Report: #82916

Complaint Review: Coastal Animal Hospital

  • Submitted: Fri, March 05, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, December 13, 2004
  • Reported By: Oceanside California
  • Coastal Animal Hospital
    1900 Hacienda Dr.
    Vista, California
    U.S.A.

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...



Events of Friday February 6, 2004

Louie was the most wonderful dog in the world. To know Louie was to smile. He was 2 years old and extremely healthy. He was my sole companion. On February 6 Louie was attacked by coyotes in my back yard between 8 and 8:30. He was only with them for about 15 seconds as I was right behind him. I grabbed him away from the coyotes and started trying to find emergency aid for him. I called the veterinarian's office down the street and their recorder directed me somewhere else since it was after hours. Unfortunately the animal hospital I ended up taking my little Louie was Coastal Animal Hospital on Hacienda Dr. in Vista.

I was too distraught to drive. In my socks, no shoes, wearing my bloody shirt carrying my Louie wrapped up in a lambskin and wool blanket trying to comfort him. I ran across the street to my neighbor and asked them to please drive me to the Emergency Pet hospital on Hacienda next to the In N Out so that I could hold Louie and comfort him as she drove. We arrived at the hospital about 9pm. Louie was in pain and scared but still very much alert. He recognized me and my voice and it soothed him some.

The veterinarian on duty looked at him briefly at the front counter and said he would write up an estimate. He said it was customary to pay at least 50% of the estimate before they begin work. I asked him to care for Louie immediately that I didn't care what it cost to heal him. I later was told by a breeder that you never say such things to any type of service provider. That you are giving them carte blanche to take advantage of you. The veterinarian insisted on writing the estimate.



The veterinarian told me that he was going to wait until Louie stabilized and then he would draw blood as well as take X-rays to determine the damage. That he could feel broken ribs and a laceration on each side of his chest. But that nothing could be done until X-rays were taken.

They had me sign papers quoting between $1300 and $1500 to treat him. I was crying so hard during all this that I could barely see. I think I was pretty much in shock. I'm diabetic and the stress of the previous hour was completely distorting everything especially my vision at this point. They read the high points of the estimate to me. This to include:

*
the after hours emergency visit fee
*
X-ray fee
*
blood work fees
*
surgery fee
*
pain medication
*
housing fee for Louie to stay there 12 hours (as though paying for a hospital room)
*
IV fee
*
medications to go home with him
*
the collar to keep him from pulling out stitches
*
pain patch
*
and more

All these were included in the estimate. I also signed a Do Resuscitate order. The girl at the front desk insisted that I pay them at least $1000 before they would start. This was far greater than the 50% the veterinarian said was needed to start work. I assumed the receipt they gave me was a copy of their estimate. I was crying very hard and did not have my glasses on. I could only guess at what I was signing. I didn't realize till the next day that all I got was a generic thanks for the $1000 receipt with nothing itemized like the estimate. I have NEVER received a receipt from these people and can only imagine what they have put on it in the intervening weeks!

I went to the back room to see Louie before I left. They had stuck put him in a wire cage with only his bloody blanket. Louie was still awake, alert and he recognized me. He stood up and walked to my fingers as I stuck them through the cage and let me pet him before I left. He looked me in the eyes and I told him how much I loved him and that he would be ok. I absolutely had no idea that I would never see him again.

My neighbor drove me home. The attendant told me to call back in an hour and they would know a lot more about his condition after taking the X-rays and blood work to see if he was bleeding internally. I called them at 10:20 and the girl told me they were in the middle of Louie's surgery. I asked about his X-rays and she said they never did take any. I asked about his blood work and she said they didn't do that either. She indicated that she needed to get back in with the doctor and didn't have time for my questions. The veterinarian called me at 11pm and told me that Louie died in surgery! He said that he would be there until 8am the next morning for me to make arrangements for Louie.

I was in shock and in tears for the entire night.

About 7AM still in shock not having slept the whole night I drove back to their office to retrieve Louie's body so I could bury it. I also assumed I would get a large refund. I told the girl at the front desk that I was there to retrieve Louie. She went through the office and got an empty office supply box that reams of paper comes in and I assume put Louie in it. She came back out front without him and told me that I owed another $99 and did I want to make a payment! At first I thought she was saying that they were only going to refund $99. But no, she actually wanted me to give them more money!

I informed her that I did not have my purse with me. She refused to give me my dog to bury until I gave them the extra money! I was still in tears and just turned around and left never to return.

I sincerely feel that they killed my dog. They did not take X-ray as stated nor blood work. I don't know what they did to him since I never got to see him again. They kept his body as well as the reversible blanket I carried him in.

I spoke with my neighbor the next day and she was shocked that he died too. She said she was really surprised since he was so alert when we left as well as the whole trip to their hospital. She also said she was not impressed with this clinic and did not have good feelings about them but didn't want to scare me any further. I never got an itemized statement. I want a refund. If only I had taken him somewhere else I feel he would still be alive. They were too preoccupied with collecting money to take proper care of him. I want his blanket sent to me (no, I do not want to go pick it up.) More than anything I wish I had taken him to another animal hospital! I believe my little Louie would still be alive if I had had the time to find another place open.

To top it off I received a sympathy card from them a week or so later.. they misspelled his name!

I tell this story to everyone that asks me where is Louie. So does my neighbor. Be careful where you take your ailing pets! Find an emergency clinic that someone recommends BEFORE you need it.

To sum it up. Coastal Animal Hospital, 1900 Hacienda Dr., Vista CA 92083 took $1000 then killed my dog and refused to give me his body until I dished out another $99! I wonder if my precious Louie is really dead since they wouldn't give him back.

If you have had a similar experience with these people please contact me or if you have any questions send me an email to the address listed.

http://greatwebdesign.biz/louie/index.htm

Bobbye
Oceanside, California
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/05/2004 10:22 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/coastal-animal-hospital/vista-california-92083/coastal-animal-hospital-charged-me-over-100000-they-killed-my-dog-in-one-hour-then-ref-82916. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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0Employee/Owner

#1 Consumer Comment

Crackpot. Anyone blaming the "greedy" vet hospital in this situation is a fool.

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

First off, state law specifically requires a written estimate to be provided. Why? Because too many people say money is no object yet balk when the see the costs. Why are the costs high? Because radiographic machines, blood chemistry analzers, ultrasound machine, etc. cost money. Paying staff costs money. Paying rent costs money. The 50% deposit applies because too many people, like you, refuse to pay when the outcome isn't what you wanted. Like a spoiled child, you cry and complain when random fate hands deals you a blow.

If you think the cost is too high, try going to a human hospital. The same machines, the same drugs, the same procedures, at 10X the cost at a veterinary hospital. If you don't like the situation, contact your local politician and tryu and get some government subsidies for animal health care. Finally, if you think vets are getting rich, think again. It is the lowest paying professional career (i.e. career requiring an advanced degree). The average vet doesn't pay off their student loans for 15 years after graduation. If vets started providing free services across the board (and believe me, most vets give plenty of time, supplies, money to shelters and recue groups), they would quickly go under. It's a business like any other, and it is a business that provides a service to people who have voluntarily decided to acquire a pet. You accepted the life of your pet, you accepted the emotional and financial responsibility that came with that pet.

As for the specifics on the case, any of you without medical training can not realistically comment on the medicine. In fact, anyone without the case specifics can not comment. If the vet decided it was time to go to surgery, then it was time. If a major bleed was present, diagnostic tests are not the first priority - locating the source of the bleed is. Give the d**n surgeon credit for getting in fast and not wasting time trying to contact someone who may not have reachable. As for the cost, the surgery cost obviously exceeded the cost of the diagnostic tests, thus the outstanding bill.

Face it, the vet had two choices: go to surgery and try to save the dog's life, or wait to get ahold of you, wait for tests, and watch an unstable patient surely die in the meantime. This vet tried to save your dog's life, and your only response was to accuse him of robbery. Is he used to such a childish response? Probably. The fortunate thing is, responsible pet owners recognize the reality of the situation and tend to be a little more sane than you. Like every other profession, 1% of the clients cause 95% of the problems, and apparantly that problem lies with you and your inability to accept the situation for what it is and move on.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Truly sorry, but...

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

I am truly sorry for your loss, but I have not seen anything in your post that would lead me to believe that the clinic acted with negligence or otherwise causes your pet's unfortunate death.

If you do decide to sue, California law requires a party claiming professional negligence to have expert testimony to back it up. If you really want to sue them, you will need another vet to testify on your behalf or at least write a report for the small claims judge.

Another thing about California law: unless you can prove fraud, you cannot sue for emotional distress arising out of a property damage claim. Pets are legally considered property, so the most you could recover would be the cost of the services they billed you for.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Deb - I do not blame pet owners for malice...

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

Deb,

My reaction is against all pet owners - not just you. I'm sorry if you got the idea that I blame you or anyone else for malicious intent against your loving pet. Allow me to clarify my case.

Recall that I used the word "stupid" in my arguement above. There are too many pet owners who trust the weird "meat by products" in commercial petfood without researching them; they are probably rendered remains of dead and diseased animals (including flea collars) that can cause health problems in our pets. There are too many pet owners who trust the weird flea and tick chemical repellants - especially the long lasting type; these chemicals have been identified by doctors and other scientists as causing health problems in pets. There are too many pet owners who automatically trust the notion (more economic fiscal policy than science) that pets should be vaccinated yearly; clinical studies have proven that three year vaccinations are far less dangerous for our pets.

There are too many pet owners who DO NOT do the research to protect their pets' health - because the products mentioned above can cause seizures in pets among other health problems. Instead, they trust these economically based, corporate products on pure faith that the "experts do the right thing" to protect our pet's health. What if those "experts" have succumbed to greed - the #1 sin in corporate America?

Did you notice that the median charged at most emergency vet clinics is around $1000? That's because the vet associations did their market research by asking pet owners how much they would be willing to pay at an emergency clinic to try and save their pets. $1000 was the number one response. Not that those vet services are worth that much - Their market research showed them how much pet owners are willing to pay, so they charge accordingly.

Let me help you with your pet by starting you on some research everyone should learn how to protect the health of their pets from seizures.

Seizures in Dogs & Cats:
An Integrative Approach
with Natural Options
Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., M.S.
http://www.drschoen.com/articles_L2_14_.html

In fact, you should take sometime at google and do as much research as possible to protect your dogs if they are prone to seizures:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=breeds+of+dog+prone+to+seizures&btnG=Search

I think it's very disturbing that a vet has you feeding barbituates to your dog every day no matter what his condition. The vet should have suggested alternate therapies such as from naturopathic and homeopathic physicians. I recommend alternate therapies to animal and human alike because of the risks involved with allopathic drugs:

Drugs and Their Dangerous Effects
http://www.millerchiro.net/drugs_and_their_dangerous_effect.htm

Here are a few alternate therapy choices in Leesburg. I'm sorry there are not more:
http://local.google.com/local?sc=1&q=homeopathy+naturopathy&near=leesburg%2C+virginia&btnG=Google+Search

I hope this information helps people and their animals. I'm not a diplomatic. I'm not a politician looking for votes, so I see no reason to pull punches. I have no intention of insulting anyone in particular - I am calling everyone stupid for not doing their research to protect their loved ones.

I may be the stupidest one of all of giving an iota of trust to that "emergency vet clinic" that dealt the most painful and torturous death possible for anyone - definitely for my cat, ChiChi. If a wild cat or any other animal attacks me and I die a painful, torturous death, then I deserve it.

Will any of you FEEL the same responsibility?
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#4 Consumer Comment

To Randolph: My pets illness was not caused by me

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

Randolph,
Please read my response again, my pet Felix, had Grand Mal Seizures, he has Epilepsy. It is heretidary in his breed. This is nothing that was caused by us. How dare you blame us the owner for his "spontaneous" illness. In his case it was never known until he was over 2 years old. Now that we know, we can treat it.

I thank God everyday that I know what is wrong with him and he is with me. I was just letting Bobbye know that my heart goes out to her because prior to Felix I did loose a pet who I did love dearly.

I am terribly sorry that she went through such a horrible experience with such a terrible hospital that took advantage of her emotional state. NO ONE deserves that type of treatment EVER!!!!!!
Under any type of circumstances, whether it has to do with a pet or a human being PERIOD.

Any Emergency Hospital that does NOT report to the owner the status of the pet or does not do what the claim they are going to do SHOULD be shut down immediately, so no other person should go through that. But don't you dare blame me for my animals illness. That was totally uncalled for. Read the facts before you start stating your opinions.
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#5 Consumer Comment

"Spontaneous" Illness vs. Massive Damage

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

Am I the pariah in this discussion simply because I try to bring out the facts? I have no intention of stroking anyone's emotional securities - especially about emergency veterinary practices.

I appreciate that the two consumers above are trying to protect the vets who "helped" their pets out of the goodness of their hearts, but let's look at the facts: One animal started to "spontaneously" combust into illness by shooting blood out both ends. Another animal started to "spontaneously" combust into seizures. Neither of you say what was actually wrong with your pets in the end. You only want to push the gracious, angelic powers of your vet.

Why don't you want to talk about what caused that illness in your pet? 9 times out of 10 a serious "spontaneous" illness in the family pet is usually the fault of the owner or a member of the family acting out of irresponsibility.

Does irresponsible behavior against your loving pet really compare to damage that can be caused by a larger more vicious creature - like evil, greedy humans? (Greed being the main emotion we encounter in the vet's office.)

9 times out of 10 Vets know how to deal with emergencies such as yours out of established procedure because they know how stupid most people can be - they've done their market research.

What happens when they encounter an emergency that they are not used to getting? They go through their same "paint-by-numbers" routine and they usually FAIL.

Read my story at http://ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff94292.htm on how the staff at the "emergency" clinic haved acted out of nothing but greed and cowardice. To this day, they have yet to respond to me.
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#6 Consumer Comment

My heart goes out to you

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

Dear Bobbye,
My heart goes out to you about your little baby. I know how it feels to have your little four legged baby in a crisis situation, but not all emergency hospitals are like the one you went to. I was extremely lucky to have one that went up and beyond what was necessary to care for my boy Felix a Jack Russell/Border Terrier mix. On Palm Sunday he started having multiple seizures one right after another. He had had them before, but only one at a time.

We immediately rushed him to the Animal Emergency Hospital & Care Center here in Leesburg, they took him from my arms and told me they would be with me in a minute or two. Within 5 minutes the vet came out and told me he had another seizure and that they needed to stablelize him.

They were giving him valium at the time. I was allowed to go back and see him and low and behold he started with another seizure, they allowed me to stay to help him through it. Then they gave him a large dose of phenabarbital.

They kept him there for about 6 hours and released him to me because I did not want him there overnight without me and because after the dose of phenabarbital he did not have any further seizures. He is now on the drug twice daily and has not had another seizure since. They had given me a complete estimate at the time I came in, asked for 1/2 down which I paid, did exactly what they said they were going to do and forwarded all results of all tests to his regular vet. They were fantastic to my little boy. I later found out if I had not gotten help for him that day, he would have died, basically siezed to death. So not all emergency hospitals are like the one you went to.
It breaks my heart that you lost your baby. I wish there were some words to comfort you but I know there are not. I know you just want your baby back with you. Believe me I know you do. I hope in time you heal inside but it will take a long time, I myself have lost a dear baby and it did take me a long time to heal before I got my new baby Felix. So I do know what it is like to lose a cherished pet. They are not a pet, they are your family. I will keep you in my prayers.
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#7 Consumer Comment

It doesn't have to be that way!

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

Our baby girl Dharma, a miniture russet daschshund had a sudden onset of vomiting bright red blood, and simultaneously expelling bright red blood from her rectum. This indicated to me that she was in a life threatening situation. We bundled her up in blankets and surpassed the speed limit by at least 20 mph all the way to the only emergency animal hospital we knew of. We arrived at Animal Medical Center in Anniston, Alabama during peak hours, when everyone was there to pick up or drop off their pets. They were extremely busy. By the time we arrived, probably no more than 30 minutes after the beginning of her symptoms, Dharma had become extremely lethargic, cool to touch, with dry, cyanotic mucous membranes. I explained to the desk help what was going on and she asked us to have a seat. Within a half minute of our sitting down, she had another violent episode of vomiting and diarrhea. Within seconds, a technician came running from the bck and grabbed Dharma and took off. The only queations she had for us were are her immunizations up to date and has she had people food. We answered yes and no and she was through the door. Periodically someone would come out to fill us in on the goings on, and back to work they went. Finally, she was stabilized. We got to visit with her for a few minutes. She had IV solutions, a urinary catheter and she was restrained to prevent her from harming herself. We were told to check back the next morning. It went on like that for 3 days. Finally we got to bring her home. It was then, and only then that any mention was made of money! Oh, her treatment was expensive, all right, but it was worth every penny. Had we had to worry about her mounting medical expenses on top of worrying over her, my husband and I would have most likely wound up with gastric bleeding ourselves, due to an ulcer. Having read the ripoff report, I am thankful to have a facility of that caliber in our area. I hepe all is done to assist these individuals in remembering that they are dealing with human emotin instead of dollars and cents.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Don't be fooled by "untimely death is normal" thinking ...beloved animals that don't mean jack to them except the big bucks

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

People,

Don't let anyone on God's Green Earth fool you into thinking that people dying on the operating table is a normal, innocent occurence. Most of the time these deaths occur because of MALPRACTICE, so imagine what kind of practice is "normal" by the greedy veterinarians on our beloved animals that don't mean jack to them except the big bucks.

Please examine the following web pages as just a few examples:

Anesthesia Malpractice
http://www.perduelaw.com/anesthesia_malpractice.htm

Surgery Anesthesia: Spotlight case and commentary
http://www.webmm.ahrq.gov/spotlightcases.aspx?ic=2

What Is A Strong Malpractice Case
http://www.lectlaw.com/files/med32.htm

Fallout from a malpractice case
http://www.vetmedpub.com/stu/malpractice.html
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#9 Consumer Comment

No I never worked at Coastal

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

I'm sorry for your loss. I do not however work at Coastal Animal Hospital and never have. I know it is painfull to lose an animal.

People exaggerate about animal hospitals all the time. Perhaps your tale is true, I don't know you, I apologize for judging you. Coastal Emergency went out of business anyway.

I was simply defending the people I know who are wonderful technicians who save the lives of animals every day. You cannot lump all veterinary staff, technicians, and doctors in one group. I'm sorry you lost your dog but it happens. Animals die under anesthesia, just as people do.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Clerification

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

Coastal Animal Hospital is owned by ABC animal Hospital. I worked for "PARENT" company, as I stated in my post. I no longer work in the field.
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#11 Author of original report

To Katie in Oceanside - B ITCH

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

To Katie, aka friend of an employee of this outfit, aka former employee of this outfit, and I suspect aka employee of said outfit. Your story keeps changing!

You b***h! Hell you are not good enough to be classified as a b***h since that's a female dog and I love dogs! How dare you suggest that my story was not true. EVERY single word was true. Obviously you have never loved an animal or you would never say I should just get over it. You f**king heartless b***h. No wonder you keep your identity secret!

I was not alone during this whole exchange. If you actually read my story you will see that my neighbor drove me to this clinic. She HEARD the ?doctor? say that the tests had to be run and x-rays had to be taken BEFORE he cut into my dog to assess the extent of his injuries. An hour later when I called them (as they suggested) to see how Louie was doing the female (gee was it you?) on duty at the time clearly stated that no blood tests were done and no x-rays taken and yet the surgery was half over with according to her. My dog was alert, standing and licking my hand when I left him. A little over an hour later he was dead. Also, I was on the speakerphone with 2 of my neighbors in the room to listen with me because I was still in shock and in tears when I spoke with them and they stated no tests were run as well as no x-rays taken.

YES THEY REFUSED To return him to me the next morning unless I shelled out another $99! They have since left 2 messages on my machine (which I still have) telling me they still have my little Louie in a freezer and reminding me I still have an outstanding balance! I was and still am too heart broken to talk to them though I would love to tell them exactly what I think of their Emergency Clinic. d**n right I would expect a refund since they performed NONE of the tests they stated they HAD to run. I've heard from quite a few people via email since I posted my email address (unlike you). I've heard absolutely NOTHING good about them. Just more horror stories.

I suspect you work for them still. Check the records of the night of Feb. 6, 2004.

I provided my email address in my first report. You want to keep this going then email me direct instead of your generic Katie in Oceanside! Low life Katie in Oceanside.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Look at the evidence of regular Veterinary Practices

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

This is Randolph from the rip off report at http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff94292.htm. Even with $400 up front I believed that mainstream veterinary emergency medicine was the best in the world until my ChiChi died after 12 solid hours of pure hell - then I paid the $612 balance to collect my dead cat. I got a condolence letter too a week later. I wanted to forgive and forget, but that letter seemed to rub my face into one of the unhappiest experiences ever into what had to be complete and utter torture for my beloved pet until the bitter end. I realized that their technology for billing and their condolence cards are far more advanced than their ability for saving lives. It was then I remembered why my pets don't have vets.

For those of you who have complete faith in your vet to protect the health of your animal, please read "Is Your Pet Dying From Over-Vaccination Due to Vet Economics?" http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/2003/May/09/IsYourPet9.htm:

"Nationally and internationally, companion animals (pets) are being over-vaccinated - a practice that is resulting in vaccine related deaths, severe illnesses, reduced longevity and large monetary costs to guardians (pet owners)..."

I believe someone mentioned "ABC Veterinary Clinic" which sounds suspiciously like "ABC Animal Rendering" one of the largest recycler of dead or diseased pet, roadkill, and other animals in California. Please read "The PetFood Industry and its questionable Practices" http://777-health.members.easyspace.com/poisonpetfood.html and http://www.newsagepress.com/foodpetsdiefor:

"In a letter dated July 12, 1994, Christine
Richmond, spokesperson for the FDA Division of Animal Feed, wrote: 'In recognizing the need for disposal of a large number of unwanted pets in this country, CVM has not acted to specifically prohibit the rendering of pets. However, that is not to say that the practice of using this material in pet food is condoned by CVM.' It is not condoned, but no steps have ever been taken to prohibit the use of dogs and cats in pet foods.

"For the Baltimore City Paper (September 27, 1995), reporter Van Smith wrote an extensive article, replete with pictures, of his day
riding with a truck from the Valley Proteins rendering plant. Smith describes how carcasses of zoo animals and 'thousands of dead dogs,
cats, raccoons, possums, deer, foxes, snakes, and the rest that local animal shelters and roadkill patrols must dispose of each month' are rendered. Pictures show barrels overflowing with dead dogs and cats waiting to be rendered..."

I'm sorry, Bob, but Louie may have ended up in another dog's stomach by now. You should definitely contact the BBB and the consumer division of your attorney general's office and tell them everything that happened. You should also ask that clinic what happened to Louie's body - and try to get a straight answer.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Not quite "rediculous" (sic)

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

With all due respect, cleary I disagree with your assessment that *my* post is absolutely ridiculous.

While I admit I probably make the typical mistake of painting an entire industry with a wide brush, my *personal experience* has been -- 100% of the time -- that the front office help and vet tech help in these establishments are drones and idiots. They are typically no more than kids looking to make a few extra bucks. Again, that's been my experience, not 50% of the time, not 75% of the time -- 100% of the time. (Different establishments).

I would strongly advise consumers to seriously weigh the need for a service of this type. (This is one good reason why you need access to your regular vet via a home or cell number... most are happy to oblige and even print such on their business cards. You can even ask that when seeking out a good veterinarian).

The reason I advise that careful consideration is because typically this experience is *not* going to be a good one. First off, the owner is very distraught over the emergency or possible loss of the pet. Secondly, you're going to learn that the cost of treatment in this venue is through the roof -- which is understandable. And third, until you're one-on-one with the DVM, surgeon, etc, you're going to be disappointed over the cold, non-chalant treatment by the staff. (And before you yell at me, again, I'm drawing on my own experience).

Unlike you, I really don't believe that the original post is false, because it sounds so close to each of my experiences.

The last time, after a freak accident in the back yard, I sped to the 24hr emergency vet hospital with my animal in my arms... without even a wallet. After meeting with the surgeon and feeling confident in the treatment path (and cost) he quickly took off to tend to my animal. I was greeted outside by what looked like some 12 year old front office idiot who informed me that she could guarantee the surgeon would not *touch* my animal until I returned with my $1000. deposit. I had already just had a conversation with the surgeon about money being ABSOLUTELY NO OBJECT, and I would return with my wallet. He said "not to worry about it". I tried to politely explain this to the idiot, who wanted to argue with me. I had to go back into the exam room, then through to the back, wave the surgeon (who was beginning to tend to my dog) up front, and repeat myself before him. The surgeon, irritated with the help, told the idiot to process my paperwork.

Several days later, at the discharge of my animal, the drone-tech brought him up front to me and dropped his leash in my lap, and turned to walk away. "EXCUSE ME! Are there no discharge instructions? Meds? When do the stiches come out? HELLO!"

Drones and Idiots.

Now, having said all that -- I'm VERY PLEASED to hear that this San Diego outfit is supposedly nothing like that (although the original post tells a different story).

If they are indeed as *you* describe them to be, thank goodness. Because it boils down to a little more than "Life happens get over it", to quote you. In fact -- interestingly enough -- that's exactly the kind of cold and non-chalant statement, hmmmmmmmmm, I would expect to hear out of the front office staff and vet tech staff of an EMERGENCY VET HOSPITAL!!!!

Very interesting, indeed.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Not Quite True

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

The gentleman who responed is absolutely rediculous. That is not true, having worked for the parent company of Coastal Animal Hospital myself, I can tell you they do not hire "drones" and no one there is an "idiot." Coastal animal Hospital has a RVT on staff and she is actually the best RVT in all of San Diego County. Those of you who know her know who I am talking about. She is trained to the hilt, and she could "run the ship" quite easily. As for not releasing the dogs remains, I highly doubt that was the case. The staff at Coastal Animal Hospital is a very compassionate bunch. I believe the tale told above is more than likely false. So don't believe everything a disgruntled animal owner posts on the internet.

Years past I lost one of my horses due to colic. I was very upset but I cannot blame the facility nor the veterinarians for the incident. I didn't look for mistakes or try to blame anyone. People are human and humans make mistakes. Life happens get over it.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

No, NOT quite normal

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

I have experience with 24 Hour Pet Emergency:

(Incidentally, the best advice I read in this thread was *before* something dreadful happens, find out who *your* regular vet recommends for after hours emergencies. In fact, not only do I know that much from my vet, but I also have my vet's home and cell numbers).

At any rate, the scenario described in the report is *NOT* "quite normal" for this type of operation, even after I factor in a very, very upset "parent".

While yes, these institutions a) DO charge a very high premium and b) DO collect at least 50% of an estimate, none that I've done business with would/have ever withheld the return of a deceased pet for the sake of $99.

(I personally would never have left my pet there. If it was in relatively good shape upon my arrival, I would have taken my pet to my regular vet the following day for a determination of what the cause of death was. Without such, there really is no recourse).

The people you know there may be great folks, but my experience is that typically they (front office, vet techs, etc) are idiots and drones doing only what they're told -- and half-hazardly / badly at that. They KEY to a good 24-hour pet services is the DOCTOR on duty. If they don't run the ship (or are not authorized to) properly, PETS ARE GOING TO DIE.

My condolences.
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#16 Consumer Comment

This is Quite Normal

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

I am verys sorry for the loss of your pet. I happen to know a wonderful person who works at Coastal Animal Hospital. Coastal is an emergency hospital, they take in sick an injured animals, and try to the best of their ability to help that animal. The truth be known they did not purposefully kill your dog. I know it is easier to grieve when you can blam it on someone else. I happen to know a couple of the technicians who work there. They are highly trained experts in the field of veterinary technology. The Doctors who work at Coastal are also wonderful highly traines experts. They are not the run of the mill Veterinarians you will find at your local vet. Most of them are at the top of their field. As for tyhe charges: you don't expect to get a refund for your fathers triple bypass if he doesn't make it through surgery do you? Services rendered must be paid for nothing is for free.
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#17 Consumer Comment

This is Quite Normal

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

I am verys sorry for the loss of your pet. I happen to know a wonderful person who works at Coastal Animal Hospital. Coastal is an emergency hospital, they take in sick an injured animals, and try to the best of their ability to help that animal. The truth be known they did not purposefully kill your dog. I know it is easier to grieve when you can blam it on someone else. I happen to know a couple of the technicians who work there. They are highly trained experts in the field of veterinary technology. The Doctors who work at Coastal are also wonderful highly traines experts. They are not the run of the mill Veterinarians you will find at your local vet. Most of them are at the top of their field. As for tyhe charges: you don't expect to get a refund for your fathers triple bypass if he doesn't make it through surgery do you? Services rendered must be paid for nothing is for free.
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#18 Consumer Comment

This is Quite Normal

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

I am verys sorry for the loss of your pet. I happen to know a wonderful person who works at Coastal Animal Hospital. Coastal is an emergency hospital, they take in sick an injured animals, and try to the best of their ability to help that animal. The truth be known they did not purposefully kill your dog. I know it is easier to grieve when you can blam it on someone else. I happen to know a couple of the technicians who work there. They are highly trained experts in the field of veterinary technology. The Doctors who work at Coastal are also wonderful highly traines experts. They are not the run of the mill Veterinarians you will find at your local vet. Most of them are at the top of their field. As for tyhe charges: you don't expect to get a refund for your fathers triple bypass if he doesn't make it through surgery do you? Services rendered must be paid for nothing is for free.
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

Sue them!

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

I not one to call a lawyer at the drop of a hat, but your case has all the earmarks for case in small claims court. The amount you lost should be within the limit teh courts have set up. Be sure to take your neighbor as she can testofy to certin facts.

Hope you win, your pain will not go away, as a dog owner I can relate to your loss. Luckily we already had a good experience with a 24/7 large clinic with wonderful caring persons. So we keep their number handy in case of any emergency.
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#20 Consumer Comment

I had a problem with this same outfit 2 years ago - WRONG EXRAYS!

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

My dog was hit by a car and her back leg was broken. I took her to their after-hours emergency clinic {BIG MISTAKE} and she died just as your poor dog did. A week later I asked for her exrays for the insurance company of the person who hit her.

The exrays they sent me were for another dog! My dog was female.. they sent me male exrays of a larger dog. I never took another animal to them. I drive further just to visit a new one in San Marcos.
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#21 Consumer Comment

This sounds like a real quack operation you ran across.

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

I Feel For You. I suspect they had a vet student or vet tech perform the 'surgery'. No professional would have begun surgery without x-rays and blood work being done. A pro would have done a pre-op eval and told you what the dogs chances of survival were. That way you could have opted out of the surgery and had him put to sleep if the chances looked too slim. They probably dumped Louies body in their dumpster behind the office after you left. It would help others if you could post the actual vets name here, just in case he/she tries setting up shop somewhere else.
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#22 Author of original report

Coastal is part of a chain: ABC Veterinary Hospitals in San Diego

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

I found that Coastal Animal Hospital is part of a chain called ABC Veterinary Hospitals with offices in El Cajon, Kearney Mesa, North Park, Pacific Beach, San Marcos, Solana Beach as well as the one in Vista, all in San Diego County.



Everyone should beware of any of these offices as the doctor (and assistant)that killed my dog could be floating at any of them. His name was not on the $1000.00 receipt I got from them on the night they killed little Louie. The name on their business card is Dr. Leslie Monroe, DVM.
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