East Bay pet owners' requests for medical records go unanswered after vet hospital abruptly closes

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (KGO) -- Frustration is mounting for pet owners in the East Bay after the sudden closure of the Montclair Veterinary Hospital. Now, some customers say requests for their pets' medical records have gone unanswered.

Sadie Black, the owner of 7-year-old Chihuahua mix Darla says it takes time for her to warm up to strangers.

"She's a really nervous girl so consistency is really important to us." So having the consistency of having a regular healthcare provider suddenly interrupted was an unpleasant surprise.

"I actually found out because of a neighborhood Facebook group," said Black.

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A letter, posted on the clinic's front door was supposedly sent to patients' families, alerting them of the permanent closure and recommending other partner hospitals in the Bay Area.

Black says she never got the letter.

"I asked my husband he couldn't find it on his phone, so we never actually got an official notice," she said, while holding Darla at a park in nearby Berkeley.

Dozens of pet owners expressed their "shock and confusion" on the community website, Nextdoor.

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A woman who didn't want to go on camera had been taking her Bouvier des Flandres breed dog, Freida, to the hospital for the past three years. She requested her dog's records via email as soon as the facility closed.

Even though it's been a week, Freida's owner still has not gotten a response back. Upon visiting the now-shuttered clinic, a row of file cabinets in alphabetical order with possible patient records could be seen through the front door.

ABC7 News reached out to both the hospital itself and Thrive Pet Health Care which allegedly purchased the Montclair Veterinary Hospital. We did not hear back via phone or email.

As for Sadie and Darla, they need to find a new vet soon.

"She's got a couple of teeth that need to be extracted," says Sadie.

She now joins the many pet families in the search for an alternate place to receive care.

Shortly after this story aired, Freida's owner received her medical records. Thrive Pet Health Care also stated in the email that it's working to answer every request the Montclair Veterinary Hospital receives. They are asking pet owners who have already made an appointment with another provider to email them at montclair.petrecords@pathwayvets.com and include your appointment date and time in the subject line. Hospital officials say the team will continue to respond to requests over the next few days, including over the weekend.

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