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Old 08-22-2017, 09:07 AM
 
399 posts, read 188,712 times
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A friend of mine is known to like animals. He currently feeds seven stray cats. So a neighbor of his knocked on his door late at night and said he had to take his little dog to an animal hospital because it had been badly injured in a dog fight. So my friend drives the neighbor and his dog some eighty miles to the nearest all-night animal hospital and then finds that the neighbor has no money. The hospital people don't like this and, in order to get the dog back, my friend pays the five hundred dollars. It turns out the dog owner is on welfare for psychological problems, is never going to have any money, and goes crazy whenever my friend asks for the money back.
Well, we all know that no good deed goes unpunished. My question, for vets and hospital operators out there, is: how do you insure that you will be paid for services to an animal of no market value, owned by a person of no financial worth? I would say you just don't do the work without money in advance. But I come from the farm-family tradition of not spending money on pets.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:31 AM
 
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I would not have volunteered to pay this neighbors vet bill,its his pet and as such i would have no legal obligation to pay $500,i'd have thought the 80 mile drive in the middle of the night was generous enough.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Canada
1,403 posts, read 842,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Ferris View Post
A friend of mine is known to like animals. He currently feeds seven stray cats. So a neighbor of his knocked on his door late at night and said he had to take his little dog to an animal hospital because it had been badly injured in a dog fight. So my friend drives the neighbor and his dog some eighty miles to the nearest all-night animal hospital and then finds that the neighbor has no money. The hospital people don't like this and, in order to get the dog back, my friend pays the five hundred dollars. It turns out the dog owner is on welfare for psychological problems, is never going to have any money, and goes crazy whenever my friend asks for the money back.
Well, we all know that no good deed goes unpunished. My question, for vets and hospital operators out there, is: how do you insure that you will be paid for services to an animal of no market value, owned by a person of no financial worth? I would say you just don't do the work without money in advance. But I come from the farm-family tradition of not spending money on pets.
In the scenario that you described, it sounds like your friend was already aware of the neighbour's background. Even if he wasn't aware, it was his choice whether or not to pay. Since the dog owner has no intention or means of repaying your good samaritan friend, he's best to chalk it up to helping an animal in need, and let it go. All deeds don't go unpunished; if your friend understands that he did what he could, and potentially saved an animal's life, then that should be reward enough.

As for the vet clinic, most around here will procure some form of payment up front before the owner sees a vet (esp. an emergency clinic), if the person is not a regular. No funds, no service.

The part of your statement that I set in bold text is one that I wanted to emphasize; there can be a huge difference between pet ownership in the city vs. pet ownership in the country. For me (always been a city person - though given a choice, I'd rather be country) this would be inconceivable. Any living creature under my care deserves the right to treatment when age or illness takes hold, no matter what. I consider them family; always did, always will. However, for many people - esp. those with multiple pets, and in a country setting - it's sometimes simply not possible. Sometimes the best one can do is offer a home, and pray that the pet remains relatively healthy. And that's the division between different types of pet ownership, I believe.

Last edited by bassetluv; 08-23-2017 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,546 posts, read 28,491,298 times
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Vets have all started requiring payment at time of service. Although I haven't yet been to one that demands payment as you walk in the door, but they all demand payment before you walk out the door.

I'm not sure what they do if you get your dog treated and refuse to pay. I think that in restaurants when you do that, they call the police.

Vets no longer put things on account unless they know the client very well and the client has a history of prompt payment.

A friend who is a vet at one time told me she had over $100,000 of accounts payable that she couldn't get the people to pay for. That's why vets all demand payment at time of service.

Thinking about it, I was in my vet's office when people came in with a goat that needed surgery. The vet required a $500 deposit before the surgery and the balance after it was all done and added up. I suspect that the $500 covered the actual material costs, anesthetic, assistant's salary, materials, medication, etc. The vet didn't know those people and might have thought that no one would actually pay about $1500 to save a $25 goat.

OP, your friend now learned to never do any favors again for that kooky neighbor. It would have been hard for me, though, to see the injured dog suffering.
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:37 PM
 
1,021 posts, read 734,761 times
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I never had a vet that accepts payment plans or IOU's... Care credit is the only type of payment they will apply for you, like a credit card, but you must be approved before they started treatment. It is like that for emergency and regular vet care, at least in my area (city living).

This includes my current vet who knows me and my pets for years. I had found stray kittens that needed medical care but vets will not even look at them without full payment. The only time they will take a deposit is for surgeries, and even hours after surgery, they would call me several times to check when I am coming back for my dog (to pay the rest of the balance). It makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes knowing that loyalty goes only one way. At the same time, they are not a charity and when in the past they allowed payment plans, there are owners who refuse to keep their word.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:13 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,237 posts, read 4,804,704 times
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The emergency vets here charge an upfront fee to ensure people have the money to pay the bill before they will even work on an animal.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,817 posts, read 55,828,607 times
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My vet lets you pay later if he knows you. But I have never abused that privilege, always paying when I said I would.
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:31 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,237 posts, read 4,804,704 times
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My local vet, that I have going to for about 15 years will work with his long time clients also. It has been a big help and I never abuse that privilege either.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:10 AM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,514,075 times
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All services for my dogs beyond a standard checkup have been paid before treatment was rendered. That's pretty much how it goes. I'm sure my regular vet would work with me, but I have lines of open credit that are strictly reserved for pet emergencies so I will never have to test that.

Some places will allow indigent owners to surrender pets in order to provide expensive treatment, and then adopt them out. But that's usually under very specific circumstances and the owner has no claim on the animal going forward.

OP, your friend had to know a little bit of what he was getting into. This doesn't sound like the type of guy who could hide how cuckoo for cocoa puffs he actually is.
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:54 PM
 
399 posts, read 188,712 times
Reputation: 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Some places will allow indigent owners to surrender pets in order to provide expensive treatment, and then adopt them out. But that's usually under very specific circumstances and the owner has no claim on the animal going forward.

OP, your friend had to know a little bit of what he was getting into. This doesn't sound like the type of guy who could hide how cuckoo for cocoa puffs he actually is.
Yes, it would be pretty obvious to me: no car, no local vet, no money to show. But say a new neighbor you've casually talked to once or twice knocks on your door with that problem. People don't carry around five hundred dollars in cash nowadays, so how do you know his bank account is empty and his plastic is worthless? If he says "sure, I'll pay for it", what do you do?

I expect he got to know the neighbor during the ride to the vet and got an anticipation of being stuck. But, again, do you turn around and go home?

I would take him to an ATM and insist on seeing the money in cash. Most people wouldn't.
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