I'm writing this thread because at times this website has become my own venting board for all that I see around me. The following happened to me
just two days ago, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me, as well as any other stories of such behavior.
I was at work on Monday evening, when my brother called to tell me my cat was really sick. Like, not moving at all, not breathing right, kind of sick.
Now for those of you with pets, you know that this is a big deal for me. Well, I left work, seeing as I have the only car in the house, and rushed
home to grab my cat. As soon as I picked him up, he defecated all over me, and wasn't moving. I knew he was really sick, and rushed him to the car
and on to the freeway. The fires meant that I couldn't take him to my normal, (and quite wonderful) vet, so I was forced, at 10:30 pm, to take him to
the 24 clinic in Santa Barbara. (I won't use names due to possible future litigation)
Well, I had called ahead, and as soon as I got there, the person at the desk called for a vet. The vet took the cat from me, (which was covered in
it's own diarrhea) and walked into a side room.
Next, the man behind the desk needed me to fill out some paperwork. More important than anything else (medical history, symptoms, diet) the clerk kept
pushing this paperwork that made sure I assumed responsibility for the cost of the care. I kept trying to fill out the paperwork for the animals
history, and finally, signed the pay form.
The clerk then picked up the phone and called the vet, authorizing them to BEGIN care on my animal.
I sat down and waited, and about a half an hour later, I was shown to a room where I was told to wait for the vet.
The vet then came in, and asked a few questions about my pets diet, and then began to show me an itemized bill for the presumed
care of my cat.
It was an astonishing 1500 dollars, but I agreed, thinking that I could work something out for a couple weeks.
The vet then left, telling me that she would let me know more when they knew more.
2 hours later, after 1230 in the morning, I was again show to the vet, who proceeded to tell me that they had done blood work three times, x-rays, and
wanted to do a sonogram. I was told the cat had to stay overnight, and then something weird again happened. After just thee minutes of talking about
my cat, basically telling me they knew nothing, the vet proceeded to talk to me for 25 minutes about each and every charge on the bill. At the end, I
asked to see my cat, before I went home, and the vet said yes, as soon as I paid my bill.
So I went out to the clerk, and was told to pay 1539.00 dollars. And they still knew nothing about my cat being sick. In over three hours.
I told them that at 1 in the morning, I was unlikely to be able to give them all that money, but could return in a couple of hours, after the bank
I was told that I could apply for a credit card from them.
I told them that was stupid, as their rates were 22%.
I told them I had 150 in cash, and would leave my I.D. as collateral. I also have a three year work history at the nicest resort in town.
Not good enough. Could I call a friend? Maybe a relative?
No, I am not waking up people for this. Why can"t I just come back?
I asked the man, what would happen if I just left, would he try to tackle me? would they let my cat die?
That was when things got interesting. The man said he would be right back, and left. I waited, and then he returned, with a young man who quickly
identified himself as a former recon Marine. I said we had some things in common.
The guy then positioned himself near me, staring me down. The other clerk said he had to try a credit card or no dice.
Thats when I realized what the f was going on. I was being shook down, and they had my pet as hostage.
When my credit failed, (actually don't know why on that one) a vet came out and explained that there were two treatment options;
One was that I came up with the money.
The other was euthanizing.
I explained that I had a hundred and fifty dollars.
They had a short pow-wow, and then agreed , as long as I returned the next day.
at that point, the "goon" left and never came back.
I was allowed to see my cat, who was still covered in his own feces four hours later.
I left, and got up early the next morning to get the money together. When I called, the said that my cat had a fever of unknown origin, and that I
could take him home. I asked the bill, saying that I could only get him at 3 pm, and they responded with 800 dollars, less my deposit.
I showed up at three, and they had raised the fee by 150 dollars, neglecting to tell me of the hourly fee tacked on. ($40 per hour)
I paid them, and they returned my still poop covered cat, and told me I could go home. I told them I was taking him to my regular vet, and they faxed
over the records to them.
Well, when I got to my vet, they were shocked at the fact that the other vet had done EVERY test they could, except the most OBVIOUS one. The fecal
My vet ran the test, and within twenty minutes of seeing my cat, had found the problem.
If I had taken my cat home, I would have been forced to return, mysteriously, in the middle of the night. When they were the only ones that operate
Now my vet says that they charged me for hourly blood tests, on the SAME blood sample.
Isn't this the same as a mechanic that rigs your car to blow parts?
I feel pretty scammed, and the thousand dollars it ended up costing, (958.37 to be exact) was a waste, as my vet actually has to fix him.
Thanks for letting me vent, as the three main problems I have are the thug, the option to euthanize, and he fact they never actually followed
procedure, as my vet says.
Can anyone help me with this? Have any similar stories?
I feel like that sexist idea from the 70's of a woman in an automotive shop.
Except I'm a layman at the vets.
Edit to add adorable photos of the victim.
[edit on 10-7-2008 by jasonjnelson]