Why do veterinarians have emergency contact numbers if they aren’t going to respond to your pet emergency?

It was early Monday morning on June 19, 2017, the sun’s rays started to radiate my room with light. My wife woke me up saying she thinks our precious puppy is dying. We knew she had been sick, little Foxy, no more than 4 months old had been very lethargic the day before and couldn’t keep water or food in her tiny belly. As I walked out, I could see my wife had been awake much earlier and set up camp on the couch to be closer to Foxy. When my wife said she thinks Foxy has pooped blood, I was hoping she was mistaken or had misspoken. That wasn’t the case…we had discussed taking Foxy the night before to see a veterinarian,  however it was Sunday and she had only been visibly sick that day.

My wife called one of the local veterinarians office and the recording said if it were an emergency go into the big city to a 24 hour clinic. A resolution at least. She called the only other veterinarian office in our county and it gave an emergency contact number. She called and left a message at not much past 6 am that Monday morning. Now anyone that knows me can tell you, I am not much of a fan of pets inside. They make me itch and anxious. However, that morning my watching tears roll down my wife’s cheek and seeing the uncertainty in Foxy’s eyes made me break down and cry. I never thought I could cry so much over a pet.

My wife held Foxy and comforted her the best she could, I kept stoking her soft hair. She made another attempt to the emergency number with  much more urgency in her message. It wasn’t much past 7 am, they opened at 8. I held hope of a quick call back, but that ultimately diminished. We loaded up Foxy and my wife headed to the first Veterinarians office, the one that did not have an emergency contact number hoping to be the first one there. Now some people would ask, why wouldn’t you go to the vet that we had been trying to contact all morning. The answer was simple, they weren’t compassionate or empathetic in previous non life threatening emergencies or regular visits and they were the only opinion before 8 am. Although time was against us, we now had another option.

I received a text message at 8:11 am stating “…They said they think she has parvo and they are going to work me into the schedule so I’m just waiting in the car for them to come get me”. I get a call moments later from my wife. She was upset saying Foxy was taking her last breathes. She called the other office what she had left multiple messages for that morning. The woman answering the phone showed no compassion and said all they had was 3:15 pm opening. My wife asked if they had any emergency protocol to bring her in now and the woman responded “3:15, We’ll see you then”.

Now of all the asinine things I had heard, that takes the cake. My poor wife, distressed with our sick puppy is reaching out for any lifeline and this woman shows no empathy or even tries to find a resolution.  A puppy potentially has parvo and is dying, how about getting up out of your chair and asking the real veterinarian for some resolution, I thought. My wife and I ended our phone conversation and minutes later I received the dreaded text “She’s dead”. I knew Foxy probably wasn’t going to come home and that is why I said my final goodbyes as she laid in the car before they left. I get angry thinking about it as I write this blog. Bless little Foxy.

My wife kept that 3:15 appointment to get our other dogs booster shots. When she arrived deserves an entire different blog to explain the lack of compassion and  ignorance shown by the staff. Their reputation definitely precedes them. I got home late from work that night. My wife and I both still numb from our loss. She makes the comment that she never even received a call back from the emergency on call vet.

Tooele Veterinary Clinic, it is a shame that you give any pet owner a glimmer of hope with your emergency number and you lack to call them back. It is a shame you lack compassion. It is a shame your front office staff lacks any empathy for pet owners. It is a shame the staff is not trained to provide or attempt any other resolution.

Shame on you for treating pets and people this way. Tooele Veterinary Clinic doesn’t care about you or your pet, they care only about their appointment book.

That is my stinky opinion. Goodnight.

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