Pet company surprises owner and pays $5,700 vet bill

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CAVE CREEK -- A dog and her owner seem to be doing a lot better these days following a 3 On Your Side report.

In the last report, Roxy she wasn't doing very well at all. Roxy was playing with a rope toy made for dogs. That toy, her owner says, caused a lot of problems for Roxy and caused her owner to have a huge vet bill.

But Laurie Evanger and her best friend, Roxy, are a lot better since they were first profiled in 3 On Your Side.

"Roxy is doing wonderful," Evanger said. "The good news is that she had a full recovery."

It was only a month and a half ago when we first featured Evanger and Roxy’s story on 3 On Your Side. Back then Evanger wasn't sure Roxy would even make it.

"Oh, I'm devastated, because she means everything to me," Evanger told 3 On Your Side.

Evanger says Roxy became extremely sick after chewing on a rope toy made by Petmate. In fact, the pooch had to undergo surgery to remove strands of string that came off the toy.

"The rope had entwined itself into her intestine," Evanger said.

At the time, even the vet told 3 On Your Side that there was no mistaking Roxy’s problem.

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

Now, $5,700 later in vet bills, Roxy is fine. However, since 3 On Your Side's first story, the toy's manufacturer, Petmate, has reimbursed Evanger for those vet bills.

"There's been a full resolution between myself and the manufacturer," Evanger said. "Both of us are satisfied with the outcome."

As part of the reimbursement, Petmate did not acknowledge any fault or accept responsibility for Roxy’s problem. Still, out of good faith, the company reimbursed Evanger.

"3 On Your Side has been fantastic," Evanger  said. "3 On Your Side stepped up, they were quick to respond to me. It facilitated and initiated my contact with both retailer and manufacturer."

Petmate did not have to pay those vet bills, but they did. Again, the company is not admitting their toy caused the problems but they certainly stepped up in a big way.