Veterinary medicine, like human medicine, has its share of fine and bad practitioners but I have been seeing an alarming trend in the realm of veterinary medicine. There was a time when vets treated animals for the love of animals and since they cared. Veterinary medicine had gotten as bad as human medicine and in some ways even worse!
At the very least many individuals have medical insurance and there are programs for individuals who need medical care. For pets, yes, there may be medical insurance available but in comparison with the numbers of pets, coverage is just not wide spread yet. And yes, there are some low price programs available but they’re mostly spay/neuter programs and vaccination programs.
Veterinary medicine has changed into ‘big business,’ revolving door, ‘bottom line’ watchers. Most vets require 75% upfront payment for any type of surgery and if there’s any doubt about paying the bill, which might easily mount within the hundreds of dollars, they will not touch your pet. Vet visits and surgery cost dog owners almost $800 and cat owners $500 last 12 months, in response to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. And that is just a mean! Few vets are willing to establish payment plans.
I’ve come across several stories within the news currently which have really bothered me, vets holding dogs ‘hostage,’ threatening ‘death’ over bills. People doctors don’t even do anything like that, so how can vets get away with it? Because animals are considered nothing but ‘possessions?’
Josh Gomez of Gwinnet, Georgia, say that his vet, Dr. Garry Innocent of PetFIRST Animal Hospital in Duluth is holding his black border collie, Pilot, hostage and is threatening to send him the an animal shelter where he might be euthanized.
Gomez has already paid Innocent the agreed on amount of $1,125 for the treatment of the pup’s virus in August. The subsequent thing he knew there have been every kind of additional charges that had not been agreed on. The bill jumped to $1,640 and has been increasing every day, with the vet holding the puppy, due to a $27 a day boarding charge. As of the 14th of September, Gomez owed almost an extra $1000 over what he initially agreed to pay Dr. Garry Innocent and PetFIRST Animal Hospital. As a 22 yr old, at home music teacher, Gomez says he just cannot afford to pay the outrageous charges. He’s already run up $400 on his girlfriend’s charge card and used a $750 loan from his employer.
And just what does Dr. Innocent must say about this, “He’s being such a twit, he just must pay his bill.”
How’s that for understanding and compassion?
On Tuesday the vet plans to send Gomez’s dog, Pilot, to an animal shelter. Gomez has filed a lawsuit in Gwinnett Superior Court this week to dam Innocent and PetFIRST Animal Hospital from handing Pilot over to animal-control authorities. His lawyer, Ed McCrimmon, says the Georgia law is unconstitutional since it enables pet clinics to take people’s property without ‘due process.’
In one other story from San Antonio, Texas, Jacqueline Hines rescued somewhat Chihuahua off the streets. She was just being a Good Samaritan, helping an animal in need. And naturally when the little dog, who she named Macho, got sick, she took him to the vet.
Hines, a 76 12 months old widow on a hard and fast income, told the vet that she couldn’t pay greater than $100 and the vet told her okay, treated the dog and charged her $93. Sounds pretty good thus far, right?
Well the subsequent morning Macho was even worse so Hines took him back, one other $341!
Then two hours later she was back within the emergency room along with her little dog because he was worse yet! “I used to be definitely having an anxiety attack,” Hines said.
Here the dog had been ‘treated’ and sent home twice to a complete of $434, after Hines expressly told the vet that she was on a hard and fast income and will only afford $100. To me, a good vet would have done somewhat higher at ascertaining the situation and truthfully let Hines know what was improper with the dog or if he didn’t know, a minimum of tell her that he wouldn’t give you the chance to treat the dog inside her financial restraints and permit her to see if she could find other options. He wouldn’t have repeatedly ‘treated’ the dog, charged her and sent the dog home only to have her bring the dog back for added ’emergency’ treatments!
This last time she was unable to pay the bill and had to go away her little dog on the vet’s office because, in fact, they couldn’t let her take him home. Five days later Hines gets a letter within the mail.
“Telling me that if I didn’t pay inside 12 days, they were going to kill the dog,” Hines said.
The actual wording of the letter was, “We intend to eliminate the animal,” wording taken directly from Texas law that enables vets to eliminate abandoned animals.
The vet did say that contrary to Hines’ belief based on the wording ‘eliminate the animal,’ that they fight to seek out a house for the animal, not kill it!
Luckily for Hines, before her little companion might be ‘disposed’ of, a friend paid off the vet bill and now she and Macho are reunited and she will repay her friend over time.
That is two stories of pets being held ‘hostage’ with vets threatening to ‘dispose’ of them if they do not get their money. I even have little doubt that Jacqueline Hines would have agreeably worked out some type of payment plan with the vet if that had been an option, in spite of everything, she’s worked one out to repay her friend.
And here’s just yet one more. No dog is being held ‘hostage’ but since the owner couldn’t pay up-front, a dog in grievous pain was turned away on the door of diverse vets despite the fact that the owner offered to establish payment plans with them to get her dog treated.
Loraine Standifer of Fort Price, Texas, was moving and asked a friend to look at her shepherd-mix dog, Amir. All was tremendous until in the future her friend got home from work and located that somebody had poured some corrosive liquid, like acid, on the dog’s back. Standifer rushed over and tried and tried to seek out a vet who would work out a payment plan for the extensive and expensive surgery that Amir would want. The dog was in pain but all of the vets she contacted turned her down.
Luckily for her and Amir, the rescue group that she adopted Amir from did put her in contact with a vet that really did the surgery and cared for Amir without cost. There actually are still some vets on the market who work from the guts somewhat than with wallet.
Veterinary salaries have risen, and newer veterinarians are demanding higher starting salaries before they even walk within the door. A brand new graduate will start at 60,000 dollars a 12 months. Higher end corporate practices can pay much more. Those practice owners earn in excess of 100,000 dollars a 12 months. I do know that veterinary medicine has modified and turn into rather more specialized. I realize that there are overhead costs and salaries and equipment but I also feel that medicine, whether animal or human, ought to be practiced from the guts and never the wallet. What could be the harm of adding somewhat compassion, at no charge?