This is a bit about the book I am writing. Although my memoir is still in progress, it is about my very long and emotionally painful fight to get New Jersey's "Betsy's Law" through legislation and passed into law. Please browse my site for a little information about my story. I am on my second draft of the book, please check my site for updates and blogs. I welcome anyone to contact me at any time.
When Betsy died at a veterinarian animal "hospital" at just 16 months old after I was promised overnight supervision, I had to get justice. Something had to be done. How could a doctor allow a pet to die so gruesomely by asphyxiation and I just do nothing about it. That was not going to happen. I had to make it right, I had to be Betsy's voice, I had to be the voice of other pets that have died unnecessarily at a veterinarians office.
For what? To collect a fictitious overnight fee.
Folks, it happens all of the time.
It happened again last night. It'll happen again tonight. Sadly, it will happen tomorrow night, too.
It will happen again and again, until "Betsy's Law" New Jersey Bills A1186 and S903 is a Federal Law.
Betsy's Law was signed into law in New Jersey on September 15th, 2015.
Story Part 1
A few months after losing our beloved pet Rosie at the age of 3 1/2 years to cancer, our family got Betsy after a very vivid dream that I had a few months later. A sufferer of bipolar disorder and medically unable to have children, I developed a very unique and strong bond with Betsy.
Story Part 2
When Betsy was 16 months old, she developed an eyelid irritation caused by rough play with her pal Floppy, our other Rottweiler. In this picture to the right, sits Betsy and Floppy. Betsy is to the left hand side of the picture, notice that her left eye is swollen.
Story Part 3
When her injury became uncomfortable and was not healing I took her to a veterinary ophthalmologist to see what can be done with her injury. She started barking at him and he got nasty. I took her to another doctor. I should have shrugged his demeanor off, but I didn't. When I dropped Betsy off for her procedure, I brought her in on a loop leash, also known as a kennel lead. Most veterinarians use them to return pets to their owners. Hers was hot pink.
Story Part 4
A loop leash, also known as a kennel lead is a safety device that most veterinarians use to take your pet from you for their procedures and/or checkups, then return the pets leash and collar back to you.
After the pet is ready to go home, the pet is given back to her owner wearing this type of leash and allow you to keep it as a courtesy.
Story Part 5
The doctor that fixed Betsy's eyelid called me the same day, October 1st 2007 and told me verbatim, "Everything went perfect, and with your permission, we would like to keep Betsy overnight for supervision so she doesn't paw at her sutures. When I overrode my intuition that screamed at me to say 'no', I said, "Okay". He called me at 08:04 am the next morning and told me that she had died and that she "hung herself". I fell into a downward spiral, over medicating myself falling into severe depression caused by having bipolar disorder for nearly a full year. After seeing my grief counselor Sile for almost a year, I told her that there should be law that veterinarians have to tell pet owners if somebody is not there overnight. "Madeleine - get the law made", she said. So I started. It was hell to do it fighting the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, the folks lobbying against my bill but we worked together and the fight finalized with a handshake. That's not nearly all of it. You will not believe how the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, The New Jersey Division of Law and that good ole' boys club the New Jersey Medical Examiners Veterinary Board handled my case. You just cannot make this stuff up. My story is the absolute truth to the best of my ability.