WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — A local dog owner spent months unintentionally poisoning his dog with food that was eventually recalled. Now he's stuck with a hefty vet bill, and he's not getting any info from the grocery store who sold it, nor any help, he said, for any possible future complications.
Leland Dominici and his family have made big changes lately like living and working out of their space, framing and selling art so that they can be at home for their son, recently diagnosed with autism.
"This has become our passion. This is what we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Dominici.
It’s not picture perfect, but their dog Venus rounds out their family portrait.
"She’s an emotional support animal for our family. Both for my wife and my son and so it means a lot for us to have her here," said Dominici.
They had to cut back on expenses, like different dog food and that’s where the problems started.
"She started dry heaving a bunch, just being really lethargic and sleepy and not wanting to play," said Dominici.
Dominici saw a warning on social media about a recall for Venus' food. Abound, was one of eight brands pulled because of dangerously high levels of vitamin D. So he took the bag back to King Soopers for a refund — no problem.
But after his vet said to bring Venus in, all the tests and medication rang up a hefty bill. He realized this was long from over.
"Six months down the road from now, or who knows how long if something starts affecting her because of 3 months of eating this poisoned food, what are the long-term effects?" said Dominici.
King Soopers told Denver7 they pulled all the affected dog food as soon as they learned about the recall and that they notified people who bought the food, using the information on their king Sooper card.
Dominici said he didn't get the notification and told Denver7 the company offered to pay his nearly $300 vet bill under one condition: he sign a release from liability form, so he couldn't hold them responsible for vet bills down the line. He refused to sign it.
"It seems like if they were going to go through all of that to sign the release form, they know there are possible future complications and they’re trying to get out of it," said Dominici.
Venus is getting better and the Dominici family hopes she’s healthy from here on out.