Northbrook, Illinois

I brought my healthy dog Ruby here for vaccinations last Wednesday. Was taken into an examination room and a vet assistant comes in for preliminary questions but the real agenda is to try to sell me a "care package." I felt like I was getting hustled at a high pressure car dealer not what I expect from a health care provider.

My doctor never tries to sell me a package. Sure, the people are nice, petted the dog, tried to make her comfortable during the exam, but I never picked a doctor for my kids because they patted them on the head and thats not how to pick a care provider for your pet either. I want good safe professional service. Four days later (Sunday night) my dog began coughing constantly and neither of us got much sleep.

On Monday I called learning that Banfield is closed on Mondays and took her to Caro Veterinary Clinic, not only were they nice but since they knew we were coming in with a cough they isolated her instantly and before we got to the reception counter so that she didn't infect other dogs. They were professional, asked if she had been around other dogs trying to determine how she caught this virus. I said no and asked how long the incubation period is for kennel cough and was told three to seven days. Well my dog began coughing four days after being at Banfield.

I called Banfield when they opened first thing Tuesday morning to alert them to what had happened and the manager’s response was “sorry, I have not had any other complaints" well thats good that its not an epidemic but I have a sick dog and an unexpected bill from the second vet for the visit and her medication for $100. I asked for a refund of my bill which he said a flat "We can not do that." I asked to speak to his supervisor. He said his supervisor is Nick Dillard and he would get the phone number. He put me on hold for seven minutes gave me a phone number in Oregon.

I have left Nick Dillard two messages over two days to try to resolve this and he won't return my call. Of course there is a chance although doubtful that my dog contracted this decease in our backyard where there are no other dogs, but highly doubtful. But the real problem here is dealing with health care providers who are so unhelpful and where management is 2,000 miles away and won't return calls. No wonder they are cheaper than reputable local vet alternatives.

I learned once again you get what you pay for.

As a friend of mine said, "don't hire a surgeon who charges by the inch" the same should go for pet care.

Use professionals who act responsibly.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.

Monetary Loss: $224.

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