|Barked: Fri Sep 4, '09 6:01pm PST |
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A First Coast woman says Ark Animal Hospital refuses to let her make payments on her bill. Now, the clinic is threatening to 'dispose' of her family pet.
"They told me to pawn things to get the money to pay them," says Dawn Surrency, who is still upset with her veterniary service.
Three weeks ago, Surrency took her Husky, Sprite, to the Ark Animal Hospital because she though something was in her throat.
"They called me and said she was done, and they couldn't find anything wrong with her and the bill was $465," says Surrency.
She says she has used the hospital for the past year more than once, and has always paid in full. But this time, she did not have the full payment.
"I asked if I could pay a partial payment and they refused, she said that is not our policy you have to pay in full or the dog stays," says Surrency.
Surrency says she tried to pay with a pet health insurance card, but they did not accept that card. And now after three weeks of boarding, the vet bills had grown to over $800!
Surrency said, "She said the vet bill is now $817 because of the boarding, and if I don't pay it they are going to send an abandonment letter, and ten days after that letter she will dispose of my dog."
Angel, the receptionist of the Ark Animal Hospital said Dr. Anna Maxwell is the owner and would have to make the decision.
She called Dr. Maxwell who refused to comment. She said, "Because of the doctor-patient confidentiality rule, to comment would be a violation."
Angel pointed to the hospital intake form which states, "...work up can be as little as $150...as high as $350."
It also states the customer,"...assumes full responsibility for all services rendered and that payment is due on the date services are rendered."
Surrency says, "I don't mind paying them, I just want someone to work with me because I want my dog, my kids want the dog. I can't imagine it is good for him to sit in a crate for three weeks."
Rick Duchrme of First Coast No More Homeless Pets tried to assist in a resolution. He contacted the Ark Animal Hospital and offered to pay the medical bill, if the vet would forgive the boarding fees. He said they refused.
The Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine said that non-payment is a civil matter, but if Surrency feels there has been unethical behavior she can file a complaint with the state.
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