ok so we have had max now for 1 month and i believe i mentioned all about him having kennel cough/pneumonia when we adopted him. it cost a fair amount of money to get him healthy again between xrays and antibiotics, over the counter meds and bloodwork, etc.
we have a vet tech student doing her internship with us this summer. during the course of treating max she's made some comments to me about all the costs, comments that i cannot understand and when i asked her to explain to me why she felt that way i didnt really get any type of educated response from her.
basically in a nut shell she couldnt understand why i would be spending all this money on a pup that i had just adopted, or frankly why i would even adopt a pup knowing beforehand that it was sick. she thought at the very least i should be asking the rescue organization to be responsible for max's medical costs or that once he was diagnosed with pneumonia that i should have returned him and have been refunded my money or given another puppy.
to say the least i was stunned a little by her words. this is how i explained to her my feelings on everything she put out there. i explained to her that when you adopt an animal that their health is not guaranteed. that there are really no guarantees on anything when adopting a pet no matter what species. that it is something you know going into the deal in the first place. whether or not i would have been within my right to ask for financial assistance in the treatment of max is something i do not know nor was i really concerned about. i know that rescues work often out of their own pockets or through donations and that many times the adoption fee is much less than what has already been spent on the animal. i feel that by not asking for help with his costs, that the adoption fee i paid can go to help them rescue more animals in need. that by asking for help, i may jeopardize their ability to take in another animal.
another point i made was the fact that considering my career, who better to take in max than me ? not trying to sound better than anyone else but having, over this past weekend, treated an 8 week old puppy at work and hearing that the owners were going to take it back to the miller they bought it from because they couldnt handle something as simple as increasing feedings so that the pup wouldnt go into another hypoglycemic crisis, makes me wonder whether max would have had a fighting chance had he been placed into another home. or if he would have been euthanized or returned and subsequently been bounced around from home to home etc. as an aside, it really makes me sick when people return pups like the above mentioned woman. it seems to me that in those types of cases a puppy has nothing more than monetary value like a television set.
now had i bought max from a breeder, i wouldn't have done anything differently, legally i would have had recourse. he would have definitely been given an unfit for purchase letter from any vet that would have seen him, which would have given me the right to return him for a refund or replacement.
so i tried to explain the difference between buying a pup from a breeder and paying an adoption fee for a homeless animal and i am not sure i got through to her. at one point she thought rescues were in it for the money. she had no real idea of what goes on behind the scenes so to speak or where the donated money goes. at least now she does and hopefully retains that info for the future.
so i guess i am left wondering how others feel and whether they would have returned the pup, asked for financial assistance and how the thought process goes when making the decision to return a pup just because it is sick. people do it all the time and i just don't get it. so if anyone has returned a pup they had gotten from a breeder or a rescue because it was sick and then got another to replace it i would like to hear what led to making that decision. i'm not sure i could agree with such an action though i would truly like to understand why someone would do it.
on a happier note ........ max is feeling a hundred percent normal. he will finish his antibiotics this friday and is enjoying himself trmendously playing with scout. my house has turned into the 3 ring circus as the two of them wrestle non stop all day and well into the evening. it is hysterical watching this little 9 lb dog wrestle with something 100 times bigger than he is. scout is very gentle with him, most times, but she is still a clutz. it makes me very happy to see them play as salty and thunder are just not playful enough for her. my son absolutely loves his pup and is doing real well in his care of him. we took him swimming the other day. he did well but does not like it at all. he kept swimming for the sides and steps of the pool. some day when my own computer is fixed i will get those pics loaded up and share them. he really is a cutie pie !
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
This person is in the vet tech. program and she is acting like that, boy I hope she never works at a vet that I go to. Anyone knows even if you buy a dog, there can be problems with health, they are babies and babies can get sick. We had a puppy go 1200 miles away and wasn't sick here and didn't get sick to a week later, the vet said he had a cold because of the air presser change. Things happen. Well I am glad to hear your little guy is doing better. As far as that person, boy she has no business being a vet tech.
OK,,I have to ask,,what is your career? Are you a vet? I would have kept him also and forked over the money to get him well. I could not stand the thought of him possible being passed around or even die b/c I was not willing to help him out. I think you did the right thing.
Scout, I think your explanation(s) were on point. If she didn't understand your logic, hopefully she'll allow experience to be her teacher. Many people go into things thinking they have all of the answers and usually time changes that. I hope she continues the program and works constantly with excellent practioners--she may find herself shocked in 5 years to see how much her mind's changed.
Sounds like your vet tech just has a misunderstanding on how rescues work, or has been misinformed for a while. If she is younger, she might have grown up with the wrong information, and just stuck to it.
I'm with you, when you adopt an animal you take the good with the bad. When we adopted Yukon, we knew there was a possibility he was cat-aggressive. Low and behold, he was. Did we kick him to the curb, considering we have indoor and outdoor cats? No, we just have a very creative system of keeping them separate!
We paid for his neuter, and to get his dewclaws removed. We never once thought that that should have been the responsibility of the shelter. Same goes if he would have been sick. I would just take what this girl has to say with a grain of salt. Try to educate her, and hopefully her thinking will change.
The more people I meet, the more I love my Siberians...
I don't know why the tech chose her profession. Surely it wasn't for the money. URIs in dogs and cats up for adoption in pet rescues are very common. Easily fixed with some expense. It's all part the option of adoption. My dog Gracie is getting ready for a knee operation, minimum $2,500. I've had several dumb-bells ask would't it be better just to give her the big "dirt nap" go on vacation with the money instead.
In a situation like this, some might be overwhelmed by the expense and would have no other option but ask for help from the rescue or take back the pet. I on the other hand took out a line of credit with CareCredit because Gracie is my girl and I love her.
I wouldn't have return the pup either. I adopted a rescue dog who can be snappish when she is afraid (never bitten anyone), which I have learned to recognize and deal with. I never once thought about giving her back. But I have always wondered about what would have happen to her if I hadn't adopted her? I am sure there are not a lot of people out there who would put up with her behavior. It has gotten better with training, but I took the time to work with her. Some people (including my family) just don't feel the way people like me (and others on this forum) feel about their pets, most people won't spend the time or the money.
I agree that rescues spend alot more than they actually get for an animal they adopt out. For example... rescue got a $100 surrender fee from Norman's owners. He had to go to the vet for an exam and such which costed about $75. When he had to be put down, the euthanasia and getting the ashes back cost $200. So they ended up spending $175 on a dog that wasnt even adopted. Tucker there was no surrender fee for, but they payed for his neuter which was $200 and another visit to the vet costing $150. His adoption fee was only $200, so they lost another $150. Not counting all the other dogs getting spayed and neutered, an ACL surgery, they ALL get heartworm/lyme and fecal exams, are brought UTD on shots, etc. So there is no money to be made in rescue and they can't always afford expensive treatments.
I wouldn't have returned the dog or asked for a refund. Perhaps just let the rescue know so they can try and prevent it or treat the other animals they have. That vet tech needs to grow a heart though, sheesh.
http://www.ashleyspets.com "A dog is not almost human, and I know of no greater insult to the canine race than to describe it as such.
Scout there are so many people that don't understand what is really going on. Dogs are disposable, on gets sick, put it to sleep and get a new one.
This girl must have not been raised with animals and rescue. She has no idea what is going on. Why she wants to be a vet tech is beyond me.
I see at my shop with my two dogs that it is about 70-30 who care(70) and who don't care(30) about animals. They don't have a clue about them and rather not have them in their life. I get the questions as HOW can you stand all that hair. LOL They just don't get it.
jackie i am a vet tech, have been for close to 1/2 my life though i am currently going back to school to be trained for a new career. i am not sure why this girl chose this field as pitpat said it certainly cannot be for the money we make. she is extremely ill suited for this job in so many ways it is scary to think that one day she may be responsible for the well being of someone else's animal. i've come to the conclusion that sometimes a love for animals is just not enough to do what we do.
i understand about the not getting it part. it saddens me. i will never understand what there is not to love about animals but i concede that there are people out there that just don't and there is probably not much you can do to change their minds either =(
thanks for being happy max is better ! i am so glad he is. he had me nervous for awhile as the vet said he had the worst case of pneumonia she has ever seen. couldnt even see the poor little guys heart on the first two xrays we took but i knew he had one in there somewhere cause he was such a little trooper through everything !
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
scout -- I'm not second-guessing your judgement on whether this person is suited to vet tech work or not. She probably is not. But I will say this:
Think of the last time you heard a story in the news about a single rescue dog or cat with horrendous injury (or heath problem) that racks up thousands and thousands of dollars in vet bills. Is that the best way to direct limited resources? Could the same money help rehabilitate another 10 (or 20?) animals?
I know it's different when you are looking directly into the eyes of an animal. But I always get a twinge when I read about a big ticket rescue -- thinking about the unseen hundreds that go without.
I recently bought a dog from a breeder I did a lot of research on. When I picked up the pup, he was very playful and she told me that one pup in the litter had a cold and so she had all put on antibiotics. I very honestly took the dog to the vet the very next day. Somewhere in between my house and the 20 minute drive to vet, he started coughing his head off. My vet looked at me and asked, how could YOU have bought a sick dog. YOU know better. I would have thought this of someone else, but not YOU. And she said he had pneumonia. I looked her straight in the face and said is he going to die. When she said no it was just getting started and the antibiotics he came home on would be just fine, I said, then what is the problem? She was very to the point and told me to take him back. Of course I didn't. I did call the breeder and they offered to pay for vet visit or take pup back. Which I thought was responsible of them. But I still have little sidney, my adorable Westie son. And he is such a joy in my life. Do I regret a few extra dollars to make sure he is well? Not at all. Did I tell my vet off? You got that right! I put her in her place real quick and told her that she knows me better than that and she better never speak to me again in such a manner. People are different. My personal choice was to nurse him back to health.
Everyone has a photographic memory.... Some just don't have any film.
When I adopted Sammi, she had eye and ear infections. I was told the eye infection was a result of cherry eye surgery, and they had forgotten her meds. As I was taking her to my vet, didn't bother me at all. Her eye infection had nothing to do with a supposed cherry eye surgery (which my vet could find no trace of). She had entropian (eyelashes turn in and constantly scratch the cornea, causing infection, and eventual blindness) in both eyes. So, $700 later, no eye or ear infections, and surgery done to "fix" her eyes. And that was for the meds and surgery - no food, toys, leashes, etc. And I wouldn't have given her back to the rescue for a million dollars!!!!!!!!!!!! I suppose that they were lucky in that it was love at first sight on my part. What would they have done if I had returned her? My poor baby would have been PTS, or the very least, readopted to someone who may have left her in pain for the rest of her life. We all know how bad an eyelash in the eye bothers - can you imagine having 20 or more in your eyes all the time? I don't feel foolish or stupid paying the money within 2 weeks of adopting her. I was taught, you do what you have to do. Blessings to you for keeping Max. Until this young lady is in the same position, she simply won't understand.
I think your adopting a dog and nursing him back to health is really great, and a lot more than the average person would do. But I think it is reasonable to expect than any animal you buy or adopt should be healthy.
I think that part of the definition of "adoptable" is healthy. A shelter should not be adopting out unhealthy dogs, because most of the time they will be returned by overwhelmed new owners, and it gives people the wrong impression: someone on the fence about adopting might be turned off by your story, thinking that the dogs at shelters are all unhealthy.
I don't know the exact situation when you adopted Max. But my view is that if a shelter knows a dog is sick (esp. something contagious like kennel cough) then that dog should not be kept anywhere near adoptable dogs, and not in the public view so they can be touched by a potential adopter and then that person spreads the germs around to all the other dogs.
I personally have never returned a dog. But I can see why people do it: The average pet owner can probably only afford to care for an animal that is healthy.
Really glad Max is ok and sounds like he is having a blast. When we got our dog, he was unwanted, lived in the garage in a cage was let out twice a day to poop and pee. They had started his shots because they had kids. She gave me the record. I took him to my vet the very next day, where he was given a good going over, brought up to date on his shots and he asked that I bring him back in a week because something else might pop up. He gave me a large break on the checkup and shot bill because he wholeheartdly supports rescue. When we took him back a week later I brought a stool stample and told them I thought he had worms, well he did worms, cox.... and something else, also both ears were infected. Doc said he thought Rocky may have needed some more treatment, but since Rocky was stressed the first time we saw him, he wanted him to get used to us. Again he put Rocky on all the meds and cut the price by half, also did the same thing when we took him to be neutered a few days later. This is a vet who does probono work for low income pet owners,
Upshot of this, yes I do think her comments were uncalled for and glad you tried to enlighten her, but I do also know that unfortunatley there are people out there who as someone else pointed out. oh its got something wrong with it destroy it........NOT ME
NDY Think of the last time you heard a story in the news about a single rescue dog or cat with horrendous injury (or heath problem) that racks up thousands and thousands of dollars in vet bills. Is that the best way to direct limited resources? Could the same money help rehabilitate another 10 (or 20?) animals?
logically, and realistically, what you say makes sense. working through the clinic with a few rescue groups i have seen it happen time and time again. one instance, spending a couple grand on a dog that is a biter. finding the "right" home for that dog would have been difficult, if not impossible. but the money was spent to diagnose and treat the dog, it was placed into a new home and subsequently returned and euthanized a short time later for biting a family member. every rational bone in my body said exactly what you said, but me being me, i just cannot "play God" and decide who deserves to live and who doesn't. terminal illnesses are one thing, treatable medical issues and behavioral issues become sticky with me. a dog that was shot and left for dead by its previous owner but luckily didn't die before someone came along to help it has just as much right to be given the chance to survive and live its life IMO. so because these animals have been led down a path through no fault of their own, it doesn't feel right to say that death is their/our only option.
illini I think that part of the definition of "adoptable" is healthy. A shelter should not be adopting out unhealthy dogs, because most of the time they will be returned by overwhelmed new owners, and it gives people the wrong impression: someone on the fence about adopting might be turned off by your story, thinking that the dogs at shelters are all unhealthy.
most shelters that i know of won't adopt out animals who show signs of sickness, like in max's case his kennel cough/pneumonia. they will treat and adopt out once the animal is healthy again. i think that the only reason i got him before he was better was due to the fact that i am a tech and could care for him and wouldn't mind that. the other pups who had it were not being let go until they were better.
i don't like the fact that my story could turn someone off from adopting because they get the impression that all animals in shelters/rescues etc. are unhealthy. that would not be the case and was not even close to my point of the thread. my point was whether or not people thought it reasonable or not to expect rescues to help financially if the animal you adopted became ill from something that it did/could have conceivably gotten while under the rescues care.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Scout, in answer to your question, no I do not think a rescue should be expected to help financialy with a dog's medical bills, once a dog is adopted. I think that the adopting parents should be made well aware of any possible inheritable traits and or congenital defects in that particulr breed though, and made aware that surgery could be down the road in some instances. A rescue in it's very nature is adopting dogs of unknown origin and genetic testing, health guarantees are not even possible in most cases, ; so these people must be prepared to foot the bill for any health conditions that crop up. I commend you for the work you're doing with your dog, and I would have done exactly the same thing.
If i adopted a dog that was sick I wouldnt return it or ask for money from the rescue.
I also agree that its fine for a rescue to spend a lot of money to save one dog. yes there are many many dogs who need to find new homes, need help, and need vet attion, but they dont have all those dogs they have the sick dog. I think its fine to help the dog sthey have at the time no matter how much it costs.
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame I'd even cut my hair and change my name