Cave Creek woman says chew toy sent her dog to the hospital

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CAVE CREEK -- A Cave Creek woman says her pet wound up in the hospital all because of a dog toy.

Dog toys are supposed to be fun for your pet. That's why a Cave Creek woman bought what's called a Yummie Bone or a Booda Rope. Basically, it's an expensive knotted-up ball of string.

But she says the ball of string wound up costing her more than $5,000.

Laurie Evanger has a special bond with her best friend, a 3-year-old German shepherd named Roxy.

"She's family, she's everything to me," Evanger said. "She's my partner. She's my friend. We take care of each other."

So Evanger says she feels helpless knowing that Roxy is sick at the Animal Health Services Hospital in Cave Creek.

Evanger claims Roxy got sick after chewing on a new chew toy called the Booda Rope.

"We went to the store and purchased a rope toy, something that I thought she might enjoy and it was promoted as cleaning teeth," Evanger said.

But after chewing on the Booda Rope, Evanger says Roxy became sick, so sick Evanger had to rush her to the animal hospital where she underwent surgery.

The rope had entwined itself into her intestine.

"Once I opened up the intestines ... there was a string-type toy," Dr. Lisa Lannen said.

Lannen says she's reluctant to recommend the toy to pet owners.

"I don't give those kinds of toys to my animals," she said. "Any stringed toy has the potential to do this."

"I had no idea," Evanger said. "Obviously, I wouldn't purchase something that would be dangerous to my pet and none of us do and I think the onus comes on the consumer to a point but also to the retailers in product safety."

After a staggering $5,000 vet bill, Roxy is finally out of the hospital, but Evanger hopes her ordeal is something others can learn from.

The Booda Rope or Yummie Bone does have a warning on the chew toy that states the toy should not be ingested and if it is, take it away. But Evanger says it's a "chew toy" and is made to be chewed.

A spoksperson for the toy's maker did not want to talk to 3 On Your Side about the vet bill or comment about the story, only saying that they plan on speaking with Evanger directly.