Hampton, Virginia
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To: Peninsula Veterinary Associates

1120 George Washington

Memorial Hwy (Route 17)

Yorktown, VA 23693


Re: May 4, 2009

Attention: Karen Garner

The following is a chronological account of my experience at Banfield Emergency Clinic. As an emergency clinic they are in the business of unforeseen combination's of circumstances, which calls for immediate action, an urgent need for assistance or relief. The pivotal juncture of my evening was when I entered Banfield Emergency Clinic, at this point in the juncture a bad situation could get worse or better, unfortunately the latter did not happen.

I called Banfield Emergency Clinic Emergency Veterinary Clinic, 1120 George Washington Memorial Hwy (Route 17), Yorktown, VA 23693, at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday May 4th. I explained to the woman who answered my dog had ingested two 200 mg Motrin. She urged me to get the dog in ASAP due to the fatal effects of the drug. In the same sentence she says $108 is the entrance fee, no payment plans, a case number from poison control is required before I enter, $75, no payment plans. She ends the sentence with, "Are you able to pay?"

I get the dog in the car, drive, call poison control, and try to punch in my debit card number to poison control. I came into the emergency room door with a sense I interrupted the staff's night. It was overwhelmingly obvious by the scattering of employees, laughter, and hurried quiet conversation; they were doing something enjoyable before I walked into the room. An irritation that they had to go back to work was blatant. Staff retreated from the counter; cell phones went back in pockets, and residue of quiet snickers and laughter was left.

I did not put Jeter on a leash, frankly after I hung up I was trying to get to the clinic, which was going to be a 20 minute drive already, and have all the tasks done before I hit the door like I was told to do. The nurse jerked at Jeter's collar to the point he choked and coughed. As the nurse pulled on my dog's collar, she asked how much did he have, I said 400-mg, two 200-mg. caplets. The nurse asked how much she needed for that dose to the other staff member, and left with my dog. I inquired about the treatment, and she responded with a list of side effects, fatalities, "we will see if he makes it" she said. Meanwhile the receptionist was on and off her cell phone, texting, and sharing inside conversation with the nurse, laughing,

The receptionist proceeded to give me several forms on a clipboard and returned to her desk and her cell. I see on the forms, a resuscitation box. I was alarmed, and I inquired if it were necessary. The nurse came back out at asked for the pill bottle. I gave it to her.

In the waiting room I heard voices yelling "Jeter? Jeter? Jeter?" I envisioned them resuscitating him or something horrible. The nurse came back with the pill bottle and a smile on her face. I asked her "Is he ok?" The nurse did not acknowledge my inquiry, and returned to the room where I heard the voices. Only after sharing some more, what seemed like, lighthearted conversation with the receptionist. It did not appear work related at all.

After 20 minutes or so, the receptionist asked me to go to another room. I had asked the nurse and the receptionist how he was and was met with horrified, severely misleading, and unnecessary responses. Either there was no response, or they said" ….it causes kidney failure, it can kill him, we will see…." I was dying for some information, silence made me think he was dead considering the staff's behavior thus far.

While in the room I heard voices outside the door, laughter. After 15 minutes a veterinarian walked in with a clipboard, no dog. Now I really thought my dog had passed. She immediately began with how fatal Ibuprofen is for dogs, and all of the horrible possible side effects. She said Jeter had two 400-mg. of Motrin, and this was a lot. I explained that he had two 200-mg., and that I brought the bottle in. She said "Oh." I literally had to ask her if my dog was dead. She was cold with the information, pragmatic. I asked her if my dog had made it, and without a hint of emotion she just continued with the side effects that cannot be detected until time had passed. I still did not know if my dog was alive because she did not answer my direct questions. The dog, the doctor, and me were never in the same room. In fact I could not see Jeter until I paid.

Then the vet asked me if I knew he had kennel cough. And what happened to his paw. I explained he went to daycare, had ripped his nail off the previous day. The cough was from when the nurse yanked his collar. I finally realized Jeter was alive because she talked about him in the present tense. She then told me I needed to pay at the desk. I just wanted to see my dog, leave, and never come back again.

The receptionist then asked me who my vet was. I told her Armstead Animal Inn and she rolled her eyes. I was not brought my dog until I paid. I never did get the case number that was said to be required at the door. Jeter had blood on his back, charcoal all over his face, and he looked like he had gastric bypass surgery. His skin was so loose. I was confused and relieved at the same time, and was desperately excited that he was alive.

I was traumatized by the whole experience. No one explained what was done to him. However, the staff made sure I paid $270. I felt like I was a complete and utter burden to the clinic, staff, and vet. I left not knowing if my dog was going to be ok. But I did have a bill; they made sure they were clear about payment and billing, but not the status of my animal, or their client in crisis.

The next morning I went to Dr. Beverly Bruce at Armstead Animal Inn. She patiently explained everything. Actually got down on her knees and hugged my dog; because she said he looked traumatized. I could not go to work because the night previous my mind was running wild with all the possibilities the vet, nurse, and receptionist kept on repeating. I breathed better when I left Armstead. Jeter has since had blood work done, and is doing great. Dr. Bruce explained the fluid Banfield Emergency Clinic gave Jeter was what made his skin saggy.

Dr. Bruce explained the report from Dr. Friedland. Jeter had only ingested minimal, specifically the orange coating, and that Jeter would probably be ok. Absolutely none of this information was conveyed to me the night before. In the report Dr. Friedland incorrectly stated again, that Jeter had two 400-mg. of Motrin. I explained to Dr. Bruce that it was 200-mg., and I had the bottle, and showed them the bottle.

Looking at my bill it was obvious Jeter was given mediation based on an 800mg ingestion, and I was billed based on this amount as well. This is the negligence my dog and I experienced at your facility. Banfield Emergency Clinic is responsible for one of the most horrific crisis situations in my life. Never have I experienced such blatant, consistent, and outright mean customer service.

I had not intention of sharing my experience with you until I was notified that I have no choice but to go to your facility in the future, god forbid my dog has another emergency. I have attempted to inquire about the specific location and persons in charge of giving my experience attention, and have been met ambiguous and ubiquitous information. I have every intention of bringing my experience to the board, and not just this clinic. From what I understand this would entail sending it to every clinic on the Peninsula. If you could offer me a more efficient way please let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your timely response in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.

Monetary Loss: $270.

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Wow, this is AWFUL! I can't believe they treated poor Jeter (and you) like that......disgusting.

I'm glad he's ok now! One thing I do want to tell you though, is that it's hard to tell if an animal (or human) is going to be ok after ingesting substances like tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.

I understand it destroys the liver (overdoses) which takes a few days.......I knew a gentleman whose daughter took an overdose of Tylenol. They got her charcoaled and stabilized, but it took its toll on her liver 3 days later and she died :(