Dawn Surrency was worried when her family’s beloved dog, Sprite, wasn’t well. She thought he had something in his throat so she took him to the animal hospital she had used for the past year, Ark Animal Hospital on Phillips Hwy in Jacksonville, FL.
Afterwards they called Dawn and told her they couldn’t find anything wrong with Sprite and Dawn was presented with a $465 bill even though the intake form said, “…work up can be as little as $150…as high as $350.” Previously Dawn had always paid in full but these tough times were making things tough on her too, she couldn’t pay the bill in full right then. I’m sure she was surprised at the size of the bill too!
Dawn tried to set something up with Ark, after all she had used them previously and always paid in full. Well Ark wasn’t taking anything less than payment in full. They would not accept a partial payments and they would also not accept her pet insurance card because they said they didn’t take that one. They told her to pawn her belongings to get money so she could pay to get her dog back.
“I asked if I could pay a partial payment and they refused, she said that is not our policy you have to pay in full or the dog stays,” says Surrency.
For three weeks Sprite stayed at Ark and by this weekend the bill had grown to a whopping $817 with added boarding costs, which, of course, Dawn would have to pay in full as well. At this point Dawn was searching for just about any way she could to get Sprite out of there especially since they told her if she didn’t pay, the office would send an abandonment letter, and 10 days after that the office would “dispose” of the dog. That’s right, they were going to kill her family’s dog!!
Rick Duchrme of First Coast No More Homeless Pets tried to help. He contact Ark and offered to pay the original bill if they would remove the boarding fees. No go. Ark wasn’t giving an inch!
Then the Humane Society got involved and and gave Dawn a Humane Society credit card to use. Ark wouldn’t accept it nor would they accept credit card payment over the phone from the Humane Society. A member of the Humane Society Had to make the two hour drive to Jacksonville to personally make a cash payment to Ark Animal Hospital.
Finally after three weeks, Dawn and her family were after to take their beloved Sprite home!
“I don’t mind paying them, I just want someone to work with me because I want my dog, my kids want the dog. I can’t imagine it is good for him to sit in a crate for three weeks,” Surrency said earlier this week.
Now, I understand that a policy might be to pay in full but with times as difficult as they are and the fact that Ms. Surrency had previously taken her dog there and always paid in full, you would have thought they could have tried just a little. How damn heartless is it to tell someone “give us money or we kill your dog!” An animal hospital, a vet, that is supposed to care for animals threatening to kill a dog. I am stunned, amazed and sickened at this!! They would not give and inch! Cold, heartless, money grubbing, greedy bastards!!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
I am asking everyone to call, write and/or fax Ark Animal Hospital and let them know what you think of this heartless treatment!! Please, be polite and courteous but let them know!
Dr. Anna Maxwell
Ark Animal Hosp
12585 Phillips Hwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
If you’re in the Jacksonville, FL area or know anyone in the area, share this with them! Warn them, let them know about this vet! Is this really the kind of a vet you want to place your precious family pet’s life in?
Sure, I understand they want and deserve payment, but my God! Not to even try a little bit!!
And this is not the first time I’ve written about vets holding pets hostage and threatening death if they didn’t get paid immediately and in full, doesn’t seem to be a very unusual policy. Whatever happened to compassion and caring? Why the hell would someone become a vet if they didn’t have a true and deep abiding passion and love for animals? Is this what it’s all coming down to, the almight buck? Of course it is, we see it again and again and again! 🙁