Able Animal Hospital in Parma damaged after an accident
PARMA, Ohio — Able Animal Hospital in Parma will be temporarily closed until further notice after owners said a group of teenagers crashed into the front of the building Tuesday night, according to Parma police.
At approximately 9:22 p.m., a Parma officer attempted to stop a stolen truck driven by a 16-year-old Cleveland boy at West 60th Street near Snow Road, a Parma police news release said.
The teenage driver refused to stop and led the police in pursuit. At one point in the chase, the driver slowed down to allow a female passenger to exit the car.
The chase eventually came to a halt in the 5400 block of State Road when the driver hit spike strips and lost control, swerving to the right side of the road, the statement said.
Police say the driver hit two unoccupied cars and then crashed into Able Animal Hospital.
The front section of the animal hospital was badly damaged, with bricks and other debris left strewn across the sidewalk.
“They hit us, they hit the fence, they hit the other fence, they destroyed a child’s car and hit the other building,” said Debra Bartowick, manager of Able Animal Hospital. .
Bartowick has worked there for more than two decades at the veterinary hospital which works with many low-income residents and rescue groups.
Police said the vehicle was reported stolen in Parma Heights on August 9.
The veterinary hospital will be temporarily closed until further notice.
When Bartowick checked into the hospital, she got to work.
“It’s a devastating blow,” Bartowick said. “I had to send animals home last night that were due for surgery today and have to cancel for next week.”
So far, dozens of appointments have been canceled at a time when veterinary services are in short supply because so many people brought home pandemic pets.
“It’s going to take time to put things back together,” she said.
Until then, staff here are working on the phones, hoping other vets can get their sickest clients in.
“You can’t let a diabetic animal be sick for days, they deteriorate very quickly,” Bartowick said.
Amid the frantic race to find alternative care for their clients, Bartowick takes the time to give thanks that this accident happened after hours.
“We have chairs, there would have been people sitting there, there would have been pets, it would have been really bad, people would have been killed,” she said.
The 16-year-old driver was taken to Parma University Hospitals Medical Center for his injuries.
A 15-year-old boy from Parma and a 15-year-old girl from Parma, who got out of the vehicle before the crash, were both arrested, police said.
They were later released into the custody of a relative because the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center refused to accept them, police said.
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