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« Positive Year 1 for KCMO Privatized Shelter; but better Civic Policies Needed | Main | Kansas City, MO BSL/MSN -- Year 4. Can we quit pretending it's working yet? »

February 10, 2010



I liked this story too. I am very suspicious of any Vet who offers only 2 options: payment in full or kill the dog. That doesn't seem very caring to me.


I read this story too and just thought it brought to light the awesomeness of people (those who donated) and the craptasticness of people (the vet who refused to give the dog back or take a payment and the SPCA who were considering prosecuting a dog owner for legally taking their dog back).


That's a tough one. As an ex-vet tech, I can tell you that veterinarians get stiffed an obscene amount of times. Since people paying their vet bills is the only way that they can pay their own bills and staff, I understand why they are hesitant to extend credit to people. Believe it or not, most veterinarians are not wealthy people. There are a LOT of people that want credit, and a lot of them are not going to come through with the payments. So...

The clinics that I worked for would have allowed them to take the dog for a second opinion without notifying authorities of potential "animal cruelty." We may have called the police, though, if somebody "stole" the dog. Perhaps they had not paid the bill that they had already run up? It's tough to say without hearing the other side of the story.

Crappy situation for everybody, that's for sure.


As soon as I stop blubbering over the sweetness of this story, I'll add my two cents. I know that some vets do get stuck with the bill, and all too often, I'm sure, but the poor kid and his dog. There has to be some happy medium.

Often, shelters will help financially strapped people in situations like this; I know ours does and vets don't hesitate to call us, and charge full price. Maybe they don't have the same options in NZ, or maybe that particular vet just didn't have a heart for the boy or his dog.

Of course the ensuing media stories probably won't help the vet's business. What comes around...


What Pibble said about happy mediums. First of all, I'll fully admit that I know nothing about what it's like to be in a situation like this as a vet, but refusing to treat an animal in pain & b/c the family is poor sounds like animal cruelty & bald-faced heartlessness to me. And then you want to kill the animal, which has a family that loves him, because you're greedy?

I'm sorry, I know vets need to pay the bills, but as a vet you must realize you'll be faced with situations like this where you'll have a suffering animal that can be treated & a very poor, but loving family. So put a plan in place ahead of time. Throw a benefit & start a fund, ask other customers if they'd like to donate $1 to your fund & offer to match each dollar raised. Just charge other customers a little more so you can afford to pick up the slack if a *suffering* animal that needs immediate treatment comes in & the family cannot afford to provide it. Have Care Credit available and allow customers to apply immediately for credit (probably wouldn't have worked in this case, but would work in some.)

I'm not talking about situations where the animal needs surgery or some other treatment, but it's not an emergency and the family has some time to gather funds. I'm talking about the immediate emergency types situations.

Yes, one could say it's not the vet's responsibility, but I imagine many (most?) vets go into the profession because they care about animals. If they have reached a level of jadedness and cynicism where they actually think killing an animal is the logical choice in this scenario, maybe it's time for them to find a new profession.


Now THAT's what I'm talking about.

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