damage report, after which police went to Lowes’ home and found him sitting with the bird, BBC reports. Through his lawyer, Lowes reportedly said that “the door was accidentally cracked.”
The Ballymena Magistrates Court judge told Lowes that it was believed he was “acting in the best interests of this creature,” but that he should have listened to the veterinarian and taken the seagull to the USPCA or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The seagull has since died and Lowes reportedly gave it a funeral at sea. He was given a one-year conditional discharge and has to pay to have the door fixed, which is estimated to cost more than $208 (£150).
Has a client visit ever resulted in damage to your veterinary office? Share your story in the comments.