ED Magedson – Founder
Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital3361 Lynch Court Danville, Illinois USA
Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital Dr. Curtis Girouard Veterinarian practicing unethically and illegally Danville Illinois
I came home from work to find my almost 9yr old chihuahua Lily pawing at one side of her face and awkwardly sitting her head on the floor. I called around to the animal hospitals in my area asking if anyone took payments incase something serious was wrong. I came across:
Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital
3361 Lynch Court Danville, IL 61834
217.655.4103 Fax: 217-442-3098
Dr. Curt Girouard, DVM
Dr. Randee Ardisana, DVM
I spoke with the receptionist who assured me we could be billed for the procedure and set up a payment plan if in fact there was a serious problem. We saw Dr. Girouard who examined Lily and determined she had a jaw fracture. Dr. Girouard said they would have to pin the fracture but first they would do blood work and xrays. Dr. Girouard quoted everything at $350-$400. We left Lily at the vet while these the blood work and xrays were being done.
Later Dr. Girouard called letting us know he wouldn't get to her that day but would get to her the next morning. The next day her surgery was done and we received a call letting us know the fracture had to be wired and pinned along with a tooth being removed during the surgery. She was due home that day but Dr. Girouard decided to keep her another night for observation. Sunday morning we met Dr. Girouard at the Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital to pick up Lily, go over her medication, look at xrays, etc. We expected the xrays to show a rather severe fracture but there was only one clean fracture with no smaller hairline fractures splintering off.
Dr. Girouard then surprised us by telling us the bill was going to be $1,070 and not the $350-$400 we were quoted. After I told him we had spoken to his receptionist/vet tech about a payment plan Dr. Girouard stated they did not extend lines of credit for bills this high (isn't the point of a payment plan to be able to pay off a high bill over time?). Dr. Girouard then told us he would not be giving Lily back to us until we made a payment. When I asked what would be acceptable so we could take her home Dr. Girouard told me I should start calling friends and family to find money to pay the bill. We were never given a straight answer and then forced to leave my shaking whimpering dog there until we magically came up with this money out of thin air.
My dog Lily was severely abused by her previous owners and it took me over a year to get her to the point where she thought it was ok to sit on my lap without getting in trouble. I'm the person she trusts to protect her and care for her and by bringing her to Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital I feel that I failed her. Not only was I misled by the promise of a payment plan, severely misquoted for services, backed into a corner by Dr. Girouard who clearly uses intimidation regularly in his practice, but I feel as though he performed an unnecessary surgery on my dog so he could line his pockets.
I got in touch with Regret A Vet the same day Dr. Girouard refused to release my Lily to me and started calling gov. agencies to find out what my options were. I contacted the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and was told the vet could not hold my dog or my vet records and if both were not released to me I had every right to call the police and have them come hand my dog and her medical records over to me.
After I got out of work that day (the day after her release to me was refused) I went in to Stateline Hillcrest Small Animal Hospital by myself with a take no prisoners attitude and told myself I was not leaving there without my dog. As I figured the receptionist refused to give me my records even after I told her in IL it was illegal to withhold the records from me. Dr. Girouard's first inquiry was how I'd be paying for the bill when he ushered me into a private room. I told him I'd make a payment that day, set up a payment plan, and that I would be taking Lily home that day.
Dr. Girouard started to say he couldn't agree to that when I interrupted him and stated quote, "It's unfortunate that my first experience here was being made to feel like a degenerate who was not going to pay their bill and then denied the release of my dog. You've treated me like some stupid, insignificant little girl who has no clue about what her rights are. After all of this you forced me to start calling government agencies like the Illinois Veterinarian Medical Association and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Department who informed me that you keeping my dog here and refusing to release her medical records is in fact illegal. So you will be getting my dog and her records and I will be leaving." Dr. Girouard stood there stunned as I imagine no one has ever questioned his ethics before.
Then he told me it would be no problem at all to get my records. I told him oh is that right because your receptionist just refused to give them to me so that's interesting. Dr. Girouard went in the back to get Lily and her medication. She was crying the entire time and I'm sure relieved to see someone who actually was concerned about her well being. I have to question the good intentions and ethics of a doctor who keeps a dog who has just had surgery in a metal cage, in an unfamiliar place, confused as to what is going on, and surrounded by other animals who are barking, howling, and crying. Being a doctor he would be well aware of the fact that keeping an animal in a stressful environment post-op is in no way beneficial to the recovery process and will in fact hinder it.
Dr. Girouard printed out my medical records (everything except the xrays) and told the women in reception to set up a payment plan for me. One of these woman who earlier when I arrived told me they didn't do payment plans at all just so happened to know exactly where they kept the printed out forms for this thing they supposedly just don't do. Dr. Girouard then on second thought after realizing what a huge mistake he had made in the way he had treated me told the girls we had worked out a personal arrangement and I left the office with my dog, her medicine, her records, and was never made to sign a payment plan or any other type of promise to pay agreement.
I assume this was done in hopes that I would not be reporting him to the IDFPR or on review sites such as this. Upon getting home and looking over Lily's medical records I found more than one error such as Dr. Girouard stating that we were given the option of a tape muzzle as opposed to surgery which we never were and the fact that a tooth was extracted during surgery was entirely left off of the record. I will not be taking Lily to another vet to have her jaw examined and for the pins and wire to be removed in a few months. If you have a pet do not take them to Stateline Hillcrest Animal Hospital where the only thing that matters is how much money they can con out of you while entirely ignoring the welfare of your beloved pet.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/19/2014 05:06 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Stateline-Hillcrest-Small-Animal-Hospital/Danville-Illinois-61834/Stateline-Hillcrest-Small-Animal-Hospital-Dr-Curtis-Girouard-Veterinarian-practicing-une-1170700. 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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