Can the vet do this??????

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

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Lifes a Beach -
Barked: Thu Sep 3, '09 7:06pm PST 

I would think if you are willing to make payments they would have to release your do. can they keep you dog and possibly put the dog to sleep?
Lucy (In- Memory)

Barked: Thu Sep 3, '09 9:49pm PST 
No- that is illegal. Unless the owner signed a waiver of treatment some form stating that the dog would be held till payment is made, they can't do that. Furthermore most vets hate it when people abandon dogs at their clinic, they usually have a 30 day policy where they can do whatever with the dog if it is not claimed.

The peoples who dog is held hostage if they want their dog back that bad, should call the police. The police should be enough to convince the vet in returning the dog or they can have the dog moved to a shelter pending a court case if the vet choose to take these people to court to pay bill.

Lifes a Beach -
Barked: Fri Sep 4, '09 6:01pm PST 
More Info
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.


google Marc- Emery!
Barked: Fri Sep 4, '09 7:33pm PST 
Yeah that's illegal. A vet here tried pulling that on my mom once. My moms a....well you can imagine, she's awesome though lol

she went down there told them it was illegal and techincally stealing and if they didn' return her cat she would seek legal action. They promptly handed the cat over. I would def. consult a lawyer.

Barked: Sat Sep 5, '09 4:38pm PST 
Yup, can't say if definetly illegal but definetly sounds like scam to get more money out of clients. Can't pay in full, we keep the pet charge you boarding which puts your bill higher. Still can't pay bill, then sell your nice purebred to someone else.

I've never heard of a vet that won't take payments. They usually happy just to get their money. Wondering if they gave you estimate of the work they were doing and that it would cost that much, they should have. If they were going to do extra procedures that would increase your bill they should have called first to get your permission. Any reputable vet would do that. confused


I'm sticking my- tongue out at- you!
Barked: Sat Sep 5, '09 7:25pm PST 
There was a situation on here a while back where a member of dogster was in a very similar situation. In her case, it was legal. If she took the dog without paying, it was theft of services and could be arrested. She had called the cops, a lawyer, everything, and had managed to get one dog out (there were two involved) and was raising the money to get the second one out. It may be legal depending on state laws. Though, I would think most vets would work with you on at least making payments.

Lifes a Beach -
Barked: Sat Sep 5, '09 8:57pm PST 
Update- A First Coast woman has her dog back after it was held by her veterinarian's office because she had not paid her bill

The Ark Animal Hospital returned "Sprite" to Dawn Surrency and her children Sunday morning after she brought a Humane Society credit card to them to pay for the care.

The Society had volunteered to pay the bill
Augusta, CGC

Such a good dog!
Barked: Sun Sep 6, '09 12:42am PST 
That's crazy! But I'da found $465 somehow before I left my dog 3 weeks . . .
Donovan'sMajesticJet of Solace

Street sweeper!
Barked: Sun Sep 6, '09 4:21am PST 
Sounds very illegal. They REFUSED your offer of a payment. Legally youre not responsible for the extra charges.
Jenny, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Sun Sep 6, '09 8:50am PST 
Of course we still don't have the entire story. It's possible that this woman has been a problem with payment to this vet in the past, or to another area vet... trust me, our area vets keep tabs on who is going to stiff them and this information is passed from vet to vet. It is also possible that she was told what the charges would be/could be prior to leaving the dog, and conviently failed to mention that. My vet doesn't keep the dog, but they will take something of value to "hold" until payment is made... a cell phone, piece of jewelry or something like that.
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