My experience at this vet clinic was not a good one, and this is my story and experience there. My sister and niece brought their cat in for abdominal and pee problems, and they told me they were told that his insides were twisted and if they didn't do something immediately he could die. They were told that the procedure they recommended doing, may not even work and he may need several surgeries. A staff person (manager and/or counter personnel) told her that he may need come come weekly and said, they needed a credit card on file to proceed now and in the future. They wanted 1200 upfront. She didn't have a credit card to charge that on, nor that kind of money at that instant.
My sister cried to me as she told me about her experience. She and her daughter were devastated and felt it would be a nightmare to make him suffer like that and all those surgeries would be tortuous for the poor kitty. Her heart is so huge that she didn't want the poor kitty to die and/or suffer from surgery after surgery (my niece had lost a kitty during surgery in the past and lived that kind of horror to watch what that kitty went through, so it was a very close to home and sensitive situation).
She said she didn't want him tortured and if it's that life threatening, maybe putting him to sleep to spare him from the pain and suffering that he would endure (she did not say that lightly). This broke her heart because she loved him so much, and that is the biggest heart when you have make such a heart wrenching decision to prevent suffering. I personally had to put a cat to sleep when she had cancer in the neck and had to make the choice to put her down so it wouldn't eat through the neck when it got too big. That is a decision was the hardest decision I ever had to make.
As my sister and niece were crying about what to do after this shocker news, the staff, office and vet assistant, told her he was too young to put to sleep and they would pay for the cat at their expense as long as she signed surrender papers. She told me that she felt bullied and talked down too. Wow, what a difficult and horrible situation to be in I thought. She was torn and didn't want to lose here precious baby..crying and freaking out, she told me that she asked them to promise that they wouldn't make him suffer. This went on for some time and she signed the papers as her heart was torn.
By doing this, she gave up rights to him and she wouldn't even be given the dignity to be there if he had to be put down. Right there, Johny on the spot, she had to make a decision without realizing the consequences of that decision. I wished she would have gotten a second opinion but they said the cat could die if something wasn't done right away she said. After going back and forth, having the staff telling her what to do and what not to do, giving her a doom and gloom and then her feeling pressure, she left mortified. I wished so badly I was there to help them through. She needed support after bringing her cat in and to go through that in a moments time. Her hope was drained from her and she lost him.
They went home and sold everything they could to come up with the money and borrowed from family and friends and called them back the next day to tell them they had the money and wanted the cat and to know how he was. She said that she was not allowed to pay for him, she was flat out told that she couldn't afford a cat with problems, and they didn't tell her how he was, nothing, and the surrender sheet was signed and there was nothing more they could do for her. Are you kidding me—I'm in disbelief as she is telling me this.
It has been three months and my sister has continued nightmares. Her and her cat had a beautiful relationship in a beautiful and loving home. He was her buddy and the loss of him is so deep—deeper than most could ever realize. Their relationship with the kitty was precious and suddenly it was ripped out from under their feet. She cries wondering if he is going through grieving the loss of them too. I know for a fact that he is because animals morn the loss of their owners.
I asked her if the cat even had any X-rays done or tests, and she said no. Now this is a huge mystery to me. Why not and how could all of this have transpired. I had to go there and find out what happened to him.
I live out of state, so I drove up to meet the staff. All I can say is, it was a very gut wrenching and an eye opening experience. At first, things went well. I met a nice lady, who I later learned was a vet, and she found the record on him, said he was renamed and another vet took him home after being at the clinic for weeks. She told me she could call about the cat, to see if we could get him back (I was relieved to know he was alive and hoped I could get him back for my sister). She said the cat was fine. As she walked in the back room, another staff member came in and took over and said she tried to explain what had happened. She told me that his procedure was common and a simple one. Just a blockage at the urinary tract. So at this point, I'm a little taken back and tell her that that is not what my sister was told. I told her what my sister was told and explained that someone said the kitty would need more surgeries, that he could die if something wasn't done right away and that this surgery may not work, etc.... She said remembers telling my sister that he may need another one, but made light of the rest and waffled around it. At this point, I am getting very upset to here two very different stories. I ask to see the records, but was not given them. I said my sister tried to pay for him and she said that it's noted in the record, but stopped there.
Then the manager showed up and said they adopted him out to a lady who just lost a cat (that wasn't what the vet had just told me), again, two very different stories. Later she did finally say, she would call and decide if they would give him back, but then changed her mind when she said she wouldn't give me the records and further information about the cat). She was instantly defensive and very rude, so I see what my sister was talking about now first hand. At this point, I'm feeling like a victim and pushed into a corner as she tells me that they didn't tell my sister that he would need several surgeries. However, I tell them that the counter person, just moments ago, just confirmed that they told her this. So now I'm being lied too again and again. I ask again for the record and they said I would need a lawyer to have them released. I said I have Power of Attorney while my sister is away and they said no.
I am beside myself and wonder what on earth are they trying to hide. They were saying things that contradicted each others stories. I believe my sister and I am not getting any straight answers from them. I was just sick and devastated about it.
I said she deserves her cat back after the high pressure she was put in and that she even came up with the money, etc.... I told them that this entire experience tore their heart out, was, baffling, stressful, and that I felt they were blindsided—I pleaded for her cat back. The manager grabbed the record and went in the back room and that was the end of it. I was mortified.
My personal experience there was horrible and I am in shock still. How can they live with themselves, I felt. In the end, they said the cat was surrendered and enough said.
Something is seriously wrong here I feel. They ask for all this money right NOW and that they needed a credit card on file (which she did not have and they told her to go get one), then hight pressure, ending in her having to make a decision to surrender him, and making her feel horrible, guilty, only to refuse her pleas after she came up with the money. I am beside myself and I got to experience their coldness first hand too. How can anyone who brings a cat in to help the cat, forced to make decisions while in duress within a matter of minutes, thinking that their cat is going to die at any second and need all kinds of surgeries (without any X-rays, etc..)....then tell me it was a common and minor procedure. Are you kidding me. They won't give the cat back, they said he was signed away, and they paid for the cat our of their own pocket (the manager barked at me) and that was the end of it.
To top this all off, I find out from a gal I used to work with, that I visited while in WI, that her young cat died while under the care of this clinic. She too had a very bad experience with the staff. She had adopted it from them to begin with. Apparently, this poor kitty was not eating, throwing up, and over the phone they prescribed all these expensive medications (no x rays or blood work which baffled them too), she picked up the meds, and the cat died a few days later after foaming at the mouth. Why would prescriptions be the answer, they are horrified by their negligence too (there is so much more to that story and it's so sad).
All I can say is, please do your homework, guard your pocket book from high pressure, undeserved panic that may be instilled, high cost decisions, and not knowing exactly what the problem is, and seriously think about getting a second opinion before committing to any surgery that needs to be done asap.
I also recently read that a cat mysteriously died while being boarded at the clinic and the cat had zero health issues prior and they were completely insensitive about it to the poor owner.
The pain and suffering for my sister and niece will never go away. My sister is the kind of person who would give the shirt off her back, and longs for her cat as she worries if he is suffering the loss of them too. This clinic had every opportunity to give the kitty back but didn't. I begged them to give the cat back to her and would pay whatever they wanted, and they still will not release the cat or the records to us. I gave them time to do the right thing and they didn't. In my personal opinion, I truly feel that this precious cat was used against the owner's tormented heart and their tactics backfired (customer had no credit card).
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