South Bend, Indiana
Not resolved


Dec. 2007... Our 2 year old Jack Russell started vomiting and showing very strange behavior and was not acting normal. Our regular Veterinarian (unnamed) was closed at the time, so we opted to take him to the local PetSmart where there is a Banfield Veterinarian “Animal Hospital”. We had no reason to doubt that they were not a reportable veterinarian clinic being that they were located inside a store that we have frequented for years, and had taken our first dog to puppy training classes there.

When I brought my dog into the Banfield, I ended up being there for over 3 hours and most of it was waiting (when in fact I was the only costumer there when I arrived (and to be the last walk-in) for the night. When they finally examined him, they were running a comb through his hair (searching for fleas) which clearly was not needed, asking me if he was micro-chipped (what does that have to do with the fact that my dog will not stop vomiting), anyways….after the nurse left the room to check on something( anal glands for possible infection) about 45 minutes later another woman came in (never introducing her as the doctor)just the start of the unproffessionalism I thought she was another nurse trying to figure out what was wrong, asking me the same questions all over again….We then talked about the possibility that he may have a blockage of some sort, since my dog is notorious on finding things to chew on and sneak under our bed with them….. The doctor told me she would write me up an estimate of what they need to do for him….I waited and waited…(my dog vomiting 3 more times in their room while she was gone), finally the first nurse came back in with an estimate of almost $600.00! The estimate included a ton of blood work, something that had to do with heartworm *** and then a series of x-rays…..I explained to her that we cannot afford all of that, can we just do the x-rays to see if in fact there is a blockage or not, and then go from there…So again, I waited for about another 25 minutes and the doctor came in with a new estimate of just the x- they , which then totaled around $150.00 The x-rays were performed and she told me that there was a possible blockage in his stomach. She then gave me the choice to induce vomiting to see if what ever it was would come out. After watching my dog suffer intense vomiting every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes…no luck. She explained to me that he would need surgery to get whatever it is out. I asked what kind of price are we looking at…She then wrote me up another estimate totaling around 500.00. I was very upset at this point about losing my dog and in fact (all the savings we desperately tried to save up through the year being that we have struggled for so long, we finally made a budget and had just enough to get us through this winter when my husband gets laid off due to construction work) without getting into details of that with veterinarian (as most wouldn’t) I simply pointed out that this is so much money and I don’t know what to do, but I love my dog like he is my baby, our finances and all we save all year will be gone, now I’m thinking ….what now…. The doctor then pulled out a pamphlet that explained a wellness plan, and wrote me up an estimate of how much I would save if I used it. I told her I couldn’t make any final decisions without talking to my husband first, however made sure I arranged for an appointment first thing in the morning for surgery if we had agreed on it.My husband and I agreed on the surgery, and 500.00 was a lot, but considering it would cost up to double at ER or (the other veterinarian) which we have used (or so they said) which turned out to be a lie on their behalf in the end…

When I tearfully dropped him off at 8:30 in the morning, I told the nurse “Please take care of him” the nurse took my dog and told me “that’s what we do”. “We will call you and inform you about what’s going on”. I left crying and nervous about the whole thing, hoping and praying he would be o.k.I got home, waited a few hours, and no call…..So I called to find out how the surgery was going and came to find out that they had not even started the surgery yet! (Mind you, my dog had been vomiting all day the day before, then all through the night, disoriented through the night and he would not sleep, then was vomiting on the way to vet for surgery and vomited again when we got there). They told me they were waiting to see if it would pass! ( if it hadn’t passed by now…what the *** makes them think it would now!) I was NEVER rude to them, and I just went along with what they said…I am not a vet, how do I know. Then I waited another couple hours (still after NO update call from them to let me know what was going on)…I called them again and they told me he would be going into surgery soon, and to give them just a couple hours and they would call me back. I waited, and waited, finally called them after about 3 hours and this time NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE! I called back 3 more times…NO ANSWER! So my husband and I rushed down there to see what was going on with our dog. We arrived around 5:30 (9 hours after drop off for surgery), and they told us he was just getting stitched up right now……We sat there for another good hour, then the doctor came out and told us surgery was completed and there was a blockage in the intestines (not stomach like she said night before) and said that she had to remove a foot of his intestines. She then told us that he would have died if they hadn’t had done surgery because when they did blood work (IN THE MORNING,) that it showed his liver was severely damaged and he was in renal failure! They NEVER called me to tell me this alarming news and never informed me when I called them, that this was an EMERGENCY! Then why DID THEY WAIT UNTIL 5:00 TO PUT MY DOG THROUGH SURGERY! Then she continued to give us a “gloom and doom” story about how he will never be the same again and he most likely will have to be on special meds, vitamin supplements and special food for the rest of his life (ALL THAT HAD TO BE BOUGHT AT BANFIELD). She told us how he would never be the same and how sick he will be, and she acted as though his quality of life was diminished. Then after some very unprofessional mannerism, she gave us a bill of (not the $500.00 estimate…..but $1,500!!!! They never phone called us to inform us of the extra costs that would be involved, and not to mention our dog suffering in their office for 9 hours, when he was supposed to have surgery early in the morning!!! We found out he was put on the back burner all day because “other emergencies” came in, and unknown to us…they are UNDERSTAFFED and only have 1 doctor!!!!Then to top it all off, they tell us they won’t be open the next day and he will have to go to the emergency animal clinic overnight and be monitored for the next 48 hours which were critical. So we take him there and pay around 200.00 more for his overnight stay, and then find out that the ER is not open during the day!??? Then the doctor told us that he had been sick for a very long time…which is bizarre to us because just two days ago he was playing, and doing tricks, rolling over, playing with our other dog , zipping through the house like jack russells do, showing no signs of illness. So when my husband mentioned that to her, she stood up, got in my husbands face pointing her finger at him and acting all irrational ,VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, not to mention…unstable , throwing her words out to him like it was OUR fault that he had such a big surgery and that he had been sick for a very long time, and that he MIGHT die! After huffing and puffing at my husband, she storms off into the back room (mind you…she was yelling and acting like a fool inside of the waiting room. SO needless to say , we were frustrated with the whole situation and the treatment of our pet with banfield, and how unfproffessional the staff was for not updating us during the day (bloodwork, x-rays, or when surgery was to be performed, putting our dog on the backburner, when finding out after the fact that he was an EMERGENCY himself, then throwing a hefty bill in our face, we did not trust our dog in her care any longer,,,,,So after all of that treatment and her crazy out of nowhere outburst, we felt it to be in the best interest of our pet to take him to (our regular vet) close to our house that we have taken our other dog to, so he can be FULLY monitored for the next 48 hours as mentioned.

In the meantime…while our dog was at the other vets office…we researched the web on banfield veterinarian hospitals and came up with alarming news of unhappy customers… All of this news startled us and opened our eyes to every detail from there on…. www.banfieldcomplaints.comAnd several others when just typing in banfield…..

While he was at the other vet…(unnamed), they removed the dressing, and found that his stitching was very odd to them and was not the way they would want there workmanship to be known for. The stitching was gaped in 3 different places. They also said it made them a little concerned about what kind of job was done inside of him. Nevertheless, they monitered him, took very good care of him (I was up there every 2-3 hours and spent an hour or more with him), they told me that he may be able to go home with me the next day, and wrote me up an estimate. Which was much more reasonable for just 1 day!!! Compared to Banfield (and Banfield kept bad-mouthing them “ohhh, they would be thousands more than what we charge if you take him there) trying to keep our business with them……

Anyways, the morning I was supposed to possibly take him home, they called me and told me that he vomited up a large amount of stuff overnight, and that was concerning. When I came in, his stitching looked terrible, and was not healing, looked infected. They decided to take some x-rays to see if they could see if anything abnormal would show up. They found suspicious looking area like something coming out (like leaking). I was shown the x-rays and we all agreed to go back into surgery (exploratory) just to be on the safe side and make sure nothing was wrong with what Banfield had done. When (unnamed vet ) went back in they said they would document everything for me…whether good, or bad, with photos. The nurse came out during surgery and informed me that the intestines that Banfield dissected and then stitched together was coming apart and intestinal fluids were leaking out. They also asked me if Banfield did any kind of surgery in his colon because they found a slice in it, that had some stitching in it. Banfield never told us they went into his colon…in fact Banfields doctors exact words were….”if it reaches his colon, I’m not going to touch it, you will have to take him to the emergency room because that’s a messy job” Banfield failed to send all the appropriate documents to the other vet( How convenient for them) (sneaky) and NEVER informed us of that incision….(unnamed vet) then had to add more stitching to that incision as well, being that it was not stitched well either, and they were worried about bacteria. When the second surgery was over they stitched him up BEAUTIFULLY, like it should have been done in the first place.

Our dog endured 2 major surgeries in two days, suffered from a lot of pain being put through two surgeries in two days time (which would have been unnecessary if Banfield would have done the job right the first time. The second one saved his life, thanks to OUR REGULAR Veterinarian. And guess what………He does not need special vitamins, He does not need special lifetime meds, nor does he require any special food…..He is now back to his old Jack Russell self, and lively as can be. Banfield is a lying, scheming, manipulative, unprofessional business that cost us a lot of heartache, pain, and suffering for a botched up *** surgery. They should be shut down, and Petsmart should not have such a low-grade veterinarian clinic in their store ripping a bunch of people off and stealing their money…not to mention almost costing our dog his life. We came to them to save him, not for them to a jacked-up job, and charge us up the *** for it…… and if we would have brought him back there in their care after the surgery…we believe he would have been dead today.

When we wanted x-rays from them while our dog was at our reg vet recovering, they would not release them to the other vet, unless we paid $40.00!!! Gave the nurse a hard time and went round and round with her about it.. Then for some unknown reason, they decided to drop the (cd) off with x-rays on it. But oh how convenient again…….could not open them….only one was accessible, and not the one we really wanted to view…. All 5 from the day before surgery would not come up…….And get this…….when confronted with it…they said someone must of erased them……interesting…hmmm, I wonder who……Then, they lied to our face and said someone from their office called us the day of his surgery……, brought some other adrenaline junkie into the room spewing a lie from *** and saying.. they would bring up proof… interesting their lies are becoming...., they made NOT ONE PHONE CALL TO ME, with any information. Then they claimed they did not push the wellness plan on me……and again through the midst of the whole ordeal, the woman literly acted like a crazy maniac, grabbing our proof of papers out of my husbands hands and verbally attacking him with anything possible she could come up with to make it look as though he was a terrible person and a bully for coming in and trying to get to the bottom of all of this, they (her husband…works at the front desk, and herself (the doctor) kept saying what do you want….my husband explained…well, if you are not going to work with us on this, then I guess we will have to get an attorney. They said fine, we got proof and documents and an attorney will just cost you more money……(your point?)Then as we walked away the doctor said “what goes around, comes around, don’t forget it” We looked at each other like (WHAT?!!!! What the *** was she talking about, shouldn’t we be saying that to her!

They do not care about the animals!!! So Please Beware …..We will forever be spreading the word of this place, and hope that others read this and think twice about taking their pets there……Not worth it…..

We have all the documents through (unnamed vet) and partial documents from banfield (they never gave us the surgery documents, nor did they give us the x-rays performed the day before surgery (5 were taken). We have confronted banfield in person a month after initial surgery with our complaint and to resolve the matter..they battled us with it, and my husband called to see if they wanted to resolve out of court just yesterday (april 10th), and they said their was nothing to resolve.

It is true what we have read on this site...this is a very unproffessional business...just consider yourself "lucky" if you have not yet had problems from them.... They will rip you off at some point, and they do not care about you or your animals.....

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.

Monetary Loss: $1.

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I just want to say....I am very happy! They have been closed down without any warning...gave them 24 hours to get out.

They have been found to be not up to standards. I am very relieved that there can be some kind of resolution to our nightmare and truth will always win in the end. Now...if there is a lawsuit in order then we are in.

As I have said before....We have all our documents, and backup statements from a post vet that had to perform the sugery again after their botched up mistakes. We have photographs and other info to prove our case.


Jack Russell Mommy I know all about this situation. It was *** I wont say how I know, but I can say this, behind the scenes was no picnic either.

I'm very happy your lil man made it through this ordeal.

And I apologize for what you endured. It was years ago but I will never forget what happened.

@I was there

Thank You (iwasthere) for stepping up to confirm my incident. It was and will always be etched in my brain forever.

I wish (without revealing who you are...could tell me what had happened behind the scenes.) Like....where did that rubber black ball come from and why wouldnt she let us keep the ball?

Of course I wish you could answer all my questions from that day.... but regardless, ty for stepping up.


This is a truly God inspired text, until we really understand and abide by the Golden Rule

we will just run around in circles throwing shots at eachother. Our lives are more meaningful and important to waste on ill conceived grudges.

There are much more worthy causes we can concentrate on to make the world a better place.

Every moment we live should count for good not evil. May God continue to inspire and bless you and your family.


@thearchitect....I agree...people are shady! But it's in Gods hands in the end. So, nomatter what happens in this earthly life, the final decision and judgement will be before our God in heaven.


I know a few contractors that should be throughly investigated in their shady practices as well... and in their private lives.... wake up...just saying...


Hello again all

Interesting news..This vet is STILL here at the banfield. After today recieving several comments on my post. I have nust now decided to do research on this vet to see what may come up. To my interest, it has brought up a few new complaints directed specifically towards this same VET. Now i know why all of a sudden my post which was written over 4 years ago has been pulled out from the woodwork and comments have been made on their behalf. Hmmmmmm..... Sounds fishy again to me....Just my GUT feeling. So now, knowing that others are experiencing the same turmoil that we went through, I see there have been no changes made to this company. However, I am excited to have been informed of some great information leading to some new investigations to be fullfilled with the most recent complaints. I have still all our information regarding our incedent with this vet, and would be more than willing to join forces with our experience with them. We have photos, signed paperwork from the second vet stating things that were not done right. We have everything we need including some undisclosed proof to back up our word against theirs, to prove the lies).We want to prevent all others from going through what we went through. These people need to lose their liscence. Also in recent research...have come to find out about the lawsuit regarding the pet food they made and distributed under their name. This food that killed hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs because of the toxins in it caused them kidney failure. thought i might post a few paragraphs for those that are not informed of this....

Four years after pet food contaminated by poisonous melamine killed and sickened tens of thousands of cats and dogs in North America, a court opinion issued today may open the door at last to payment of claims by owners of affected pets.

The opinion by Judge Noel Hillman in U.S. District Court in New Jersey was the last piece of court action required to put to rest appeals of a $24-million pet food settlement approved by Hillman in October 2008.

“I am hopeful that we can begin processing claims shortly,” said Lisa Rodriguez, liaison counsel for the multiple class-action suits covered by the settlement.

According to court documents, 24,344 claims were submitted by the Nov. 24, 2008, deadline. Of those, 20,550 have been deemed payable. The average claim is about $1,283. Allowed expenses included medical attention, lost wages, property damage and the price of replacement pets. The settlement covers claims by owners in the United States and Canada

Banfield needs to be put out of business and expecially re-occuring compliants from same veterinarians. Disgusts me.


Hello all, I just read a few of your comments today regarding my experience with Mishawaka banfield. It's very interesting how rude you are considering it seems you have not read my post properly.

In no way was this about how much I had to pay to keep my dog alive... What the problem is was the quality of work performed and the *** we had to go through with them. They were very unprofessional, botched up our dog, treated us terribly and then took us to the bank. We paid them, do not worry about that.

They got their money and did a terrible surgery that had to be redone by a proper vet. I had pictures to prove everything that banfield had done to provE his stitches were not done properly and the area was leaking which is dangerous!!!!! We paid both vets and emergent vet all their money, so everyone who thinks we skated out of it, think again. Money is money....

My pet is everything to me.

As far as the services any of you are receiving there now, well, since I havnt stepped foot into petsmart since, we don't know who works there now. From the pet trainer we took out pets to that used to work there at the time, have heard from her that this particular veterinarian has transferred to a different hospital. Most likely along wih her husband.

Since this incident, my regular vet has told me on numerous occasions that they have had new customers come in as a result of banfields negligence. I also have two nieces that are working at a vets office in the area who have also had similar complaints from new customers. THis is not just a rare occasion. Why don't you all who were not there, or don't spend enough time doing research on what really goes on, check out more info yourself before you go assuming its just about money.

How would you like to fork out a *** of cash on your beloved pet to save his life, when in fact, they put your dog at risk by not performing the surgery correctly and causing you nothing but worry and a very unprofessional attitude along with stealing your money. Why don't you put yourself in my shoes. Reread my post and see if from someone who is a kind hearted person who trusted these people with my (child)pets life. I dont take a kind heart to humans who lie and do an unprofessional job with the life of someone I love.

For all of those out there that talk about (kidney failure).

Have you ever researched the big lawsuit over the dog food made and distributed by banfield themselves that caused hundreds of dogs all around the country to have have kidney failure. Funny how that happened.

Toxins in their food. It's very disturbing.


I have been going to this hospital ever since it has opened. I can say that this vet is the most friendly,intelligent, and hard-working veterinarian that I have ever met.

She had saved my dearly beloved chihuahua,Pogo from an extremely bad case of kidney failure. I can say that my dog was treated above and beyond. They monitored her fluids constantly. And when she was all better to pick up she came to me feeling great with a bath,bandana, and nails clipped.

The nurses are all very sweet.

I can't thank Banfield the pet hospital of Mishawaka enough for saving my dearest chihuahua Pogo. There is no reason to complain about a hospital that you just dislike because of the amount you paid for their services


haha this is a prime example of people living off the government. They obviously think that people that actually work hard for a living do not deserve to be payed what they have worked hard for.

People need to wake up and realize how if you come in for services you still have to pay for them. and the point of stitches is not to make them look beautiful to your liking but to actually hold your dog's insides until it heals.


I definatley do not see a problem with this animal hospital. I do see that you had failed in properly paying for the treatment of your dog after regular hospital hours.

At the emergency clinic it is in fact more expensive. So I do not see the point in you complaining about a hospital that stayed after their closing time just to treat your pet when you could have gone to the emergency clinic. So I stongly think you did not really want to pay for the treatment of your dog, know matter how much you love him.

You can not blame the people taking time out of their own lives to treat your dog when you do not want to pay for it. And in fact those people had saved your dog's life you'd think you wouldn't have wanted it any other way.


wow such a sad story i wish to stay anonymous but you should not blame the clinic. the veterinarian would be to blame and it sounds like they have a lot to answer to.

do you know if they still work as the veterinarian there.

Again i am sorry you went through that and i was working there at the clinic just recently but not when you came there that is why i do not know if the same vet is there now. I know that our crew was really working on making it a better place for everyone


To all that read this.. we are having a similar problem at OUR Banfield here. Sad part is, we paid. knew what it would Cost. Then went back to ask why his stitches" were coming out (Wasn't Him or the other dogs)... They said I need to come back to see the other Vet that did the surgery the next day. We did. He said All his stitches had come out (inside and out)..When I called back the next day to consider the choice of putting him down they told me that only the outer stitches had come out (oh BTW they told me he was getting staples not stitches..). The Vet came back out and told me it would be another $600 to fix him the day I took him back in to see the operatiing Vet. After Spending $1200.00 to do this surgery you would think they would fix him for free. And they also said his tumor is actual Cancer. So he only had 6 mos to live (so they Said). His Stitching was done too far apart in my opinion. It was done around his Anal Sacks. His anal opening looks like someone took a dull knife to it. We are taking him to another Vet in the next few days. See what they say. I'm pretty sure they will be able to give a reason why it's so messed up. I hope they can FIX what Banfield has messed up. I'm starting to wonder if he really had a Tumor or not. (He was taken in to Release his Anal Sacks)... That's only a $30 charge.. and Surgery was $1200. Makes me think they did the Surgery for no reason other then to make more $$. We will See. But, I think that the woman that wrote this is correct. and to the person that says she couldn't afford it.. SHE PAID ALREADY. I'm thankfull I put a Stop Payment on the Check we wrote them. This way They aren't getting the $$. Not until I find out WHAT happened. If the Vet I go to tells me it was a Job done Well, Then I will Pay them.. But I suspect it's a Botched job. and Banfield is a ***-pore company. I say DON'T Go to Banfield! Choose a loval Vet instead. It might be more expensive. But, more worth it then you Know..

They say Hind Sight is 20/20... well....................

Sign me Hind Sight!


Wow...okay so I just got my pit bull a few weeks ago and I planned on taking her to my regular vet who has taken very good care of my family's pets for many years but they are a little bit pricey. I heard about Banfield in the Mishawaka Petsmart and gave them a call.

They quoted me much cheaper prices than my regular vet and I thought GREAT! I did not schedule an appointment because at that time I was not financially ready. So then today I'm googling the number to the place to make an appointment and I come here, to this website and read that horror story about the Jack Russell and I seriously almost cried. I cannot believe what that woman went through and I can tell you this: I don't need to hear anything else, I will be taking my pup to my regular vet.

Thank you so much for posting your story and letting everyone know. I would not have behaved as well as you did and I applaud you for that. If I had taken my baby to them and they pulled some you know what like that with me I'd probably be in jail right now! No joke!

So anyway thank you so much for sharing and I'm so glad your dog is okay! :)


I can see how you are angry, and I am glad that your baby is doing better now. I don't think it's Banfield to blame, but the doctor who did the surgery in the first place.

I work at Banfield in another state, and we had a very similar situation to your own. A dog had a blockage and we had to take out almost 3 1/2 feet of intestines. YES, the surgery took a long time, YES it was invasive, and YES she needed special care and supplements afterward. But, she only needed those supplements for about two weeks, while her body healed.

We wanted to make VERY sure everything was completely healed before she started eating solids again.

Now, she had been playing and running the day before, so it's not unheard of for a dog to be very suddenly very sick.

If you are taking up a lawsuit, I would sue the doctor, not the company. It's in no way the company's would they have known their doctor sucked when s/he was had such a loyal clientele?


To-JR Lover:

Very Happy that you have been the lucky one to have no problems with these people. I'm sure if in the same predicament, you would have felt or done the same. As far as not wanting to pay...that is pretty funny, if we didn't want to pay, then I guess we would have just let them (Keep) our dog and just walk away from the whole thing. Of course no one wants to be thrown a bill triple what was (quoted) and then have your dog have complications and a botched up infected outer stitch job as well....That is not what we paid for! If we are to pay for surgery, then do not treat me as though my dog does not matter, put him on the back burner all day, not give me one phone call to update, then release my dog to me at closing time with a bill triple what was quoted, and then tell me you are not open the next day, and my dog has to be monitered for 48 hours! Not to mention having an unproffessional hissy fit, yelling at us as though we knew he had been sick this whole time! Apparently the woman does not realize the relationship I have with my pet....These people did not do what they were supposed to do for our dog and charged us anyways. Would you want to pay for a surgery done half-*** and have another doctor correct what the first one should have done right the first time!

As far as the unnamed vetinarian office we took him to afterwards...they have taken care of my familys pets for over 30 years. They have no reason to lie to me being that I was there every waking second, shown every x-ray there was, they more than enough explained everything that was going on, knew the entire predicament we were in and that a lawsuit was in question, why would they test the waters with me while I was already hot from Banfields mistakes......

Sounds to me like you work at the mishawaka banfield...if you are not a (pissed consumer) then why would you be so interested in my article....

Funny how nothing good about mishawaka banfield until I write about my experience with them.....Then out of the blue a good review mysteriously comes along right after I put mine in....what a coincident...

Makes me wonder where the good reports are coming from......(the banfield office or family members to cover their dirty tracks)

Nice try Banfield....

Regardless to all the that.....We received poor service from these people.... we are honest people and we have always paid for our services, nomatter what the cost we love our dog and will never take our pet to Banfield again or recommend them to anyone. If they cannot do a "difficult" surgery right the first time.....they shouldn't be doing them at all, and should have recommended us to take him to ER, I'm sure they could have done it right the first time.


Sounds like you got suckered at your (Unnamed vet), this is the oldest trick in the veterinary industry book, show the client something they do not know about and charge them once again for a repeat surgery. I've been to Mishawaka and they are great, they spend lots of time with me and my Jack Russell and go well beyond to make sure I am happy. You sound like you just did not want to pay.