Family: 1 dog dies, 1 lost while boarded at Bethany veterinary clinic

BETHANY, Mo. - Animals are family members for many people, and choosing someone to watch them is all about trust. A Bethany, Mo., woman said that's all gone after a veterinarian clinic lost two of her animals at different times.

Pictures are all Susan Frazier has left of two of her Jack Russell terriers, Mr. Wrinkles and Penny. Mr. Wrinkles died last April.

"We were devastated and heartbroken," Frazier said.

That's because he was left at a place Susan and her husband trusted, Trailway Veterinary Service in Bethany. Five of their dogs were boarded at the clinic while the Fraziers were out of town, but only four came home.

Clinic staff said Mr. Wrinkles bit an employee before going on a walk, and then got loose.

"They found him later the following day, he had been hit by a car and was dead when they found him," Frazier said.

The Fraziers were furious but forgiving, chalking it up as an accident. They reluctantly boarded their dogs at Trailway again in December and were shocked to return a week later to learn about Penny.

Employees said the dog was missing. Penny has never been found. Frazier said this goes past a simple accident.

"It's beyond me how they can explain what has happened not once, but twice now in an eight-month period of time," Frazier said.

Trailway Veterinary Service doesn't have an answer either.

"I don't even try to explain it, I don't know what to tell you," said Dr. Steven Smith, who was walking Penny and another dog at the same time.

Smith said the dogs were both skittish.

"Less socialized than most," Smith said. "Obviously not used to being walked on a leash."

Smith said the two got him tangled up and he fell to the ground. He said that's when Penny pulled away and ran into a wooded area behind the clinic.

Smith said he and other employees looked for Penny throughout the night, but found nothing.

"I think we've done all we can, and we're still doing what we can," Smith said.

A poster with Penny's face is hanging inside the office, but Frazier said that's not enough.

"They have no idea what they've done," Frazier said.

Two beloved family members are gone, at least one of them for good. Frazier prays one day they will find Penny.

"I'll never give up hope," Frazier said. "How can I?"

The Fraziers have set up a Facebook page to spread the word about Penny.

They are considering legal action against Trailway Veterinary Service.

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