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  • Report: #150725

Complaint Review: Banfield Pet Hospital at Mall Of Georgia

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  • Submitted: Thu, July 21, 2005
  • Updated: Wed, May 28, 2014

  • Reported By:Sugar Hill Georgia
Banfield Pet Hospital at Mall Of Georgia
1705 Mall Of Georgia Blvd Buford, Georgia U.S.A.

Banfield Pet Hospital at Mall Of Georgia Inside PetSmart Uncaring vet, over charging company, and total lack of respect, ripoff Buford Georgia

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: sorry for what happened but Banfield is a business

*Consumer Comment: Banfield - The "Mercedes" of Vets? WHAT???!!

*Consumer Suggestion: For Erica

*Consumer Comment: Everyone has a valid point, but...

*Consumer Suggestion: Veterinary medical carries a cost

*Consumer Comment: Give the vet's a break!

*Consumer Comment: Save for Your Pet

*Consumer Comment: Banfield is not "All Good!"

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: banfield

*Consumer Comment: I went through a similar experience

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Completely preventable...from both sides...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I once worked at Banfield...

*Consumer Comment: I UNDERSTAND

*Consumer Comment: Like Kids, Pets Cost Money to Properly Care For

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I worked for Banfield and Know......

*Consumer Comment: Everyday it's the same old story

*UPDATE Employee: Banfield has the highest quality care

*Author of original report: Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

*Author of original report: Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

*Author of original report: Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

*Consumer Comment: Bordetella is Kennel Cough

*Author of original report: OK for those of you who continue to slam me and doubt the wellness plan, well here you go.

*Consumer Comment: Whatever Girl.... seriously doubt that your pooch is on the wellness plan

*Consumer Comment: I don't believe your complaint in this situation is warranted

*Consumer Suggestion: Kennel Cough?

*Consumer Comment: Response to All Rebuttals from Original Poster

*UPDATE Employee: thanx for taking time to embarass yourself

*Consumer Suggestion: This is YOUR own fault!!

*Consumer Comment: Oh puhlease!!! your sadly abused animal.

*Consumer Suggestion: Wellness Clinic

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Employee, Here is how Banfield Works......

*Consumer Suggestion: Banfield at Mall of Georgia

*Consumer Comment: Nurses Don't Work in Vets Offices!

*Consumer Suggestion: Alternative Medical Arrangements

*UPDATE Employee: Absolutely Absurd

*Consumer Comment: I think you're angry about not having money to pay

*Consumer Suggestion: Prevent this from happening again

*Consumer Suggestion: Prevent this from happening again

*Consumer Suggestion: Prevent this from happening again

*Consumer Suggestion: Prevent this from happening again

*Consumer Comment: Kennel Cough, mites, worms and dry heaves?

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On 7/16/05 I took my 6 1/2 month old Boxer to be seen by our regular vet at Banfield Pest Hospital located in the PetSmart at Mall of Georgia for diarrea. They diagnosed him with worms and also called to let me know it looked as though he had ear mites and a irritation on his stomach.

I explained to the nurse that we did not have the money to treat all that this time around but that if they wanted to go ahead and treat him that we could pay the rest next week. Well of course, they choose not to treat because I wasn't giving them money.

So on Tuesday 7/19/05 he was having problems getting comfortable anywhere. He looked very nervous and uncomfortable. After searching on the net for symptoms of ear mites, we found that his behavior was probably due to the mites.

So we had to break down and take him to the vet even though we still had not been paid yet because we couldn't stand seeing him unfortable. The vet examined him and gave us some medication for his ears. When my husband got home with him he started acting strange about an hour after getting home with dry heaving and acting like there was something stuck in his throat.

We went ahead and gave him the mite medicine even though one of the side effects was vomiting. This dry heaving and vomiting continued throughout the night and I took him back to the vet to be examined this morning. The vet assistant just called to let me know that the doctor recommended doing a white blood count test and an x-ray to see if there was anything stuck in his throat but this was going to cost an additional $400 that what was already quoted of $150 just to stay the day for observation.

I explained that I just did not have the $400 for those procedures and she said, "Well you can take them off and tell me what you would like done." Basically, the doctor will not treat my puppy unless I hand over $500 to her for the hospital stay for today, medication for the originally diagnosed kennel cough, and the blood test, and x-rays.

So in other words, my puppy could die of something stuck in his throat or some other infection and the doctor just doesn't care because I cannot afford to give her $500 at this time. I have mentioned payment plans several times and have been dismissed every time.

It is a shame when doctors do not care about the well being of an animal because the cost of getting them well is more than the average person can afford in one lump sum. This doctor is Dr. Cockburn and when I called the corporate office to file a complaint they said they could do nothing because she actually owns this facility and she has the final say so.

I told the nurse to have both my dogs records ready when I came to pick the puppy up because I would never bring either of them back. This is NOT the first time that I have had this issue with this facility but this time they have gone too far when they seem to be so willing to let an innocent puppy suffer because his parents aren't wealthy like the vet.

Erika
Sugar Hill, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/21/2005 01:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Banfield-Pet-Hospital-at-Mall-Of-Georgia/Buford-Georgia-30519/Banfield-Pet-Hospital-at-Mall-Of-Georgia-Inside-PetSmart-Uncaring-vet-over-charging-compa-150725. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 40Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

sorry for what happened but Banfield is a business

AUTHOR: Riki - ()

I am sorry to hear about your experience with Banfield, but I also can't help thinking that it is a business and if they provide tests and treatment for your pet  they should be paid.  If you can't payvwhy should they be obligated to treat your dog?  I don't know what their policy is on payment plans, but if it is something they don't do payment plans, then why should they make an exception for you or anyone?  It drives me nuts when people think doctors and veterinarians should provide their services for free.  These are people too, who have families to support just like everyone elee...

'

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#2 Consumer Comment

Banfield - The "Mercedes" of Vets? WHAT???!!

AUTHOR: tommydog - (United States of America)

"Banfield is the 'Mercedes' of vets"???? Are you serious? That's so ridiculous! I had to log in just because of that statement. Please, please tell me that you're kidding.

Banfield is the "Used Car Lot" of vets, at best.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

For Erica

AUTHOR: Antwackie - (U.S.A.)

Erica.  Let me tell you how to deal with this problem in the future....  First you buy worming meds over the counter from a horse/cattle/farm supply store.  Cost..$20.  I personally love Safe Guard powder.  It comes in packets of three day doses. Worm problem solved...

Second ear mites are easy to get rid of.  You can either use REVOLUTION topical heartworm/flea/tick treatment from www.equine-mega-store.com   or buy a bottle of Ivermectin injectionable and use one drop in each ear of the dog...LOL...That's it!!! That's the cure,  pure and simple. and this one bottle will treat 100 dogs.

If more people did this, then the greedy vets will have to lower their prices, and get real.... I mean $500 for kennel cough...That's disgusting.  Everyone knows that Bordatella (kennel cough) is treated with 250 mg of penacillin for ten days, and you can buy Cephalexin capsules (called Fish Antibiotics) online for $25 a bottle of 100 caps and stuff it a tablespoon of canned dog food, for ten days, and your done.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Everyone has a valid point, but...

AUTHOR: Sonya - (U.S.A.)

As a woman married to a Vet who previously worked at Banfield, I have a few comments about this case.

The vets at Banfield are paid on production. They get a base salary, plus bonus pay based on the amount of services they sell. I think depending on the Vet, this could in some cases, cause an overly inflated bill. Personally, even before I met my husband, I always took my animals to small, individually owned clinics because that's what I prefer.

Both my husband and the friends he made at Banfield are truly animal lovers. They really care and are not "in it for the money". So far most of the people I've met in this business through his work, etc., love animals so much they regularly adopt and foster homeless animals that are given up by their owners at the clinic. Many of them have between 5 and 10 pets they've taken in at their own cost.

The clinic he currently works for (not a Banfield) will not release an animal that has received services and treatments until the bill is paid in full. A month ago they kept a dog at their clinic for over a week until his owners could come up with the money to pay their bill. Finally they did and the dog is back home.

My husband and his current clinic's owner does try to work with people who can't afford to pay and they go over the charges before they start treatment. The treatment is not started until the client is aware of the charges and gives their approval. And, you may think that you are being charged a lot, but medical care is not cheap. A vet clinic is a SMALL business and they have to pay their bills, staff, etc. and while they may give discounts and try to offer less expensive options to people who cannot afford the necessary treatment, they can't do much more than that without losing money. The clinic he works for is doing well, but again, it's a privately owned business and this is America (the land of capitalism) where most people don't want to go through all of the hassles of running a business unless they can reap big financial rewards. I can't say that I disagree. I do know the owner of the clinic where my husband currently works has been in business for 20 years and he does not raise his fees for services unless he absolutely has to.

There is a company (Care Credit) that provides credit to people who don't have the money to pay for their pet's treatment. It's similar to a credit card. You can check with your vet to see if they offer the service. My husband and I had to put $3,000 on it when our cat had to go to an emergency hospital for 24 hour a day care for several days. For us it was well worth it because she survived and is doing very well.

Bye the way... not all vets make huge salaries. My husband works 50+ hours a week and is still paying off his student loans. By the time he is done paying them, it will have taken him about 15 years at $400 a month plus interest for just his student loans. So, when you question how much your are being charged for your vet's medical expertise... remember what it cost him/her to be able to provide that service to you.

Also, you may want to search the web for a discount clinic in your area. I know there are some in Florida and there are private organizations both in Georgia and in Florida that give discounts for basic services such as spays and neuters and some medical care. When we lived in Florida, my husband worked for a discount clinic that charged about 10% less than most other clinics for most services.

Good luck with your all of your animals.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Veterinary medical carries a cost

AUTHOR: Niki - (U.S.A.)

I understand your upset due to your pet being ill. However, I'm not sure where you get the expectation that your pet should be treated without payment. Veterinarians are fee for service providers and without payment cannot be expected to render service. Do you visit the grocery store and ask for bread and milk on a Monday and offer payment the following weekend? They would laugh and certainly not provide you with the food. I'm not certain why you expect the veterinarian to be different.

Banfield offers "Wellness Plans" that plan ahead for these type of things. You make a monthly payment and are offered services outlined in your plan. If you cannot afford veterinary emergency or routine care, I would suggest that you sign up for a plan like this.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Give the vet's a break!

AUTHOR: Jeepstergirl - (U.S.A.)

I am a veterinary technician at an emergency clinic. I see this happen all the time. I don't think the dog owner is at fault. Sometimes stuff happens and you can't pay a vet bill. If I didn't work for a vet, I couldn't pay all my vet bills! Puppy's do get worms and they do get kennel cough! I'm sick of people judging other people and saying if you don't have the money to treat you dog for everything then you shouldn't have a pet. What should the owners do? Euthenize them? I don't know about you, but I would rather live with an ear infection that be dead!

Anyways, I also see the side of the veterinarian. Do you expect her to pay $500-600 for YOUR pet? I know you say you will come back and pay the bill, but believe me, a lot of people don't. As for the diagnostics that she wanted to do, that's what they were, diagnostics. That's how doctors find out whats wrong with the patients. They do blood work and radio graphs. Did the owner want the vet to take the puppy to surgery without any tests, or did she just want to take a wild guess what was wrong? I admit I would never take my pet to Banfield. They are a faceless corporation and they ARE out to make a profit. Thats what corperations are about, profit. My advice is to find a good vet and stick with them. A competent vet is VERY hard to find. I have worked at many clinics with over a dozen veterinarians and I would only trust 2 of them to take care of my animals. I worked with one "vet" whom I swear was clinically retarded! It's very scary.

In defense of the good and caring vets, there are great vets out there. You just have to look for them. Most vets are good hearted and their not out to nickel and dime you to death. If they wanted money, they would have gone to medical school! Trust me, you don't spend eight years busting you butt only to get out of school and start at $60,000 a year and stick your finger up dogs butt's!

The vet I would recommend near Atlanta is Avalon Animal Hospital. Both the doctors are wonderful. You can reach them at 770-822-5551.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Save for Your Pet

AUTHOR: Richard - (U.S.A.)

All the veterinarian clinics I've delt with do not accept any payment of any kind. When you own pets it is a good idea to have some kind of savings account for your animals incase of an emergency.
One vet I did deal with acctually accepted a post dated check, it was dated for the day I got paid which was a week away.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Banfield is not "All Good!"

AUTHOR: Angel - (U.S.A.)

I also had a similar bad experience with Banfield and I feel that anyone runs a risk of being ripped-off the longer you do business with Banfield. Although I am a responsible pet owner, my dog started acting really strange and I had to carry her into Banfield because she wouldn't walk.

I was given an estimate of charges which came up to $650-700, which I thought was absolutely CRAZY! I was told that she needed blood work and all kinds of tests done to find out what was wrong. After asking a LOT of questions and just chatting with the nurse or tech, I figured out that because we had an extra hot summer that year, the schedule that I had for my dog's feedings and waterings were not enough and she had gotten really dehydrated.

So it wasn't neglect on my part or anyone else's fault. Things happen and emergencies do arise. But that estimated was just unreal and I think the vet was trying to milk me for what she could get. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to diagnose dehydration, especially if you have that medical training, so she knew that all of the blood work and tests were not needed.

It seems that a lot of people who post on here seem to feel that you should not have dogs unless you have lots of money. I highly disagree with that theory. We all as pet owners should, however, see pet oownership as a responsibility and life long commitment. But for those of us who are not extremely wealthy may not have $500 to just drop at one time, but we would be better off paying in installments just as we do for our own medical insurance plans (which should also include sick visits).

When we have children, we are not always financially ready but we make a way and we make it priority to make sure that our children get the best medical care weather we pay out of pocket or we pay through insurance. We should be able to do the same for our pets and we should have more options other than Banfield.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

banfield

AUTHOR: Mare - (U.S.A.)

I worked at Banfield for two years, and recently quit due to change of residence. I'm sorry that anyone's had a bad experience with them, but the one I worked for had a caring vet and knowledgable nurses.

In regards to price: yes, at times estimates seem pricey, but at the same time it costs money to provide medical supplies. It costs money to get labwork analyzed by an outside source. Banfield complains just as much about pricey supplies as clients do about pricey estimates.

We used to have clients complain about still paying money on the Wellness Plans. Wellness plans are preventative care packages...they cover the routine preventative medical care a pet needs. Medications alone can raise an estimate pretty high, but the Wellness plans don't cover them fully due to issues with PetMeds.
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#10 Consumer Comment

I went through a similar experience

AUTHOR: Amber - (U.S.A.)

I want to say I am sorry for the way that people are attacking you over this. I, for one, believe your story, because I had something similar happen to me almost four years ago at Banfield. I had two Boston Terriers, one that I'd had for four years & she was on their wellness plan (it was the most expensive one that allowed unlimited visits). I had complained to my husband on a couple of occassions that they always seemed to find at least a couple of things that "weren't covered" by the wellness plan & their prices seemed high - however, we wanted to keep our dog on the plan so that we would have a little extra cushion in case our dog got sick.

My husband & I purchased a new Boston Terrier puppy, he was eight weeks old, we took him to Banfield the day after we got him to have an exam performed & his first set of shots - we signed him up on the same wellness plan as our other dog. About a week later, my puppy vomited & we rushed him to the vet clinic. The vet immediately performed a Parvo test, which came back negative. She then told us that we needed make a decision as to whether we wanted to proceed with treatment or contact our breeder to get our money back because our puppy had a heart defect & would be dead within a year. I was devistated, I couldn't believe that this puppy that I had already fallen in love with was deathly ill.

She said that he needed several test that would run over $1000!!! I asked her how she could be sure that my puppy had a heart defect with doing any test except for a parvo test & she told me that dogs vomit for only two reasons: parvo, or heart problems. This did not sound right to me, so I took my puppy & went to another vet where I was told that he has allergies - NO HEART DEFECT! That was almost four years ago & my "puppy" will be four years old in June & he is very healthy & happy. I will never get over the "scare tactics" that I feel were needlessly used on me to order unneccessary tests. I never brought either of my dogs back to Banfield & needless to say, I cancelled the wellness plan.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Completely preventable...from both sides...

AUTHOR: April - (U.S.A.)

Okay, I have worked as a technician for nearly 6 years, and I know how costly veterinary services can become. Especially for an ill pet. I know as a technician, as well as a pet owner. I understand how frustrating something like this can be...

I guess my point being is that, apparently this veterinarian is not making you feel comfortable, and you're not seeing the results YOU want to see...so (and I'm sure you're in the process of doing this) find another vet, like the one that was able to work with you, and not charge you so much. But I will say, as a technician for both Banfield at one point, and private veterinarians, when we see someone who is upset, and is seeking a second opinion, private, or corporate, we're gonna want you to stay with us! So, vets sometimes charge less than they would for established clients, because everyone that walks in is a potential long-term client...so shop wisely...all vets are different in their opinions about money.

Also, I worked for Banfield many years ago, and I left because I had to move for schooling, not because I disliked the company. But I will say that wellness plans, even back then, have always had free exams for the duration of the plan. There's no limit to them. If the limit is for 'two exams' then you're probably referring to comprehensive exams...

Wellness plans, in my opinion, are great...if you have a healthy pet. Otherwise...they aren't very beneficial. Because, with a sick pet, they can't be vaccinated, and when they're not vaccinated, they're just as suceptible to other things such as distemper, and giardia. And the benefit of wellness plans plummets...I will readily admit to that. But from what I recall, Banfield...where I worked... never advocated selling plans to pets who had a poor prognosis... this is a healthy pet plan. So...like I said before, every vet is different...especially if they own their practice, so I think you may be on the right track to finding a new veterinarian. But please, in regards to Banfield, I have seen worse in other places without the Banfield name...each hospital is different in their own way.

And in regards to your estimate, from what I recall, and this should be regular practice for any vet hospital, they should go through each item individually...and I know with Banfield, they will let you decline parts of the estimate, but it per the client, not the veterinarian... so... if you decline it, then, the vet really cannot do much more than what you approve. So, that part is pretty dissappointing for both parities...I suggest that if you 'like' the vet, then just agree to the most important thing first, like getting the kennel cough under control, then work on everything else later...b/c the bottom line is, and you said it yourself, you did not get paid yet (I understand, this happens to me ALL the time ;) ) and so you can't afford it...but at least you can start something asap. And if you're coming back, and honoring your commitment to that vet, then...they MAY be able to work with you in regards to payment plans.

So I hope you're able to find someone else that will work to you liking...but I will say, not all Banfields are the same, their centralized standard for medicine is actually, incredibly well thought out...but sometimes a veterinarian's spin on it can sometimes cause some frustration and anguish.

Also...about the comment about nurses...whoever said this...

Yes, the official title is veterinary technician
But they also go to school for 2 years for their associates in veterinary technology...
Some go to school for their Bachelor's of Veterinary Technology. They sometimes will perform things that RNs are not allowed to do, such as intubation, and induction of general anesthesia unless that human nurse has a MSN degree in that particular field..
Like nurses, they are able to perform lab analysis in house, and take radiographs...
Like MDs, DVMs need their nurses to expedite their treatment plans...
So as far as I'm concerned... there's absolutely nothing wrong with Vet technicians also being called nurses...but if you need to have clarification.. I think Vet/Pet Nurse is perfectly appropriate
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I once worked at Banfield...

AUTHOR: M. - (U.S.A.)

I worked for several years at Banfield. And unless I personally know the vet, I would not take my pet there. There are some vets that will make HUGE estimates for even simple things. And I can easily see how she was given a 400 dollar estimate for radiographs and ear mite treatment. An estimate like that will have sedation, the 3-4 xrays views, interpretation, positioning and holding fee, and then because they want to sedate, you need to do bloodwork first. Ive seen 300 dollar estimates for Ear Infections! sedation, ear flushing, bloodwork before sedating, meds and injections. And these were mild ear infections, with moderately behaved dogs. a simple restraining hold would have sufficed, a tech to hold, one to flush out ears.

As far as the wellness plan, its not all bad, as long as you dont expect more than it offers. It's a WELLNESS plan, not an insurance, and I used to make that very clear. When I was employed with them, it was unlimited office visits. The client was never charged an office visit even for a sick pet. But other than basic wellness items, the client paid for services/medications, with a small discount.

I feel that their prices were midrange, high in some areas, lower in others. I did have issue with presenting some estimates for Drs tho, and please dont blame the techs. There have been many times I walked into a room with estimate in hand, that I hated to present. But the Drs (at least in the hospital I was in) could make any estimate they wished and make the tech present it.

I've even seen a Dr make an estimate for the pet without even going in the room to look at the pet! many times the estimates are made with lots of diagnostics before even talking with owner or examining the pet! Again this would depend on the individual vet. The Banfield Corporate wanted each vet to see at least 35 patients, per Doctor every day. Including surgeries! They have contests and bonuses for hospitals that sell the most Wellness Plans.


Not all their vets are like this, there were many I worked with that were great vets, they cared about the pets AND people and understood that not everyone is rich and worked with the bill.

And to the person who complained about the word "nurses"...Banfield corporate insists that the techs are called PetNurses...so any client will probably only know them as such.

Let me just say, I was soooo happy when I left there, and went to work in another animal hospital. In my opinion Banfield is more business than hospital. I saw a huge difference when I left there. The best Banfields are the ones with great vets who ignore some of Banfields "rules" and really make the pets come first.

We had lots of clients who loved us, and the usual reason was the Vet they used.
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#13 Consumer Comment

I UNDERSTAND

AUTHOR: Christa - (U.S.A.)

Erika,

The posts I read here sadden me. For whatever reason, people feel a need to belittle others without stopping to think of how their words can be hurtful. This type of behavior is NOT necessary.

I guess we can only assume these people are perfect in every way. And because of this they believe they have permission to belittle and to pass judgment against you, Erika.

Those posting the negative comments. Please take a step backwards. Exam yourselves before being so judgmental to others. This type of behavior only makes a person feel worse about the situation.

My suggestion, Erika, is to not let the cold and callous remarks you read on here bother you. You are truly the only person who knows the level of care you gave your dog. If you have been responsible with your pets health then you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Bottom line. You have to live the reality of losing a beloved friend. If that dog died because of a lack of care then you are the one living with that reality. I, however, believe your dog may have suffered from more than what was suspected and diagnosed.

I am a pet owner of 2 dogs. I had placed both of my "girls" on the Banfield plan. They have been deducting $27.95 per month for each dog from my checking account for the past 2 years. I will say that I have never really been pleased with the level of service as well as the seemingly lack of respect I have received from this company.

The first year went by with few problems other than the rudeness of the staff and the vet. I had planned to cancel the pet plans at their expiration dates and move on to a vet that really had the care of animals in their heart. But because I am a person who believes that everyone should be given a second chance, I decided to renew. I did this because a new vet was being introduced. I was hoping things would change.

I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about the money. My only concern was to give my pets the best care available to them. That was my only goal.

As recently as 3 weeks ago I found a Chihuahua puppy roaming around my subdivision. There was no way I was going to let that little baby sleep out in the elements so I picked her up and brought her home. I did however, notice she was sick and needed attention.

I took her to Banfield to see if they could determine her needs and to see if they could help her. He (the vet) suggested that this sweet little girl had been seriously abused and was more than likely dumped. Her trachea was damaged (his suggestion was that this was caused from her being kicked). She can't hear (perhaps from being hit upside the head. Vets thoughts). She has a problem breathing and fell off the bed having a seizure. Lucky for her I am well equipped both financially and educationally (MD) to handle her special needs.

Of course, since this dog was not on a plan I was well aware and fully prepared to pay
I wasn't concerned about the cost and asked the vet to run all labs, check for worms, heartworm, chest x-ray. I was very please when everything came back "normal." She did have kennel cough which he treated with antibiotics. What made me so upset and sad was when they took the dog behind the closed door to get the blood and fecal specimen.

I overheard the technician tell a coworker how "ugly and disgusting this dog was." I also heard them say that they "would have kicked the dog too if it were their dog because she was so "difficult" and a little out of control." Trying to make a long story short. This is rude, disrespectful and not necessary.
This dog did finished ALL the meds, but still suffers from the respiratory side effects, more than likely from the suspected abuse.

Erika, ANYTHING could have happened to your dog. It could have had a genetic disorder which exhibited the same symptoms as "kennel cough." Noone will ever really know.

I took my other 2 dogs in today for their regular visit and for a full exam and yearly shots. I received the same rudeness today. I was also shocked with the many different estimates they required me to sign. The estimates continued to increase in cost. While I have no issues with paying, I simply didn't understand why I was spending so much money on 2 dogs who are healthy and on the wellness program. I will add, Banfield did not do a good job of explaining the charges.

While I was checking out and receiving the meds for antibiotics to treat my Chihuahua for kennel cough. Vet didn't want to risk anything and she was exposed from the dog I found. I have spent almost $700 in the last 7 days. I too feel as if the prices at Banfied are too high. I have recently been looking into other vets and found the prices at Banfied are indeed over the top. Some of the same blood work, flea treatment and heatworm prevention meds were considerably less at other offices.

Banfield did try to get me to put the found Chihuahua on the same plan as the other 2 dogs. I declined. The tech had a mild tantrum and insinuated that I was not properly caring for the dog since I declined the plan. I was both astonished and appalled with this behavior.

My dogs have until the end of June before their wellness plan expires. The one dog that is still left to give shots to will be going to a different vet, and yes, I am happy to pay if given better service and respect from the vet and the support staff. My dogs health is very important to me and I do take it seriously. I expect a vet to show the same level of care and respect to both me and my dogs. Banfied hasn't yet mastered the art of customer service.
Erika, best thing you can do is to ignore the comments left on this site. No need to even respond as this is what they want, to ruffle your feathers!

Best of luck to you and the little pooches.

Christie
Orlando Fl
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#14 Consumer Comment

Like Kids, Pets Cost Money to Properly Care For

AUTHOR: Rudy - (U.S.A.)

If you decide to have a child- or more than one- the decision IS GONNA COST YOU! Those things eat up more money...same as pets. I had children and pets and I am broke. But if it came down to shots, tooth fillings, or that new THING every one else has I would give up something to try to make life just a bit more easier for my decision. Not that I give in to every whim and fancy - but MY needs and wants pretty much come last in line. There has been soo many times I see pet and children owners driving huge vehicles they CAN'T afford - while their children's teeth are just about rotting out of their mouths. Priorities. Set them. If you feel you cannot afford a pet - DON'T GET ONE. I am still paying off vet bills for my bischon after he scratched a huge hole in his neck. I saw two different vets - and received two different modes of treatment. I charged it and decided to get rid of cable, dsl and saturday night dinners with my husband to budget the payments. For while. The dog is more important. I felt one vet's input just wasn't working. Didn't make her a bad vet. The other vet's suggestions helped far better. But still I owed over $300 for meds and visits. Regular shots and HEARTWORM check/meds are coming up fast too. Maybe I won't get something in order to pay. Just like I did for the kids. Went broke with COLLEGE and their weddings too. But it WAS MY DECISION TO HAVE THEM. MY DECISION TO BUY TWO PUPPIES. But for me, they are worth the money. The training. The grooming. The walking. The worrying. For my kids have left and the pups are all I have now. Most folks just go to a store - buy one and some food and that's it. Sorry, there's more to it than that. EDUCATE YOURSELVES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. PETS AND KIDS ARE COMMMITMENTS FOR LIFE. Thanks for letting me share. Take Care of the Animals...They depend on us!!!
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I worked for Banfield and Know......

AUTHOR: Sally - (U.S.A.)

Banfield is simply a ripoff.... they charge way to much to do unecessary tests and don't have good vets. I worked for them I know what they do and know what they want out of their clients. what more do you want. feel free to ask all the questions you want. because I went through the "Banfield" training.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Everyday it's the same old story

AUTHOR: Kassie - (U.S.A.)

For all of you thinking that veterinarians are cruel, money hungry individuals who don't care about animals, read on.

It takes an amazing amount of intellect, patience, drive, stamina, coordination, passion and humanity to become a veterinarian. It also takes countless hours of studying as well as tremendous costs to complete this program. Not everyone can do it, not everyone has the mental capacity to do it, not everyone is born to do it. So if you think your vet is an idiot, do some research and find a new one. Or better yet, feel free to try to get into veterinary school so you can do it better.

Veterinarians choose this profession not only for their love of animals but because they understand the human-animal bond is a gift. They have all had pets at one time or another and truly know how important your pets are to your lives. Many vets put the clients first because they are the caregivers of their animals and as long as it's humane, most vets will do as the clients wish regarding the treatment of their pets.

However, after dealing with people who neglect, which is the same as ABUSE, their pets, you might start to get annoyed with people too. If your vet treats you in a manner you think is rude or insensitive, watch how he treats your animal. Some vets may lose their patience with humans but never lose their love for animals.

The Outsider has no idea what goes on in the treatment area. Sometimes depending on the severity of the case, it can take about 3 people to care for one patient. If there are only 4 people working then guess what that time takes up? It takes up the time from the clients who have scheduled appointments and other hospital patients. You may think 3 people is a lot but if you have an 80lb dog with multiple open wounds and multiple fractured bones who needs to be syringe fed and have his wounds cleaned and flushed on top of monitoring his vital signs three times a day, you try and do it yourself and let me know how long it takes you. When an animal is in critical condition there is no skimping on the care given to him. Don't be surprised if I tell you that this could cost a couple thousand dollars. There is so much time and care put into an animal such as the one mentioned above, I would be scared of the type of treatment this pet would receive if your vet charged you 500.00.

And the words "Payment Plan" are not words that we look forward to. Do you think we want to turn pets away simply because the owners cannot afford treatment? There are many instances when services are done for free or at a discounted price because we feel so sorry for the pet, not the owner. This may sound cold hearted but if you saw a dog that lost more than half his body weight and the owner waits until the dog is near death, anorexic and barely moving to bring him in, crying hysterically and begging for a miracle, you might change your mind. And the kicker is, the dog is in such a depressed state and the quality of life has faded away and he looks at you with glassy eyes and you pet him and speak soothing words to him but he offers no response, you tell me what the humane thing is to do. If there is something that can be done, the vet will tell you. However in a case such as the one mentioned above, it would be costly.
The best are the people who get angry at us because they cannot afford such an outrageous amount of money to save their dog. I feel like telling them, "Your dog is basically in pieces and you want us to perform a miracle but don't want to pay". These are the same people who abuse the "promissary note" privledge that some vets offer. If you only knew what kind of stunts people pull to get out of paying their bill, you'd know what I'm talking about. People will change their number, address, even claim bankruptcy to get out of their obligation. Now you tell me who is uncaring and lacks respect. And these are the same people who beg and get insulted if we tell them we can accomadate them with a plan but they need to pay 20% of the bill first. It's like they feel that we are insulting them and thinking they will not follow through with their promise to pay. But guess what people? These people who skip out are the ones who ruin it for everyone else. The majority of people are good, but there is that small percentage of people who have absolutely no regard for others and skip out on their promise leaving us to eat up a 5,000 bill. Then everyone, especially the patients, lose because this missing income hurts our business. We cannot pay for orders of supplies and medication if we are eating up the costs of our clients. If you think that the costs of veterinary medicine are so high and ridiculous, then go to vet school and open up a practice where you charge 10 dollars for hospitalization and 2 dollars for injectable medication and 100 dollars for orthopedic surgery, 75 dollars for foreign body removal, 10 dollars for anesthesia and cheap prices all around and let me know how long you stay in business. If you are in business longer than 1 day, you are already a billionaire who can pay the overhead without income from your clinic or you are not practicing good quality medicine. There is simply no way around it. Even cleaning and sterilizing the surgical instruments cost money. One autoclave (sterilization chamber) can run about 5,000 to 40,000 dollars.

Pets cost money. They need wellness check-ups twice yearly, vaccines or vaccine titers yearly, teeth cleaning if needed, etc. Plan accordingly if you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, they are like children and NEED to be taken care of.

And if you can't pay for services needed to save your pets life, do the right thing and surrender him to the veterinarian (if your vet offers you this option) so that he might receive treatment and hopefully get adopted to someone who will love him or let your friend go - so that he will not be in pain. Pets cannot tell us verbally when they have had enough- it is our job to make the decision to end their lives when the quality of life has gone. It's not the time to feel guilty for neglecting his needs for so long and angry at the veterinarian and their staff because the treatment is over your budget. It is NOT OUR FAULT.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Banfield has the highest quality care

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

In response to the allegations againts Banfield, I have a few things to say. First of all, I am an employee of this company and I have never worked for a company that was so centered around their clients and quality of care. Secondly, you cannot judge an entire company based on your experience at ONE hospital. If you ate at one bad McDonalds, does that mean they are all that way? OF COURSE NOT. I am a veterinary technician and I have worked for a few other private practice before working for Banfield and I can honestly say there is a huge difference. First of all, there is a check and balances at Banfield, our paperless record system has standard protocols to assist doctors and nurses. Secondly, preanesthetic bloodwork, iv catheters, etc are REQUIRED before any anesthetic procedure for the safety of YOUR pet, yes it may cost more, but whats more important, a few pennies or your pet's life? I have seen owners decline preanesthetic bloodwork and catheters before a simple neuter procedure and the pet die on the table b/c the pet had an underlying medical condition (which would have been caught with the bloodwork) and the unaccessability to a vein in order to administer life saving drugs. Banfield also uses state of the art monitering equipment during surgeries that I have never encountered while working for private practice such as digital ecg, pulse ox, etc. These items all cost more, but it is b/c Banfield offers a higher quality of care! We are also the only hospital I have ever worked for that is open seven days a week b/c Banfield's policy is to be open when regular vets may not be for our clients convenience. Also, in rebuttal to ur wellness plan complaints. You need to know what u are talking about before u start opening your mouth. You get two free COMPREHENSIVE examinations a year which we do every six months (those are worth 100 dollars each in value) and UMLIMITED regular examinations-no matter what u come in for. Believe me, that is how it is b/c we have clients on wellness plans that come in every other day for anything and everything and they never pay a dime. ALSO, if u UPGRADE ur plan to a higher level, it is effective THAT DAY, not ten days later. I know this as well b/c we do it all the time for clients, even on days of dental surgeries when people want to upgrade their plan to cover their dental prophy! We also accept walkins anytime, even 10 minutes before closing! We and the vets I work for (which by the way are the nicest and most caring vets I have ever worked with) have stayed 2-3 hours past closing caring for an emergency case! so DONT tell me Banfield is uncaring and all about the money. Do you know how many clients we have had that have walked out w/o paying their bill and NEVER CAME BACK TO PAY IT?! Unfortunatly, most people are not trustworthy so you cannot just let people leave without paying, no business would be in business if they did that all the time. We have worked with clients that are having a hard time paying and have adjusted off certain charges for clients that have little money. Banfield also has the "Banfield Charitable Trust" where we can nominate in need clients to receive free wellness plans and care! Banfield does work for you. Also, your original post was difficult to understand. If your pet had kennel cough, and then died due to complications later, then maybe xrays and bloodwork was indicated. Secondly, xryas and bloodwork do not cost 500 dollars. I can tell u this, i just went to my doctor for a cbc and chem (which i gather is what they wanted to do for ur puppy) and my insurance sent me a statement telling me how much it was and that amount of bloodwork that would cost roughly 100 dollars where i work was 900 dollars for my insurance company to cover. Medicine is not cheap but Banfield by far is not the most expensive vet I have worked for. Our office visits are 27.95 each, the last two private practice vets I worked for, our office visits were almost 50 dollars each! You need to look at all the facts before you start blaming a company for ur problems. Not all hospitals are the same and Im sorry, pet's cost money. Also, veterinarians make very little money in comparison to medical doctors. A vet I worked for told me she has 100,000 dollars of student loans and they make only 50,000 a year. And b/c Banfield is corporate owned, they dont directly make money off what u spend, they are salaried based!. So when they stay late for ur pet, they are not getting any additional money. Out of all the vets I have ever worked for, the vets that I currently work under are the best, they truly have the pet's wellbeing at heart. We just recently had a client come in with her dog (who is vaccine allergic) and refuse to pay for her premedication to prevent a reaction before vaccinating (which would have been around 40 dollars) and our vet refused to vaccinate her pet b/c it would put the pet's life in jeopardy. Now she could have just vaccinated the pet and made a buck and hope the pet wouldnt have a reaction, but the vet had the pet's best interest at heart. My vet then explained to her the seriousness of a vaccine reaction and the o understood and consented to premedicating. When we have to put a pet to sleep, we always mail a sympathy card and treat the client and patient with dignity. In response to the "former" banfield employee, if the vet u worked for was abusive, I am sorry for u, but u cannot blame that on the entire company. THe three vets, yes count them, three vets i work for have been the nicest vets that I have even taken MY pet to see. I have worked for a private practice vet in the past that was also abusive to pets, and she owned her own practice! I no longer work there obviously. So not all bad vets work for Banfield. Basically, I just wanted to stand up for the company I work for b/c they are a great company and truly have the pet's best interest at heart.
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#18 Author of original report

Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

AUTHOR: Erika - (U.S.A.)

According to his vet records, he received this Bordetella shot on 4/3/05, Distemper Parvo on 5/29/05, Lyme Disease on 4/24/05, Rabies on 4/17/05. I can go on because I have the shot records on the computer-easily obtained. Yep again I am just pulling dates out of thin air.

Now again, I say why would my regular vet not report me for not treating a dog with the proper vaccines??? In the state of GA it is manditory that ALL animals have rabies shots, so why would I get the rabies shot and nothing else and my vet have let me get away with it and not report me?????????

And AGAIN someone to post and say I don't have the plan and not have the balls to email me so I can provide proof.

But someone did email me and tell me that I should ask for a refund of expenses if I still have the receipts. And I do have all of them, so I will take the kind lasy's advice and go ask for a refund since I had forgotten about the guarantee until people posted it here. I had purchased a Wellness Plan so long ago for my other dog that I had forgotten about the guarantee for the new puppy since they didn't go over the plan with me because I was a regular customer.
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#19 Author of original report

Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

AUTHOR: Erika - (U.S.A.)

According to his vet records, he received this Bordetella shot on 4/3/05, Distemper Parvo on 5/29/05, Lyme Disease on 4/24/05, Rabies on 4/17/05. I can go on because I have the shot records on the computer-easily obtained. Yep again I am just pulling dates out of thin air.

Now again, I say why would my regular vet not report me for not treating a dog with the proper vaccines??? In the state of GA it is manditory that ALL animals have rabies shots, so why would I get the rabies shot and nothing else and my vet have let me get away with it and not report me?????????

And AGAIN someone to post and say I don't have the plan and not have the balls to email me so I can provide proof.

But someone did email me and tell me that I should ask for a refund of expenses if I still have the receipts. And I do have all of them, so I will take the kind lasy's advice and go ask for a refund since I had forgotten about the guarantee until people posted it here. I had purchased a Wellness Plan so long ago for my other dog that I had forgotten about the guarantee for the new puppy since they didn't go over the plan with me because I was a regular customer.
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#20 Author of original report

Thanks for the info about which vaccine is kennel cough BUT

AUTHOR: Erika - (U.S.A.)

According to his vet records, he received this Bordetella shot on 4/3/05, Distemper Parvo on 5/29/05, Lyme Disease on 4/24/05, Rabies on 4/17/05. I can go on because I have the shot records on the computer-easily obtained. Yep again I am just pulling dates out of thin air.

Now again, I say why would my regular vet not report me for not treating a dog with the proper vaccines??? In the state of GA it is manditory that ALL animals have rabies shots, so why would I get the rabies shot and nothing else and my vet have let me get away with it and not report me?????????

And AGAIN someone to post and say I don't have the plan and not have the balls to email me so I can provide proof.

But someone did email me and tell me that I should ask for a refund of expenses if I still have the receipts. And I do have all of them, so I will take the kind lasy's advice and go ask for a refund since I had forgotten about the guarantee until people posted it here. I had purchased a Wellness Plan so long ago for my other dog that I had forgotten about the guarantee for the new puppy since they didn't go over the plan with me because I was a regular customer.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Bordetella is Kennel Cough

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I only have one thing to add:

Bordetella is Kennel cough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


http://www.vetinfo.com/dencyclopedia/debort.html
Bordetella

Bordetella is the most common cause of tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) in dogs.


SO, once again, if your dog was vaccinated against kennel cough, it would have been guaranteed by Banfield. They would have treated your dog at their expense up to $1000. I have the same plan.
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#22 Author of original report

OK for those of you who continue to slam me and doubt the wellness plan, well here you go.

AUTHOR: Erika - (U.S.A.)

I think it is awful the way you people are bashing someone you know nothing about other than what is stated in the posts here.

For those of you who doubt that there ever was a wellness plan in effect, why don't you step up and either give me your email address so I can email the proof of a wellness plan, or even better-here is my email address (lilred0218@hotmail.com)-you can email me with your outlandish claims and I will be happy to provide you with the Wellness Plan Documents that include all vaccinations that my puppy had. If you don't email me then you should be ashamed of yourself because all that means is that you are not enough of a person to admit when you are wrong. I think I posted this in my earlier rebuttal as well......

For the vet student-I am not saying that all vets are bad or in it for the money, my complaint was not about vets in general just this one. So get off your high horse and sit back and read what is right in front of you. Apparently you shouldn't be a vet cause you cannot read-I never said anything bad about other vets-actually I praised the vet that I use now. All your posts was about was how much vets don't get paid and that I shouldn't expect free services.

HELLO-did anyone read anything?? I NEVER said I wanted services for free BUT a little help in a payment plan would've been nice since they did quote me over the phone that the charges for the tests they wanted to run was somewhere in the range of $400-$500. Why on earth would I dream up such an outrageous charge for services and then post something here that a ton of people are going to read? I am not an idiot, contrary to what you people here believe. And come on people, as stated in my 2nd post, I have another pet that has led a healthy life since the time we brought her home 4 years ago-that's right 4 YEARS AGO. How could I be such an irresponsible pet owner with one animal but not another. Again, makes me believe that everyone has only read what they want to out of my posts.

It seems like I am a broken record here, posting the same thing twice and still more people continue to posts the same stupid posts with nothing in their posts for me to provide proof of what I did as a pet owner. Seems like everyone has gotton off on kicking someone when they are down. I seem to remember that in my last posts letting everyone know that this puppy ended up passing away-so thanks to all of you bashing someone that has lost a pet.

By the way-according to my Wellness plan (that I will be happy to provide anyone who questions the validity of even being in place) only covers the following vaccinations:

Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo virus, corona virus, leptospirosis, bordetella, lyme disease, rabis, giardia.

There is no way I could've come up with all these vaccines without something to go by-so I would have to be looking at something that provides a list of these vaccines. Don't see anything about a vaccine for kennel cough. If one of these vaccines is kennel cough, please let me know because I am not a vet and I trust that the vaccines needed by my puppies are recommended by my vet. Not sure why they would vaccinate a dog for kennel cough when it is an upper respiratory infection that is usually found in animals that are kept in confined spaces for a period of time though.

So, in closing I would like to remind everyone that if you so seriously doubt there was ever a Wellness Plan for this puppy that you send me an email and I will be happy to provide you with the documents that prove otherwise. If you don't have the nerve to actually email me to get the proof, then don't sit down and bash someone you know nothing about and make statements that you are not willing to follow through with. So, let's so how many of you have the balls to email me.............
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#23 Consumer Comment

Whatever Girl.... seriously doubt that your pooch is on the wellness plan

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I seriously doubt that your pooch is on the wellness plan. Like the previous responder posted, WELLNESS PLANS COVER KENNEL COUGH VACCINATIONS. Dont lie and say you have the plan. You know you dont.
Or if you do, you were lazy and didnt bring your dont in for its shots on time. Dont blame a vet for not wanting to do services pro bono. They are a business. Wether its Banfield or a private vet. If you cant afford treatment for your dog, then dont have one.
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#24 Consumer Comment

I don't believe your complaint in this situation is warranted

AUTHOR: Megan - (U.S.A.)

First, I am not endorsing everything about Banfield in this post. However, I don't believe your complaint in this situation is warranted. I agree with other posts that suggest you inflated your numbers a bit, and that maybe you were lacking as a responsible pet owner.

As a veterinary student, I know a lot about Banfield and medicine in general. First, you were not taking your dog to Banfield regularly if he got kennel cough or mites. Simple as that. They vaccinate ALL their patients for kennel cough, so there is no way that you were going there when should have. Be a responsible pet owner, and don't lie when making claims against a company.

Second, in my opinion, it is not outrageous that a vet would need to do bloodwork in this case. So many people expect veterinarians do simply look at a pet and know what disease it has. Bloodwork is the mainstay of all diagnostic tests. Would you expect your own doctor to make a diagnosis on you without doing the basic tests to determine what you have? That is ridculous.

Bloodwork and radiographs and a hospital stay at Banfield do not cost $500. Or even close to that. You have inflated the numbers or are leaving out information. I have researched Banfield and know for a fact that this is not what they charge. Do you honestly think they would be in business if they charged $500 for only that? No one would pay it!

Vets do care about animals more than you think. Why would we ever pay THOUSANDS of dollars to go to vet school, only to get paid salaries that are lower than you think. We're smart enough to go to med school, where we would actually make money. If we didn't care about animals, why would we do it?

However, although we care about animals, we need to get paid. I will never understand why people think vets should give out free services, and if we don't we "don't care about animals". Would you go to YOUR job everyday if you weren't getting paid your salary? No one forced you to get a dog. You should have thought about possible expenses, as a responsible person would do. For things that actually would cost $500, there are payment plans. So stop complaining about vet charges...in fact veterinarians do many of the exact same things human doctors do and charge substantially less than you would pay your doctor.

By the way, most vets aren't rich as you suggest. We went through 4 years of undergraduate work and 4 years of vet school, only to be about $100,000 in debt (plus interest) and getting paid around 50000 at graduation. Check your facts. We work just as hard (or harder) than you do.
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

Kennel Cough?

AUTHOR: S - (U.S.A.)

I have a Banfield Wellness Plan. It covers vaccinations for Kennel Cough. It is given at 4 months of age. If your dog was truly on the wellness plan and received his vaccination against kennel cough when he was supposed to, he would not have gotten the disease. I believe that every vet charges alot, not just Banfield. I like their plans for what they are intended for: vaccinations, worming, office visits, and heartworm tests. They do not include the cost of treating the animal. And, if he was vaccinated correctly, Banfield guarantees that he will not get it. They give you a certificate at the end of the shot cycle (around 4 months of age). If the pet gets one of the diseases they have issed a vaccination guarantee for, they are supposed to treat your animal at THEIR expense up to $1000. SO my question is, did you truly have the plan, and if so, why didnt they guarantee their shots and provide treatment at their expense.
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#26 Consumer Comment

Response to All Rebuttals from Original Poster

AUTHOR: Erika - (U.S.A.)

I would like to address some of the comments that were made here regarding my original post of how Banfield Hospital treated my puppy. First of all to anyone that flat out called me an irresponsible pet owner just because I did not have $500 to fork over to the vet after having been to the vet for the same reasons for the previous two weeks with no improvement in his condition should know that after spending $600 at Banfield and emergency vets (which by the way costs less than a visit to Banfield) over a 3 week period was a little much to be asking for an additional $500 when they original diagnosed issue(s) were never resolved by them. Oh yeah and we did have the Banfield Wellness Plan-what a joke. Only when I told them I could not afford another $500 did they offer me another type of pet insurance that would've covered more expenses. The only problem with that was is that is takes 10 days to even become effective. By then it could've been too late, so we opted to take our puppy to an emergency vet as I think any responsible pet owner would and wouldn't you know it-all he had was kennel cough, there was no need for all the extra blood tests and x-rays that Dr. Cockburn wanted to run and charge me $500. The emergency vet that night cost us $150 total for medications, office visit, blood samples, etc. Just the medications that we were getting from Banfield were $20 more than what the emergency vet charged us. And you want to say that Banfield is not a rip off? By they way this brach is Owner Operated which means that Dr. Cockburn only has to use Banfield's guidelines for pricing but she can charge whatever she wants.

So, Lauri from Florida-I know all about the puppy plan I have had one for 4 years now. Guess what I have another dog that has been healthy living with us for 4 years since she was 10 weeks old. If you read the fine print on this nice plan of theirs you will notice that they only get 2 free office visits per year other than their shot visits. And to think that our puppy was in DEPLORABLE conditions is outrageous-he had all his vaccinations and was up to date on everything. Don't you think that as my regular vet they would've turned me in if my puppy was not up to date on his shots when I had him in there for that $500 visit????Remember, they had him there all day for that $150 observation stay. If the vet suspected abuse I do not think they would've let us leave with him.

I would love to comment to each indivual person who had something negative to say without thinking that maybe, we had taken precautionary measures and had mutilple visits to the vet for the issues instead of just assuming that we did nothing but asked someone to treat us like charity and "fix" our puppy for free. To the comment about finding out on the web syptoms of ear mites-what would you have me do at 1:00 a.m. when there is no one to call? Are you telling me that you have never had a symptom and looked at WedMD to see what you "might" have before going to the doctor? Just to get an idea of if you have say the flu syptoms or something viral. I wouldn't just self diagnose my animals or anyone else. However, to all of you that said we should not be pet owners if we cannot afford the vet bills and expect someone to work with a middle class American person on a payment plan so that we can get treatment for our puppy then think of this. How many hospitals do you think would tell you, "Sorry we cannot treat you, your wife, husband, daughter, son, mother, father, etc unless you have $500 right now." Well I am not sure about the people that posted negative posts here but all my pets are part of my family and I want to get them the best medical attention possible; however, it is not always an expense that can be covered in full just as life's other little emergencies. Those of you comparing vet bills to utility bills, grocery store items, or stopping by the gas station-give me a break, whole different ballgame here. We are talking about doctors weather they be vets or MD's. They should never put money before a patient's (canine, feline, or human)health. I never said anywhere that I expected their services for free, I was willing to work something out with them for payment and considering I was a regualr client for the past 5 years with 1 cat that we no longer own, a 4 yr old Jack Russell (also know to have skin disorders for the one who commented on researching your breed), and the puppy mentioned in this report. Not to mention, my monthly payment gets drafted from my checking account so it's not like they couldn't just have debited my account for the money if I didn't follow through with the arrangements.

I am just amazed at all the people who read this and jumped to the conclusion that we were bad pet owners because we don't have $500 at our disposal, especially when we already pay for the Banfield Wellness Plan for all our animals. However, for anyone that truely believes that we were neglectful pet owners and would like to report us, please let me know and I will gladly provide you with all of the puppy's vet records showing all vaccinations were done and the many vists we spent with him at Banfield and the amount of money we had already spent on the same issues over a 2-3 week period.

For those of you that were not so crude in your constructive criticism and those of you that supported me, thank you. I appreciate the support.

I was never trying to get anything for free, just get the medical attention my "son" needed and be able to make payments. By the way, this puppy died 2 weeks after seeing Dr. Cockburn from unknown complications. We took him to a different vet-Dr. Orr (the best vet in Atlanta) and they tried reviving him and blood transfusions; however, he never came back. For all the work that Dr. Orr did on our puppy and disposed of the remains for us, we were only charged $77.00 and were not even asked to pay when we left and a bill did not even come in the mail for a couple weeks. Imagine that, a doctor that cares for her patient instead of the money. Not to mention that the whole office staff signed a sympathy card for us and mailed it, especially since we had never been to their offices before.
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#27 UPDATE Employee

thanx for taking time to embarass yourself

AUTHOR: A. - (U.S.A.)

Here's the deal.

First, in response to that person who requests that Banfield Technicians NOT be referred to as "Nurses"....do you spend every day of your life caring for, helping, and tending to pets that are not your own?

Have you been personally attacked, insulted, and yelled at by people much like the original poster of this subject because they somehow think that YOU have something to do with the pricing brackets of 660 hospitals?

And do you do this job with a smile everyday, making less-than-honorable wages, but you do it anyway because you are beyond passionate about this field and you want to absorb everything you can before going to medical school?

NURSES work with pets, too. Technicians read lab work and help with hospital duties and sanitation. NURSES care, love, respect, help, heal, and LIVE for their patients. I HOPE you run into someone like me so they can change your mind.

Now, on to the task at hand. I am a NURSE, and I have been for 4 years. I am concretely loyal to this company for millions of reasons. NURSES CARE, LISTEN, HELP, COMFORT, LOVE MY PATIENTS, AND DO ALL OF THIS OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF THEIR HEART, NOT because of the money. Trust me, it's NOT for the money.

1. If you do not have the money to care for a pet, please rethink your commitment to being a pet-owner. A 6 1/2 month old dog should not have intestinal parasites, or ANY parasites for that matter. Yes, getting a puppy is cute and fun, but it is also a 10-20 year commitment, depending on what kind of pet you choose. If you spend all your money BUYING the dog (a whole different subject altogether), don't expect Veterinary care to come free out of pity. Yes, Veterinarians do run a business and make some kind of profit, but they are not IN IT FOR THE MONEY. If a person who is smart enough to be a Vet wanted to make tons of money, they would have chosen a different career. Would you be on board if your boss asked you to work next week for free? Would you expect Shell to give you your gas if you promised to pay them next week? Banfield is willing to work with you, but you have to be willing to work with them. And declining everything is not the first step.

2. I know Banfield pricing very well and it is physically impossible to charge someone $150 for observation. Unless you are hiking up your numbers for shock value hoping someone wouldn't call you out on it. Also, did they quote you $400 or $500? That's a bit hazy in your complaint. Either way, a blood count and some xrays would NOT cost $400 or anywhere near it. I you want to sensationalize your report, please do not make stuff up to do so.

3. There is no way any Vet would conciously "let a puppy die" because of payment.

4. If this Dr. was your "REGULAR vet", why did all these things culminate at one time? It seems to me that if your puppy had been seen once a month since 8 weeks of age to his current age, ear mites, intestinal parasites, skin infections, and a respiratory condition would have been caught in the previous visits.

5. Please don't admit to the general public that you research the majority of your pet's health problems on the INTERNET. Why not ask someone that went to school for 8 years to specialize in your pet's health? If WEDMD.com says that nausea is common with Pancreatic cancer, will you go tell everyone that you have cancer without visiting your doctor, without having the proper diagnostics done? And tell everyone your doctor is terrible because he didn't catch it early, even though you didn't let him do an MRI or biopsy?

6. It seems to me that if you had a better idea of how much Veterinary care costs, you would have been more prepared when your unvaccinated puppy got sick. PUPPIES are expensive, BABIES are expensive, NICE CARS are expensive. If you buy a Mercedes and get into a wreck, you better believe that broken taillight is going to cost more than the light on a Ford Focus. Banfield is the Mercedes of Veterinary care, you GET what you PAY for. QUALITY service is going to cost more than Dr. Backcountry who cuts corners and assumes diagnostics without performing them. I have been to and worked for many other hospitals, and I have never seen ANYTHING that comes close to the quality of care that you would receive at Banfield.

Also, I am really not interested in what other people's opinions are about this company or what "horrible" experiences they have had. I have had a few really terrible experiences at Wal-Mart, Target, Chili's, and other random places of consumerism. I'm sure EVERYONE has. BELIEVE that Banfield LOVES pets and CARES ABOUT their owners. Bottom line.
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#28 Consumer Suggestion

This is YOUR own fault!!

AUTHOR: Jonathan - (U.S.A.)

How in the World is this a rip-off?

Read the OP's complaint. I may be stretching here a bit, but the owner sound like she did not take great care of the animal.

Pet ownership takes money and time.

As I have previously stated that, you need to take personal responsibility for your actions. STOP blaming your lot in life in someone else or others. YOU are the master of your destiny, and in this case your inability to even take care of yourself, (money problems, etc.) your dog had to suffer.

This is NOT the Vets fault, so stop sidetracking the conversion.

IT'S YOURS!!!!
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#29 Consumer Comment

Oh puhlease!!! your sadly abused animal.

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

If you do not have the money or the knowledge to properly care for a pet, then you should not have one! It's as simple as that!

I hope that your local ASPCA or humane society reads your so-called "complaint" and goes directly to your home to retrieve your sadly abused animal.
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#30 Consumer Suggestion

Wellness Clinic

AUTHOR: Marcie - (U.S.A.)

If money is such an issue for you, why dont you try utilizing Petsmart's Wellness Clinic that many stores have certain Saturdays each month? I take both my dogs there for their basic preventative care because they do the exact same things my vet would do, but for less cost. You can also call your local animal shelter or Humane Society - if they dont do care there themselves, they would be able to direct you to places that DO give the care and that are reasonably priced. I switched because I realized my regular vet was really ripping me off with her 'office visit' charge, among other things. She also refused to fax over a heartworm preventative prescription to somewhere else so I could get the meds cheaper. SHe wanted me to continue paying $15 per dose each month for 2 dogs(giant breeds cost more) so I told her to go pound salt and give me the dogs records.

As for ear mites, kennel cough, etc on a 6 1/2 month old puppy - were you getting him his puppy shots? If you were he wouldnt have gotten kennel cough in the first place. Ear mites can be easily prevented by keeping the ears clean and dry. Use a mixture of rubbingalcohol and water and a medicine dropper. I had a basset hound for years, I cleaned her ears regularly that way and never once did she have any ear problems.

If you keep up on his preventative care diligently, it will cost you less in the long run because there is less of a chance of these other problems coming up. All animals can get sick, but this was completely preventable.
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#31 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Employee, Here is how Banfield Works......

AUTHOR: Sally - (U.S.A.)

As a pet owner of 3 dogs, 5 cats (2 of which were rescued from Banfield Pet Hospital) and 2 hamsters, I know how the business works. I first began working at Petsmart and absolutly loved my job there but I wanted to work more on hands with the animals so I began working at Banfield. Please keep in mind these are 2 entirely different companies, I feel Banfield is really hurting Petsmart in the long run though. Anyway, I only worked for Banfield for 3 mos. because I couldn't stand to see how the animals were treated there. Day after day I would see sick animals come and go with out a care in the world from the vet. I said something to her one day about this situation and her response: Banfield trains us to just get the money. In other words she didn't really care about treating the animals or not, just sell the plans and get the money from the people. I would stay over almost everyday on my own time just to give some of the animals that were hospitalized some extra care and TLC. Finally one day she hit a dog because the dog was not being still for an exam. That was the last straw for me. I quit that day and reported her to Banfield for her behavior and lack of care for the animals. They did absolutly nothing. So I turned up the heat a bit, I contacted my state Vet. Board and complained. That got their attention, but still the only thing they did was "counsel" her on her behavior. The Banfield I worked at is still there but with a new vet, this one I heard is even worse. Banfield has a reputation of hiring vets and selling private practice thru Banfield for vets that don't really care about what they are doing in the first place, getting the animals proper care. Yes, I know every business has to make money or it couldn't afford to keep their doors open, but Banfield carries this a little too far. Every dog and cat that came in to the clinic for even routine things, the vet would ALWAYS tell the owner that their pet needed a full work-up which included blood work which is way over priced. So..... my advice to people who really care about their pets and some that have more heart than money.... find a good vet that owns his own practice and not a chain of Vets like Banfield. There is much much more that I witnessed as a Banfield employee, so if anyone has any other response, please do so. And to Erika, I hope your pets are well and that you fould a better, more passionate vet that really cares!

Ex-Employee of Banfield
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

Banfield at Mall of Georgia

AUTHOR: Teija - (U.S.A.)

This is in defense of Erika. It seems like several of you are very judgemental in regards to how well she is as a pet owner. Yes, emergencies do surface and at times we are not able to forsee them and plan for them financially. This does not mean that she does not care for her pet. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Some vets, like mind Beaver Crossing in Lilburn actually allow you to pay half now then half a week or two later, because LIFE HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have had experiences with Banfield in Duluth, they were neither here nor there, but it seems like she had a bad experience and from pet owner to another, we should at least show some compassion and not be so self righteous!
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#33 Consumer Comment

Nurses Don't Work in Vets Offices!

AUTHOR: Carolyn - (U.S.A.)

Please people don't refer to Vet receptionists or Vet techs as "nurse." They are not nurses.

In Erika's defense, most vets do try to gouge money out of their clients. That fee of $500 is absurd, especially when the vet's advice should have been to discontinue the ear mite medication and see what happens. But no, she wanted to do blood work and X-rays. Give me a break!

Dogs get worms/ear mites all the time, it doesn't mean Erika's a bad pet owner. Although, Erika, if you are going to own pets, then you have to accept the reality that vets are in business in make money. They are not charitable organizations.
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#34 Consumer Suggestion

Alternative Medical Arrangements

AUTHOR: Margery - (U.S.A.)

Erika, FYI, It is not the responsibility of Banfield Animal Hospital to cover the cost of your sick pet. If your animal had been properly treated/vaccinated, he would not have these issues today. Mites and Kennel Cough are extremely Common and contagious. If you are low on money, I recommend Luv My Pet, which Vaccinates and treats animals at a fraction of the cost. They are at the Mall of Georgia Petco from 8-12 on Saturdays or Riverside Pkwy. on Sundays. Having a puppy is a huge and considerably expensive responsibility. In the future, Get him medical attention through Luv My Pet for preventative measures. It will save you a lot of money in the end!
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#35 UPDATE Employee

Absolutely Absurd

AUTHOR: Erin - (U.S.A.)

Banfield does take payments ( through Pet Credit) but you have to be approved just like any other loan. The original bill must be over $200 and you must be able to pay $100 down or 10% down. Then you pay $50 a month with a 14% (I believe) interest rate. Most "regular" vets don't even do that. It is not just Banfield hospitals that require payment at time of rendering services. Why do you expect a veterinarian to perform services without being paid? I've never heard of observation costing $150 at ANY clinic so I seriously doubt that is correct and a normal blood panel and radiographs do not cost $400. No vet wants to see any animal suffer. Veterinarians are not cold hearted. They became vets to help pets. They do not wish suffering on your pet. You should make sure that you have $ for unexpected emergencies for your pet. If you can't afford a pet, don't get one.
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#36 Consumer Comment

I think you're angry about not having money to pay

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

I see several things wrong with your report.

First, you say that they were your 'regular' vet, yet your puppy was 6-1/2 months old and had parasites in his intestines and ears. No puppy who had received regular veterinary preventive care would have those. Therefore, my guess is that you saw this vet once or twice for a few shots here and there and declined anything else offered to you.

Second, it sounds as if they wanted very much to help you, but you couldn't afford it. That's sad, but you wouldn't expect, say, your car to be fixed if you couldn't pay for the repairs, would you? or the grocery store to let you pay for 1/2 next week because you were hungry? Why should your vet assume that you, a semi-regular customer, would ever show up to pay the rest of the bill? Many, if not most people, don't. I believe Banfield has a corporate policy not to take payments for that reason.

Pets are a responisbility; they get sick, hurt, hit by cars, they swallow tennis balls and they get into the garbage. You have to count on that when you get a puppy and have some money put aside for it... and if you don't, do not blame the vet. Check their salaries, they're not as rich as you think they are, and if they were stupid enough to believe that everyone who promises to make payments actually will, they'd be poorer still.
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#37 Consumer Suggestion

Prevent this from happening again

AUTHOR: Melissa - (U.S.A.)

Banfield doesn't have a payment plan for cases such as this one, it would depend on the individual hospital. There are different levels of ownerships vets can have, and since apparently this vet owns hers, then yes she does have final say just as if it was a stand-alone vet office. But, the point of this post is not to defend the vet, but to point out that this entire situation could have been prevented.

The wellness plan is a preventative plan, and it does save you money. The ear mites and the worms were perfectly preventable with basic grooming and worming. Anyone who owns a boxer should know how prone they are to allergies and skin problems, although it's unclear if the skin irritation was on the skin or internal. Many times the skin problems can be avoided simply by feeding a quality food that doesn't contain byproducts. however, many times they do need ongoing medicine and/or vet attention and that does cost money. did you research this breed and its needs before picking a dog that would fit your budget? and if your dog had worms and ear mites, he was having trouble getting comfortable way before you brought him back home from the vet.

and no, i don't work for banfield. I groom for petsmart, which although banfields are located inside the stores, is a completely seperate company. our banfield is great. like i said before, though, i'm not trying to defend that vet. just like there's bad doctors, there's bad vets, too. find a different vet that you like better, have them show you how to clean your dog's ears, and have them get you on a regular schedule so you don't get in this situation again.
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#38 Consumer Suggestion

Prevent this from happening again

AUTHOR: Melissa - (U.S.A.)

Banfield doesn't have a payment plan for cases such as this one, it would depend on the individual hospital. There are different levels of ownerships vets can have, and since apparently this vet owns hers, then yes she does have final say just as if it was a stand-alone vet office. But, the point of this post is not to defend the vet, but to point out that this entire situation could have been prevented.

The wellness plan is a preventative plan, and it does save you money. The ear mites and the worms were perfectly preventable with basic grooming and worming. Anyone who owns a boxer should know how prone they are to allergies and skin problems, although it's unclear if the skin irritation was on the skin or internal. Many times the skin problems can be avoided simply by feeding a quality food that doesn't contain byproducts. however, many times they do need ongoing medicine and/or vet attention and that does cost money. did you research this breed and its needs before picking a dog that would fit your budget? and if your dog had worms and ear mites, he was having trouble getting comfortable way before you brought him back home from the vet.

and no, i don't work for banfield. I groom for petsmart, which although banfields are located inside the stores, is a completely seperate company. our banfield is great. like i said before, though, i'm not trying to defend that vet. just like there's bad doctors, there's bad vets, too. find a different vet that you like better, have them show you how to clean your dog's ears, and have them get you on a regular schedule so you don't get in this situation again.
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#39 Consumer Suggestion

Prevent this from happening again

AUTHOR: Melissa - (U.S.A.)

Banfield doesn't have a payment plan for cases such as this one, it would depend on the individual hospital. There are different levels of ownerships vets can have, and since apparently this vet owns hers, then yes she does have final say just as if it was a stand-alone vet office. But, the point of this post is not to defend the vet, but to point out that this entire situation could have been prevented.

The wellness plan is a preventative plan, and it does save you money. The ear mites and the worms were perfectly preventable with basic grooming and worming. Anyone who owns a boxer should know how prone they are to allergies and skin problems, although it's unclear if the skin irritation was on the skin or internal. Many times the skin problems can be avoided simply by feeding a quality food that doesn't contain byproducts. however, many times they do need ongoing medicine and/or vet attention and that does cost money. did you research this breed and its needs before picking a dog that would fit your budget? and if your dog had worms and ear mites, he was having trouble getting comfortable way before you brought him back home from the vet.

and no, i don't work for banfield. I groom for petsmart, which although banfields are located inside the stores, is a completely seperate company. our banfield is great. like i said before, though, i'm not trying to defend that vet. just like there's bad doctors, there's bad vets, too. find a different vet that you like better, have them show you how to clean your dog's ears, and have them get you on a regular schedule so you don't get in this situation again.
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#40 Consumer Suggestion

Prevent this from happening again

AUTHOR: Melissa - (U.S.A.)

Banfield doesn't have a payment plan for cases such as this one, it would depend on the individual hospital. There are different levels of ownerships vets can have, and since apparently this vet owns hers, then yes she does have final say just as if it was a stand-alone vet office. But, the point of this post is not to defend the vet, but to point out that this entire situation could have been prevented.

The wellness plan is a preventative plan, and it does save you money. The ear mites and the worms were perfectly preventable with basic grooming and worming. Anyone who owns a boxer should know how prone they are to allergies and skin problems, although it's unclear if the skin irritation was on the skin or internal. Many times the skin problems can be avoided simply by feeding a quality food that doesn't contain byproducts. however, many times they do need ongoing medicine and/or vet attention and that does cost money. did you research this breed and its needs before picking a dog that would fit your budget? and if your dog had worms and ear mites, he was having trouble getting comfortable way before you brought him back home from the vet.

and no, i don't work for banfield. I groom for petsmart, which although banfields are located inside the stores, is a completely seperate company. our banfield is great. like i said before, though, i'm not trying to defend that vet. just like there's bad doctors, there's bad vets, too. find a different vet that you like better, have them show you how to clean your dog's ears, and have them get you on a regular schedule so you don't get in this situation again.
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#41 Consumer Comment

Kennel Cough, mites, worms and dry heaves?

AUTHOR: Lauri - (U.S.A.)

As a pet owner that has used Banfield exclusively for the past 5 years....

They DO have a payment plan...it's called the Puppy Wellness plan....you pay $99 down then 19.95/month for the 1st year (through a valid checking account or credit card/debit card) then after the 1st year..it drops to $11.99 per month.


For both my dogs, and all 16 of my cats - once they were enrolled in the program- it costs me on average $20 per appointment.

Deworming, all vaccinations, and spay/neuter are INCLUDED in the wellness plan.

I would have to wonder at the DEPLORABLE conditions that puppy is in, since if the dog had regular vet care, it would have gotten it's vaccinations, been dewormed, etc.

Besides the fact that weekly grooming by the "parents" would normally prevent mites from being such a problem that the dog was visibly suffering.

I do believe according to your state laws as they regulate to pet ownership, an animal in this kind of condition is considered animal cruelty.

Be thankful that the vet didnt turn you in.
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