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  • Report: #134089

Complaint Review: Center For Animal Referral And Emergency Services

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  • Submitted: Mon, March 07, 2005
  • Updated: Wed, November 12, 2008

  • Reported By:Hamilton New Jersey
Center For Animal Referral And Emergency Services
2010 Cabot Blvd. West, Suite D Langhorne, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Center For Animal Referral And Emergency Services Veterinary ER abusive to 11 wk old puppy with pneumonia, excessive charges for services, inhuman treatment! ripoff Langhorne, Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: Puppy mills and pet stores

*Consumer Comment: Puppy mills and pet stores

*Consumer Comment: Puppy mills and pet stores

*Consumer Comment: Puppy mills and pet stores

*Consumer Suggestion: I disagree with Nanook's owner

*Consumer Suggestion: I disagree with Nanook's owner

*Consumer Suggestion: I disagree with Nanook's owner

*Consumer Suggestion: I disagree with Nanook's owner

*Consumer Comment: A little knowledge helps...

*Consumer Comment: Different opinion here...

*Author of original report: Puppy is alive and healthy now!

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I got my 11 week old Akita puppy as a Valentines present from my husband. Three days later on February 17th she started sneezing and coughing. I took her to the vet on the 19th like I was requested to do by the Pet Store where I got her. They said to do this in case a puppy IS sick with something that was not present during her pre-sale examination, by the stores' vet.

She was diagnosed with "Kennel Cough" which usually is not fatal, but it is possible for kennel cough to turn into "Pneumonia". My puppy "Nanook" was put on meds for 10 days and was responding well until the 7th day. I took her back to my vet and they X-Rayed her and said she had pneumonia. She was put on stronger antibiotics.

In the next 24 hours she stopped eating, wouldn't take her meds and had no energy to do anything at all! I called the vet about 16 hrs later and he told me I had two choices; I could take her back to the store and get my money back or bring her in "immediately" to be put her on an IV with antibiotics and pray for the best but, the last few dogs he's seen this sick lately have died.

I rushed her over and she remained there for 2 1/2 days. She got much worse and they recommended a "24 hour Vet ER" so we took her to C.A.R.E.S (the company in question here)in Langhorne, PA immediately. They took Nanook back to be put on Oxygen as soon as we arrived. I waited for an hour and a half for a vet to finally come tell me my puppy was very, very sick and they "estimate" the cost, for only 3DAYS of care, would be $1,300 - $2,200. And I needed to put down a deposit of $1,100 right now! I said "Are you kiddin' me? Right this minute?" She said "yeah". Fortunately, I just got my Income Tax refund and I had the money in the bank. Normally though. This is not the case at all.

We went back to say good by to Nanook before going home and she couldn't even keep her eyes open, except when I'd speak to her and then her eyes would close again. I asked when I could visit her and the vet said "visiting hours are ALL DAY, EVERYDAY" I said great cause I'll be here allot. I went home, thought long and hard about "what I could do" and "what I felt I should do" for the puppy I had only received 2 weeks ago. I loved her as much as our last dog, who sadly had to be put down after 15 years, only 2 days before I got Nanook, which is why I got the puppy in the first place.

The vet also said "I'm not sure how much money the pet store is still liable to reimburse you for but it will be expensive" I told her they would still have to pay for $1, 400 of the bill.

I decided later the nite I would go get her and bring her back with us so we could take care of her to the best of our ability and if she was going to die I wanted it to be in "my arms" not with strangers in a cold, little box!

At 4am that morning I called over to check on her and their report was very negative. She hadn't eaten and has barely moved! The women said it would definitely be "SEVERAL DAYS or MORE" before she'd be well enough to leave!

I hung up and cried. I knew I didn't have the money to pay for it and any money I could get would come from our monthly expenses for our family of 7. The decision was clear now, I had to go get her. Which was really what I would have preferred in the beginning but I was encouraged to leave it to the Experts.

At 6:30am my vet called and said he came in and heard from his staff about Nanook and her status. I said "yes, I did take her over to the ER but I'm going to go get her in about 2 hours and bring her home! I told him the reasons I felt she should be with us now and he agreed. My vet told me the girl at the ER told them this morning, that Nanook ate real well on her own!

When I asked these people the same question only 2 hours prior to this, they said "no, she hasn't eaten anything yet and she barely picks up her head!" He said "if they don't give you what you need to take care of her, come in and I'll give it to you" Then he said "never mind, just come in right after you pick her up and I'll give you the antibiotics and tell you what you need to know."

I arrived at the ER @ 8:45am that morning and told the receptionist I was here to pick up my puppy-Nanook. She said okay and went in the back. I knew she'd be back to tell me how sick she is so when she came out I basically said "listen I thought long and hard about this. I don't have that kind of money, and regardless of her condition she should be with the people that love her if she dies. She said "okay" and that the vet would like to speak to me first. I said that's fine as long as she doesn't try to talk me out of it cause she'd be wasting everyone's time if she did. She said to have a seat.

We waited and waited, there wasn't anyone else there except for a couple with an older sick dog already in one of the patient rooms. About a 1/2 later 2 women came in with a cat and they took it right back. We waited some more. I decide to see if they were lying to me about her progress earlier this morning when I called, so I asked "has she eaten anything yet?" The receptionist called back to find out and told me "no, she hasn't eaten anything yet".

Now, I know she has eaten and I just gave them the opportunity to fess up, considering they don't know my vet re-laid this info to me! Then I asked how much longer it was going to be. I need to make it back to Jersey to the vets office before he leaves. She went to the back room, came back and said the vet was finishing with a patient and it shouldn't be much longer. I patiently waited again and called my brother and told him they lied again to me and to come up there cause my 9 yr old daughter was with me and if I didn't get my dog in the next 5 minutes I'd be going in to get her myself and somebody will definately get hurt if I have to do that!

Then I heard horrible yelping coming from a very small dog or a Puppy. I've heard my puppy bark and I know it was her crying and not a big dog. The receptionist came back out from the back, in between yelps, and I said to her "Is that my dog crying like that?" she said "let me call back and see" She said "no, no that wasn't Nanook" (Like I'm hearing things. and there's NO possible way it would be your dog.) But you can tell she is and has been, trying to buy some time, before I go get my dog. I asked "can I go see my dog now?" she says "well, the vet wants to see her first" I said "Well so do I and I was told by a vet last nite I could visit MY dog anytime I wanted. I'm not removing her this very minute I just what to stay with her while we wait, damnit!"

After I told the receptionist my plans I was seen by the vet within 5 minutes. She proceeded to tell me how sick she was and that she NEEDS oxygen therapy. I said " I don't care what you tell me she has or needs because, regardless of it, I'm taking my dog home with me and I'll nurse her back to health to the best of my ability no matter what I have to do. I also told her if you don't want to help me do that fine, I'll find someone else who will.

I asked her "what do you expect me to do? What happens when the money I DO HAVE runs out? Are you going to provide care to her for free or will you just let her die?" She didn't say anything after that. I said "that's my point. So it really doesn't matter how sick she is does it? I said "can I go see my dog now while you get the detailed bill typed up.) They charged us $698.00 for care and services provided in the 14 hours she was there!

Since That morning, Saturday 2/05 @ 9:30am when I finally got out of there with my puppy, I have taken her to my vets' each morning for an antibiotic shot, I take her in the closed bathroom with a Vicks inhalant vaporizer running and a "HOT" shower on until it's like a sauna in there about 5 to 6 times a day or whenever her breathing looks to be straining to her.

We do the coupage therapy to help bring up the mucus in her lungs and feed her baby food, chicken broth, rice, oatmeal cookies, water, oranges, steamed pork anytime she wants it. In addition to all that, she gets held, massaged, hugged, kissed, etc. pretty much constantly. She knows she is home with people who love her and wouldn't hurt her! She's been a little skittish since leaving that hell hole, but today was her 2nd visit to my vet and she weighed in at 9lbs. 7oz, 6oz heavier than that horrible day which is not even 2 full days yet! The vet said "it's just goes to show you what some tender love and caring can do doesn't it? Then he said her white blood cell count was SO high 2 days ago, she should be dead right now. she's a miracle.

These people are pathetic at caring for animals and should not be able to stay in business!! They fall in line, right next to the inhumane puppy mills and the stores who buy from them!

Robin
Hamilton, New Jersey
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/07/2005 06:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Center-For-Animal-Referral-And-Emergency-Services/Langhorne-Pennsylvania-19047/Center-For-Animal-Referral-And-Emergency-Services-Veterinary-ER-abusive-to-11-wk-old-puppy-134089. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Puppy mills and pet stores

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

The original poster starts by saying that they purchased a puppy from a pet store, and ends by saying how terrible puppy mills are. They are the same thing! Puppies at pet stores COME FROM puppy mills! The only way to STOP puppy mills is to STOP buying puppies from pet stores.

And agree: $700 at an emergency clinic is very reasonable for the level of care they provide.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Puppy mills and pet stores

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

The original poster starts by saying that they purchased a puppy from a pet store, and ends by saying how terrible puppy mills are. They are the same thing! Puppies at pet stores COME FROM puppy mills! The only way to STOP puppy mills is to STOP buying puppies from pet stores.

And agree: $700 at an emergency clinic is very reasonable for the level of care they provide.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Puppy mills and pet stores

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

The original poster starts by saying that they purchased a puppy from a pet store, and ends by saying how terrible puppy mills are. They are the same thing! Puppies at pet stores COME FROM puppy mills! The only way to STOP puppy mills is to STOP buying puppies from pet stores.

And agree: $700 at an emergency clinic is very reasonable for the level of care they provide.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Puppy mills and pet stores

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

The original poster starts by saying that they purchased a puppy from a pet store, and ends by saying how terrible puppy mills are. They are the same thing! Puppies at pet stores COME FROM puppy mills! The only way to STOP puppy mills is to STOP buying puppies from pet stores.

And agree: $700 at an emergency clinic is very reasonable for the level of care they provide.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

I disagree with Nanook's owner

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

First off 700 is nothing for specialist care. Second I suspect this owner is one of those who thinks everyone else should pay for her animals. Probably goes to the free rabies clinic and never sees her vet for examinations and vaccinations.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

I disagree with Nanook's owner

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

First off 700 is nothing for specialist care. Second I suspect this owner is one of those who thinks everyone else should pay for her animals. Probably goes to the free rabies clinic and never sees her vet for examinations and vaccinations.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

I disagree with Nanook's owner

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

First off 700 is nothing for specialist care. Second I suspect this owner is one of those who thinks everyone else should pay for her animals. Probably goes to the free rabies clinic and never sees her vet for examinations and vaccinations.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

I disagree with Nanook's owner

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

First off 700 is nothing for specialist care. Second I suspect this owner is one of those who thinks everyone else should pay for her animals. Probably goes to the free rabies clinic and never sees her vet for examinations and vaccinations.
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#9 Consumer Comment

A little knowledge helps...

AUTHOR: Puppylvr29 - (U.S.A.)

I am in the veterinary field and am familiar with CARES and need to set some things straight.
First off, CARES is a unique state-of-the-art hospital and its prices are higher because of it. Vets there are certified in specialty areas such as Critical Care, Internal Medicine, Surgery, etc. More certifications=more money! They also have an in house lab, CT, ultrasound, THE WORKS. So, top care will cost money.
As far as puppies and pnemonia..it is VERY serious and sometimes fatal. Like everything in medicine, nothing is guaranteed and so animals are treated for worse-case scenario.

Updates in this field are hard. You get lots of calls for lots of different pets and sometimes things get confusing...that doesn't mean anyone lied to you it just makes them human.
And hearing your dog cry....lots of the puppies scream just for taking their temperature. No abuse needed. People in the vet field are in it cuz they love animals.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Different opinion here...

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

I'm sorry but I must disagree with your denunciation of this fine institution. I had recently gotten a shepard mix puppy from Philadelphia animal control. Her name is Roxy. She was is very sad shape when we got her. Severely underweight and sickly. However me and my wife could not say no to her beautiful eyes.. So home we brought her. Within 1 week she started getting ill. We took her to our normal vet who gave her antibiotics, but it did not help. One night we were beside ourselves with fear that she was going to die she was so sick. So off to the internet we go in search of help. We found CARES. I'm glad we did...They were the nicest, most professional people I've dealt with. You need to see this place all, it's like a hospital emergency room for animals. They have all the equipment they needed. When they looked at Roxy, they did all kinds of tests (while we waited) and made the decision that it was a very bad case of kennel cough that was heading towards pnuemonia. They put her on very powerful medications, taught us how to do the "coupage therapy" and sent her home, in their words, "to try and save us some money" because keeping her there could cost alot, also with instructions to bring her straight back if she seems to worsen. We took her home but she continued to worsen, 2 days later we brought her back and admitted her. When we talked to the Dr., you could see he was really upset that she had gotten worse and was very worried she may not make it. It had gotten to full blown pnuemnia. She spent 7 days there. They told us UPFRONT that she may not make it, but they would try their best as they did with all their animals.They also told us upfront how much they estimated the cost to be. Was it expensive? Heck yeah, just like any full blown hospital, but worth it. We checked in everyday and after a couple days they were cautiously optimistic. They had placed a feeding tube in her neck to make sure she was getting all the nutrients she needed. Giving her medication, massages and IV's also. She was played with and exercised as she got better and better. After a week, they called us and said "COME AND GET HER"...we were so happy. When we got there she was a completely different dog than what we had dropped off. She was licking everyone in sight, Dr's, nurses, us...jumping around just like a puppy should. She had to keep the tube in for another 2 weeks, to make sure she was getting everything she needed. They showed us how to feed her and what to do for her and not do. They gave us food for her and more medication. They NEVER blew smoke about her chances, they were upfront with their costs, and did a damn fine professional job as Roxy is now a healthy 9 month old ball of fire.. :) You complained that this place was expensive , of course it is, this is not your average vet office. As I said earlier and for the benefit of the readers, this is more like a hospital emergency room for pets. They are able to do alot of test and things right there. They are open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Fully staffed even at 1:00 in the morning when I showed up. I've watched them handle Roxy along with my Collie also. They genuinely care about these animals. You can see it in their eyes, the way they talk to them and pet and pamper them...They were making jokes about who got to play with Roxy every night...doesn't sound like what you describe to me but everyone is entitled to their opinions..I still use my regular vet for shots and mild things, but when I have an emergency, I know they are always there for us...Both me and my wife believe in our hearts that they saved her life....
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#11 Author of original report

Puppy is alive and healthy now!

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

I brought my pup home figuring it was going to die cause the ER Vet's insisted she needed all the high tech equipment in order to have even the slightest chance.

I feed her baby food, chicken broth, oranges, pork whatever I could get her to eat. I sat with her in my arms, in our bathroom, with a very hot shower running for steam and a Vicks vaporizer running to help clear her lungs. I did this at least 6x's a day or whenever her breathing looked difficult for her.

I hugged her and NEVER left her alone (she was only 9lbs. I carried her around with me like a baby all day and nite. I talked to her, kissed her, massaged her, patted her sides when she tried to cough up the fluids in her tiny lungs and just let her know she was home with people who loved her.

To my vets amazement (this is not the ER vet I have filed a report on), as well as, his entire staff (who all fell in love with her like we did) she is now weighing in at 11lbs, running around barking and playing like she hasn't done since I brought her home that very 1st day I got her!!!

My vet said to me "her blood count was 50,000 the day you took her home with you and because of that count she, in reality, should be dead. It's amazing what a little love and affection can do!" My vet was also wonderful to us! He saw her immediately after I took her back from the ER Vet and gave her a shot of antibiotics and said to meet him back at his office the next day at 10am. The next day was SUNDAY! He came in just for us and refused to charge us for this! For the next 4 days he would call me in the early am to see how "Nanook" was doing and would tell me to bring her in for another shot. He took us in right away, everyday! We couldn't have done it with out his help and support either.

Anyway, I am happy to say - she is a little porker now and is steadily gaining weight (which is crucial at this point). The ER vets said it would cost several thousand dollars to accomplish this! All it cost was a very small percentage of that amount, allot of love and a little time.

By the way, I dropped off a copy of this original report the ER VET the following day. Obviously, they don't have much to say.

I also gave a copy to the puppy store where I got her "The Puppy Barn II" which has been GREAT to us and has reimbursed our vet bills immediately, which so far has reached over $1,300 (most of this is for the ER). They also were very happy about the report I filed with Rip-off.com on the ER vet and have provided additional medical services as needed for Nanook. Unfortunately, puppy stores like The Puppy Barn II are the exception and not the rule.

Thanks,
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