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What to do?

994 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ladyshadowhollyjc
someone came into day with a very old dog.The dog is extremely ILL and the lady gave us a sob story about how she has no money. So we gave her a break on the treatment and held payment for 1 week.

To many this may seem like no big deal but I have thousands of dollars of unpaid bills from people with the same sort of sob stories. We feel bad for them we try to help and in the end we rarely ever see them again to make payments.

what bothered me about this lady is she basically said it was only the situation she was in now making it hard to pay. but looking through her file she never has done any sort of upkeep on her dog not in 5 years. there is always something with money with her.

On the phone today she told me this "I don't want my dog to suffer over something like money because you won't let me pay you back for the labs and x-rays that is just stupid. You should be willing to pay." Honestly I feel bad for people. I really do but it is not my fault she has a dog she can not afford.( and hasn't been able to afford in years!) The doctor would normally be happy to help but the dog is very old and he feels that even with the hundreds of dollars of diagnostic work we would mostly likely eat. the dog is on its way out.

I explained to the lady that we have to pay the lab for the service and apologized for her situation. What should I tell people like that? Is it so difficult to understand that a vet is a business too and if we took every person that has money problems and told them they could come back and pay we would probably have to close our doors. The few cases we do take NEVER get paid it is so sad. We save someones dogs life and never see them again. all of them seem like "nice" trustworthy people.

and then i sit here and feel bad about it. I feel bad for the animals. Ive felt bad about it all day.
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Fade, I can totally sympathize. I work at a clinic too (a lot of times I work front desk, so I anseer a lot of phone calls with various situations). Our clinic has been burned several times... We now require a down payment of half whatever the estimate comes to because we know in the back of our minds that there's a pretty good chance we won't ever see the rest.

It hurts us when we put a lot of effort into saving an animals life, and then once the animal is ready to leave, we never hear from the owner again. It sucks (sorry, I don't have another word) when someone brings something in that was preventable, but because they didn't think far enough that animals need check ups or heartworm prevention, or puppy boosters, etc. the animal now pays the price. But honestly, you can't cure stupid. It's not fair when animals have to suffer, but if you take the cover for the irresponsible owner every time, you're not helping. All you end up doing taking on care of their mistake and allowing them to think that its the vets job to fix their problems and cover the costs for them.

I know I end up saying at least 5 times a day "You can't fix stupid.. you can try to educate but that doesn't mean they're going to learn".... Like literally say that.
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