Atlanta Pilot Bailed Out by Caring Stranger, Carol Diamantis

 |  Sep 23rd 2007  |   5 Contributions


pilotandcarol.jpg

If Carol Diamantis isn't a Dogster, she should be! She's a lovely role model for us all!

And Josh, please keep up the vaccinations!

Thanks to AJC.com for this article.

Stranger pays pup's $972 bill
'Pilot' caught in dispute between vet, owner

By BEN SMITH
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/18/07

A puppy that seemed destined for the pound and possible death was reunited with his owner late Tuesday.

Pilot the dog had been held "hostage" at the vet's office, the dog's owner said in a lawsuit, because of a dispute over an unpaid bill. The veterinarian, Dr. Garry Innocent, released Pilot after a donor stepped forward to make good on the debt about 5 p.m. Tuesday.


"I feel better than ever," said Josh Gomez, as he petted and hugged his dog in the parking lot outside PetFIRST Animal Hospital in Duluth. "I'm just glad it's done."

Carol Diamantis of Brookhaven paid $972 in cash to free Pilot.

Diamantis, Gomez and his attorney, Ed McCrimmon, paid a surprise visit to PetFIRST Animal Hospital late Tuesday the deadline Innocent set for Gomez to make good on his debt. If the 22-year-old dog owner didn't pay up, the vet warned, Innocent would declare Pilot "abandoned" and sell, give away or take the dog to Gwinnett County's animal shelter, where the dog could be put to sleep.

Georgia law allows veterinarians to "dispose of" a pet 10 days after demanding, in writing, that its owner pay the animal's medical bill in full.

Pilot had been held in the clinic since Aug. 26, when Gomez took Pilot to PetFIRST for treatment. Innocent diagnosed Pilot with Parvovirus, a potentially deadly condition. The dog was held for three days for treatment.

When Gomez went to pick up his dog, he paid the vet $1,152, the amount he said the clinic had quoted him. Innocent, however, said he never quoted that figure to Gomez and that the real amount Gomez owed was $1,640. That amount has increased since Aug. 29, when Gomez showed up to get Pilot, because of the boarding costs.

The cash Diamantis ponied up Tuesday afternoon settles the bill once and for all, Innocent said.

"I'm happy," the vet said. "All is well."

Just days ago, however, it was a very different story.

In a letter dated Sept. 8, Innocent informed Gomez that if he didn't pay the bill, he would "report this matter to all authorities including Gwinnett County Animal Control for pet abandonment and disposal."

Gomez then filed suit to block Innocent from sending his dog to the pound.

Diamantis said she stepped forward after reading news accounts of the pet's possible demise.

"If I was in the position, I would hope somebody would help me out," said Diamantis, who brought her two sons with her.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.

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