A Utah family got the surprise of a lifetime when they discovered that their pet boxer, Zoey, was still alive

By Yvonne Juris
July 29, 2017 05:46 PM

A Utah family got a whole new ‘leash’ on life when they discovered that their pet boxer whom they’d thought was dead was actually still alive.

The Coates family had made the difficult decision to have their dog Zoey, who had been suffering from seizures, euthanized after discovering a large mass on Zoey’s side, KSL reported.

Six months later, the Coates’ learned the shocking revelation that their dog had never been euthanized, but was very much alive at a rescue home for boxers.

“I see the Boxer Town rescue page and I’m like, ‘That looks like my dog.’ Then I thought, ‘I’m crazy,’ but I click on it anyway and zoom in and say, ‘No, that’s my dog!'” Tawny Coates, Zoey’s owner, told KSL.


Coates said the family had been going through a string of unfortunate events. Her husband had robbed a bank, the family had lost their home after he went to jail and then the family dog had gotten ill, KSL reported.

“This felt like a final stab,” Tawny Coates told the station. “Like it was just one too many things. I knew it was going to be what pushed my kids to their breaking point.”

The family explained they still had some questions as to why they weren’t informed about the veterinarian’s decision not to euthanize the dog.

They claimed they had approached Dr. Mary Smart back in November and asked for their dog to be put down — saying that she had accepted and given them a receipt for $215 for Zoey’s euthanasia and cremation, NBC5 reported.

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Smart instead had taken the money given for Zoey’s cremation and surgically removed the tumor, KSL reported. She said she now thinks she should have told the family about her decision, but thought they didn’t want to keep the dog.

“In my professional opinion, this was a dog that had years to live and I didn’t want to put the dog down. I was trying to save its life,” Smart told KSL. “Had I any inkling that they might at all be interested in having the dog back, I would have for sure called. But after my conversation with Mr. Coates, it just seemed very obvious to me that they didn’t want the dog.”

Smart also claimed she discussed treatment options with Coates’ father, Larry, KSL reported. She alleged she discussed surgery or medication alternatives, but claims that he did not seem open to suggestions.

Coates told KSL Smart’s claim was a “complete falsehood.”