I don’t usually use my blog to complain, but for this I will make an exception.
My family and I lost our dog this past Sunday and I would like to pass on this warning to other families that value their pets as members of their family.
I know we are all victims of our abysmal economy; but I was unaware, until now, of just what a toll it would take on human compassion and decency.
Sunday afternoon our beloved dog Annabel ran out into the street into the path of an oncoming car. The driver never even acknowledged that she had run down our dog; she simply drove off. Thankfully, another driver, who witnessed the accident, followed our injured dog to our home to make sure she got help.
I immediately called our vet at Cedar Brook Animal Hospital. An after hours message directed us to a number of emergency animal hospitals. The closest to our home was Regional Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center in Turnersville, New Jersey.
When we arrived at the hospital, Annabel’s breathing was labored and unusually noisy. Blood ran from her mouth, with no indication of an oral injury, and she stared ahead unblinking. Even though we were aware the outlook was grim, we needed to know for sure and we put our faith in Regional.
I explained the circumstances of Annabel’s injury as the receptionist shoved paper after paper in front of me to sign. I signed them wanting nothing more than to get help for our pet and ease her suffering. We were told it would be $120.00 just to have her seen and as much as $500.00 to stabilize her.
The staff took Annabel in the back and thirty minutes later a staff member came into the waiting room to get us. She led us in the back and asked questions about Annabel’s allergies, food, and so on. Within a few minutes the doctor came in to tell us Annabel’s breathing was agonal and because we elected not to have CPR performed, she didn’t have long. She suggested we end her suffering; something we should have done before they inflicted more.
Annabel was breathing that way when we brought her in with blood running from her mouth, you mean a doctor didn’t know this before they did all of that to my already suffering dog? They had to know our 15 pound little wisp of a dog would never make it, but they chose to inject her with iv’s, catheters’, put her in an oxygen tent and more knowing it was doing nothing more than torturing our dog and would do nothing to save her.
It was obvious their efforts were not to save my dying dog or even to end her suffering, but instead to increase the fee they would later charge us.
After agreeing to put our dog down, the staff got right to the bill without so much as missing a beat. The total bill would be another $417.27 due now; in addition to the $120.00 we had already paid. As this was unexpected we were not prepared for the cost of this visit.
I have to question why no one came out to ask if we wanted all of that done? Why do all that to an already suffering pet knowing there was no chance of saving her? Where was their sense of compassion? We soon found out there was none to be found here.
It was explained to my husband and me, as we sat there with tears streaming down our faces, that if we chose not to pay, they would have no choice but to call the police! We were dumbfounded! We were not refusing to pay; we simply didn’t have an extra $417.27 in hand at that moment. Now not only did we lose our dog, but we also had a police report filed because we couldn’t pay them right then and there! No chances for payment arrangements, other than Care Credit, which we couldn’t do, just a police report and a court date.
What kind of veterinarian would choose to inflict further discomfort and pain on a dying dog simply to increase the bottom line? I will tell you, a heartless, inhumane excuse for a human being.
For the record, two days later we paid our bill in full without going to court and being forced to do so. This is not about getting out of paying our bill. This is to make you aware of what you may encounter should you choose to take your beloved pet to a facility like Regional Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center. My family and I found out the hard way that they are obviously more concerned about getting your money than they are about the comfort and care of your pet.