The Doctors: Animal Rescue Hero Charged With Animal Abuse
Annie Hart, Founder of Rescue From the Hart, shared that when she first met Kay, she was considered a hero in the Los Angeles rescue community. She took in a lot of senior dogs and very sick dogs. Kay sent her a text message saying she found a severely emaciated dog stumbling down the side of the road and asked if she could bring it to the hospital. When the dog was brought in, Steve Rosenstein, the Medical Director of Westlake Village Animal Hospital, said he had never seen an animal in worse condition.
The dog weighed eleven pounds and was unable to stand. She was clean, not covered in fleas, and her toenails were freshly trimmed, which made the story of Kay finding her walking along the street, nearly impossible. They weren’t sure what Kay’s roll was in the animal’s condition, but they knew she wasn’t sharing the whole truth. Just a few weeks later, Annie got terrifying news. On April 9 and 10, 2015, Apple Valley Animal Control officers took 13 dogs from Kay Buell’s home. One died on the way to the animal hospital, two were euthanized, and one was found dead in a garbage can.
The Doctors: Kay Buell Animal Abuse
Annie Hart has rescued over 1,000 dogs, but she’d never seen anything like what was found in Kay’s home. Annie was shocked that someone who seemed so kind, could actually be so cruel. The news of Kay’s alleged cruelty sparked outrage and on the day of her hearing, protestors marched outside the courthouse demanding justice. They want the justice system to deal with her the proper way.
Annie Hart then joined the show, saying she still can’t believe it happened. The dogs were starved over months and the images were horrifying and sad.
The Doctors: Animal Rescue Hero Turned Criminal
Psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser said she had never met Kay, but typically a situation like her’s points to a narcissistic disorder, which is a mental illness. Stacy explained that most of us feel so connected to our pets because they love us unconditionally. It fills an emotional and psychological need in all of us. The defendant faces 15 counts of animal cruelty, with punishment as little as probation or as much as 12 years in prison. Future hearings will determine her punishment.
The defendant’s sister spoke with The Doctors’ producers, saying “Kay Buell is a very loving person and she has helped a lot of people in dog rescue. She opened her door many times to rescue. We look forward to the evidence that will be presented on her side.”
Kay’s attorney declined an offer to appear on the show but did say “We understand that this is a very sensitive issue for the community and we ask that the public please refrain from pre-judging Ms Buell based on much misinformation currently being shared on social media. One of the most sacred principles of our justice system is the presumption that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty and we would ask the public please extend this presumption to Ms Buell. Ms Buell looks forward to her day in court and the opportunity for the true facts in this case to come to light.”
The Doctors: Dog Survived Severe Animal Abuse
Many of the dogs in Ms Buell’s care did not survive, but the story of one dog named Angel has touched the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. The images of Angel when she was first brough into the animal hospital were shocking, given that she was too weak and emaciated to evn stand on her own. They weren’t sure if they would be able to save Angel, but Annie reported that today Angel weighs 37.8 pounds.
The Doctors then welcomed Angel to join the show, revealing the same gently adorable face, but a much healthier looking body. Dr Rosenstein said it wasn’t for several days that they realized she didn’t really have any serious health problems, she was just nearly starved to death. She needed blood transfusions and was so dehydrated that her kidneys were failing. Dr Travis took the opportunity to thank Annie and Dr Rosenstein, and all those who rescue dogs and give them a second chance at life.
The good news is that Angel was just adopted so she’ll spend the rest of her life getting the love and attention she truly deserves!