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What to do?

996 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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I can't imagine asking a vet (or anybody) to give me anything for free. It's my pet and my responsibility, and I always make sure that I have an emergency fund available for such things. I think it's reasonable to ask if the vet can work with you on a sliding pay scale, but it's absolutely not the vet's responsibility to comp expensive treatments. This is particularly true if you have no history of being a responsible dog owner, and your records show a constant lack of ability to properly care for your dog. Additionally, while some may find this cold, if the vet feels that this expensive treatment will likely be pointless anyway, and that the dog is old and incurably sick, then there's really just no point in the vet being out all of that money.
It would be one thing if this were a young, previously healthy dog, with a curable condition, or if this were a customer with a long history of paying her bills and being a good pet owner. Sometimes, though, there's just nothing you can do.
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