My family recently had a horrible experience with Kristee, the practice manager at Cherokee Animal Hospital. My son took his boxer, Zoe, to board her for a week while he went on vacation with family. Kristee ruined our vacation by accusing him of trying to starve Zoe to death. She called Jackson County Animal Control to come take pictures of Zoe and charge our son with animal cruelty. After we questioned the officer about jurisdiction he backed down because Zoe and our son live in Swain County on Cherokee tribal lands. Plus, the officer asked the same question we had. "Why would a person who is abusing a pet and wishes it to starve to death take it to an animal hospital to be boarded so he can have a worry-free vacation?" Kristee wasn't finished. She then called Cherokee Animal Control to show up when we arrived to take Zoe home in the hopes that they would charge our son with animal cruelty. They, of course, never showed up since Cherokee Animal Hospital is off the reservation and they have no jurisdiction there. The crazy thing is that Cherokee Animal Hospital performed an emergency small bowel resection on Zoe at the end of May 2011 in which they removed all of her small intestine. Zoe has lost thirteen pounds over the intervening months and suffers from chronic diarrhea. My son takes tender loving care of her and has spent an exhorbitant amount of time trying to manage her feedings and medications. No matter how much he feeds her she continues to lose weight. Kristee refused to listen to reason when we tried to explain that the veterinary literature supports that the symptoms Zoe is experiencing are due to the small bowel resection. Instead, she shouted us down when we tried to speak. The literature explains that most dogs are euthanized before this type of surgery is even attempted because of poor prognosis. The others either die on the operating table or a few days later. The median survival period after surgery is less than three years. We called to speak to Dr. Robbie three times during our vacation week but Kristee would not allow us to speak to her. We took Zoe to her regular veterinarians at Sylva Animal Hospital the next day after picking her up and we had just the opposite experience. Our vet at Sylva was caring, understanding, and supportive. She said Zoe was "amazing" for surviving so long and being such a happy dog who has not given up yet despite her serious medical condition. She reinforced what we were trying to explain to Kristee. I am still baffled at why Kristee would target our son like she did and refuse to back down. Please consider whether you really want to take your pet to a place where the practice manager is totally out of control.
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