The letter below was constructed in lieu of a horrible experience earlier today involving my pet and the Vet...
April 2, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Bruce Lavigne and I own an adopted dog named Paco. He's a Chihuahua mix from Miami where I adopted him before relocating to Connecticut. He's a rescue-dog.
In recent months, I have experienced a few seizures with him which was very scary at first when you
one has never experienced this before, but it short and he seemed to do just fine until a couple of months later where I experienced another seizure with him – at this point, I don't know what the cause is. As of today, I experienced a very long seizure session with him to a point I thought he would pass out and not recover, so I contacted Banfield Hospital located within Petsmart Store here in Waterbury.
I have brought him in there on prior occasions for various (not threatening) reasons and thought they could have provided me some assistance for the immediate situation. I was in the midst of comforting him through his seizure as I was calling Banfield.
They indicated that immediate assistance would require immediate payment of $400 - $500 minimum. I advised them I am collecting Unemployment and have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I asked them if they could provide me a payment plan, but they rejected that offer indicating that I should borrow the approximate $500 from someone if I was to bring him down there. I haven't had $500 to my name in almost 2 years, let alone for an emergency type situation.
When a human being has an immediate medical need, that person is immediately assisted by an alerted medical team (usually by dialing 911) and brought to the hospital for immediate attention – the cost for the care is taken care of at a later date or payment arrangements can sometimes be agreed upon, but the hospital won't allow a person to die because he or she doesn't have hundreds of dollars on hand at the time of medical assistance.
Is there a right that Banfield Hosptial staff has the right to play God as to what animal dies and what animal lives based on available funds? I'm unemployed and collecting unemployment – does this mean Paco may have to die because I don't have the money to give them immediately?! Us, as human beings – do we have the right as to what lives or dies on this planet? Is an animal's life lower than ours to the point that an available fund a person has determines whether that animal lives or dies?
I may never get the answers to the questions I am presenting you with, but I felt very compelled to write your office to inform you of this "audacity" in the actions of this facility. I have no expectations to this letter, but if I can just be heard from someone who actually cares for life as much as I do – even if it's "just an animal", then I think that maybe….just maybe, something could be done about it.
I continue my prayers for my animal as well as my prayers for employment that will aide me and my best friend in my life who I care so deeply for – Paco.