Fayetteville, North Carolina
Not resolved

I had taken my English Bulldog to Petsmart to purchase dog food. After I got home(10mins) she began to breathe heavily and I noticed her tongue and gums were blue. I called my regular vet and got a message saying he was on vacation. I headed back to Petsmart where there was a Banfield Pet Hospital. I called them when I was about 5 minutes away.

I spoke first to Elaine and I told her my dog was having a hard time breathing,her tongue and lips were blue. She asked if my dog had ever been there before. I told her no, but one of my other pets has seen a specialist there and our cat is a regular patient there (I even have insurance on my daughter's cat). Elaine put me on hold. A few minutes later another employee got on the phone and said "Can I help you?" I again told this employee my dog was having a hard time breathing, her tongue and gums were blue. She too asked me if my pet had ever been there before. Again I told her the same thing I told Elaine. I then was told they were really busy, they had two walk ins and I would get faster service if I took my dog to the Emergency Vet Center 15 minutes away.

On my way to the Emergency Vet Center my dog died. She was dead when I got to the Emergency Vet Center, yet the staff at the Emergency Vet Center rushed to meet me in the parking lot and tried to resuscitate her. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful. I do not know if my precious pet could have been saved if Banfield had not turned me away. I guess I will never know. My family is devastated and can't believe a place that is supposed to help pets would also help contribute to a pet's untimely death.

Melissa Berry Hickory NC

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If you had a heart attack, would you go to your GPs office? Or an emergency room? I don't know why it's so hard for people to relate this to animals.


Makes me SICK! There are way too many vets in the business

for money and selfishly overbook and make their decisions

based on their own narcissistic priorities. REPORT THESE VETS TO YOUR MEDICAL BOARDS but since they hardly do anything

put your complaints online at Yelp, PissedOff, RippedOff and make sure they keep your complaint posted so the world can learn about the many many vets that should not be in business!!


To all those people that are talking about "Why were you on the phone you should have just gone in." What!!! I work now (and have for many years) for a vet.

I would think that this lady would like to give the vets time to set up for the emergency. Such as get the oxygen equipment set up, have some people available to help her upon arrival! However, I do agree with both sides, Banfield isn't an ER, they may not have the skills, staff, or equipment needed. But then again they should have stated those reasons.

I have not heard many good things about Banfield, but you never know... At all the vets I gave worked for you never EVER turn away even a slightly sick animal.

Anyway, don't go after this woman, I would do the same thing be it for my pets or my kids.


a veterinarian should NEVER say no to a clear emergency. NEVER.

In the state where i live, a veterinarian is legally REQUIRED to see an emergency (EVEN if the owner has NO $).

Besides, didn't these vets take an oath?... Sad, very sad.


Banfield employees ask if you've been there before in order to know whether you have been in the system, ie whether they can find your information or not. All employees would typically ask this, or your name, in order to find your information and record...only, what would be the point of that if your pet is already very ill?

Banfield has a policy to see sick and injured pets IMMEDIATELY. If you had gone in, you would have been taken care of.

When they told you a close EMERGENCY CARE LOCATION, they were being fair...the walk-ins may have been involving sick/injured pets as well. You didn't think about that, did you?


Get them ash! If u knew ur pet was haveing trouble breathing why would u even call in?

Why not just take your pet in their? I know if that was my pet I would just walk in! See *** people like u should not have pets!

I hate *** people who blam others I bet ur dog had this issue for more the a day and u just got up one day and said humm theirs something wrong here uhhhh I'm going to call banfield and see if they can see my dying dog ohhh I have no money to pay hummmm if you don't have the money yes no care just like if u where to walk in a clinc for u or ur kid u can't just say I don't have the money.....everything has a price I don't care if ur dog is on its death bed u have to pay!!! So shut the *** up and deal with it


I am so sorry about your dog!

Please don't pay attention to any idiots posting her (talking to you "you are to blame").

Melissa clearly says she was 5 minutes away and was trying to call while en route. READ YOU ***.


As I had posted on the other website, no I do not work at or for Banfield. I have worked for several vets offices before who have to deal with people like you all the time.

People who are only out to find someone to blame. It's a shame you call yourself a Christian.


Once again "you are to blame -89" you sound like you work there or you work for Banfield. All your doing is trying to start a smear campaign so that other people wont take they're pets somewhere else as well.

We expected this when I made the decision to go public with it. If you will look in the phone book it CLEARLY states that its hours dont begin UNTIL 12:00 noon. We HAVE NEVER had to deal with the emergency clinic before because we have NEVER had an emergency. Our upkeep on our animals are impecable and I CHALLENGE ANYONE to dispute that.

For the record- my wife DID NOT leave Bailey in the car while she went into petSmart. One of the main reason she took our pair of Bulldogs there was to take them INSIDE with her to shop. If petSmart has video servalence I GUARUNTEE you that it would show her and BOTH Bulldogs walk through the door and walking around the store. We NEVER said that we directly blame Banfield for her death.

We do on the other hand blame them for the refusal to see an emergency situation animal who WAS told that said animal was in the parking lot on the premises of the business. My wife went by her instinct when told that even if the animal would be seen by them that she "would have to wait" and hit the gas to find somewhere else that would see a dying animal RIGHT THEN. You can say all you want about "well I would have done this or that". You ONLY speak for yourself and no one else.

Your opinion to me doesnt mean squat. You can sling mud all you wish but it doesnt change the facts or unbreak my family's hearts. And let it be known that I called Banfield out on this NOT my wife. So now you can throw down your self righteous banner and go pick up another cause and try to find some dignity in your heart.

As for "Ash", I know full well about Banfields capabilities for I have dealt with them on Major surgery issues. Just a few months ago My male French Bulldog had DOUBLE knee surgery there by one of the BEST veterinary/surgeons I HAVE EVER met. I would highly recommend him to ANY person who's animal needed surgery. Dr.

Dunning that Banfield contracts for them is the ONLY reason my beloved frenchie is able to walk again. God bless him and I will forever be grateful for that.One of the reasons I told my wife to go there is because of TRUST that was built over a period of time. That facility and the people who work there know me and my wife because we have been through they're door several times. And once again I will say that for another reason I sent her there because they are closer to our home.

My goal in this was to bring this situation to light and let the public form they're on opinion. I would gladly trade anything of mine to turn the clock back to avoid what happenend and get to hug and pet Bailey once again every day like we did. Now all we have left is memories and an urn with her ashes sitting on our mantle. She was NOT just a dog to us she was a PART OF OUR FAMILY.

I would just as soon save her life instead of some humans I know.

She was sweet, kind ,loving with absolute pure heartedness unmatched by any animal I have EVER had the honor to meet and be a part of they're lives. To NOT say something on her behalf would have been a dishonor and injustice to her memory.


I am sure that there is more than one emergency clinic in your town... some are open 24/7 and some are open only during "after hours" which would be nights and weekends...

A receptionist only knows how to be a receptionist and they don't know how to treat your dog... Banfield is not an emergency clinic/hospital. They do take care of some emergencies but I am sure that if it is something they can't handle they have to help owners find someone who can help ( i.e. - emergency vet).

And from what I know, Banfield hospitals aren't exactly big hospitals either. They only have a few exams rooms and a small back area where they take care of the pets and do some surgeries like spays and neuters. Last but not least: accidents happen... it isn't exactly anyone's fault...

especially not banfield fault since they didn't even see your pet, they only tried to push you to get help from vets that would be better at accessing your pets situaiton.

I am sorry for the loss of your pet though!

That is always a hard thing to deal with!



First off, if you were in the parking lot, why wouldn't you just GET OUT OF YOUR CAR and bring the dog in, instead of sitting there talking on the phone? Secondly, a dog that is blue needs OXYGEN, so how do you even know if one of the reasons they wanted you to go to the emergency vet is because they didn't have the proper equipment available? If they did have that equipment, how do you know that the other two "walk-ins" weren't emergencies of their own that were having to use that equipment? Do you really think they would want you to sit there (supposedly in their parking lot) and listen to them explain to you exactly why they wanted you to go to the emergency vet instead of telling you to immediately go that direction?? Think about it. It's just like going to your regular doctor- if you were having a heart attack and decided to go there, don't you think they would want you to be taken to the ER immediately?? Hello??? If they were busy, they were busy. They can't help that.

Would you want a few people trying to rush around trying to do other things while trying to work on your dog or would you want a group that would be focused on your pet and your pet only??? THAT'S WHAT THE EMERGENCY CLINIC IS FOR. Not to mention, the emergency clinic IS open 24 hours- in the day time it is called the Referral Clinic. Maybe next time before you go get a bull dog (which is one of the most accident prone, genetically screwed up dogs anyways), you should do your research about the available clinics in your area before "blaming" a vet clinic for killing your dog when it was your fault that you didn't do your own research first- and you didn't think about the reasons why that Banfield couldn't see your pet in the first place.

Also, since you called your regular vet and the call went to his voicemail saying that he was on vacation- who would you have blamed if Banfield was closed??? I bet you didn't think about that, did you?

The After hours emergency clinic is open 24 hours on the weekends. They open STARTING Friday at 5:30PM UNTIL Monday at 8:00AM. Don’t believe me? Go to www.veterinaryreferralsofhickory.com. That is the website for the After Hours Clinic and the Referral Clinic.

AHEVC Hours:  Nights, weekends, and all major holidays. Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-8:00am; Friday 5:30pm-Monday 8:00am (no appointment necessary)

You automatically assumed that Banfield didn't see your pet because they didn't care. Do you know the exact reasons why they didn't see your pet other than the fact they were busy (which is NOT their fault) and they had other walk-ins, which could have possibly been emergencies of their own? Like I said before, how do you know that those other walk-ins weren't emergencies? How do you know they even had the proper equipment available for your emergency? Do you know if they have an oxygen cage that would be what your dog needs since she was turning blue? If they didn't, and they still saw your pet, do you know what their next step would be? They would be telling you to go to the emergency clinic!! Would you have rather wasted your time going to the clinic that is not an emergency clinic and that possibly didn't have certain equipment, rather than them just go ahead and send you that way? Think!

Honestly, it sounds to me what happened was, you left your dog in the car while you went to get dog food, and when you got home she was having a heat stroke. If she would have died at your home, who would you have blamed then? The car company that made your car for it getting too hot inside? What's next? Are you going to sue McDonald's for spilling hot coffee on yourself?


In response to Annie's comment: in the area we live in the Emergency Vet Clinic is not open 24hrs. When we looked up the number in the yellow pages, the ad stated hours were from Saturday 12:00noon to Monday 8:00am. We did not believe they were open since it was only 11:30am.


That is a very sad experience;I send my condolences for your loss. It is sometimes very hard to think clearly in emergency situations.

In hindsight, I'm sure you realize that calling a general practice for advice was not the best course of action for a pet in respiritory distress. The person who answered the phone only acts as a receptionist, and has no real medical training. You'll probably find this in most hospitals. However, that person should have recognized an emergency when she heard your plight and advised you right away to seek emergency help, giving you the phone number and address of the nearest one.

My advice to any pet owner is to have the number to the nearest emergency clinic available to them at all times. Again, I am very sorry for your loss.


I'm so sorry that happened to you :(

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