Just had an injured dog come in to work. The owners had taken her to an emergency vet, but they couldn’t afford the bill. This is not uncommon. The emergency vet referred them to a private animal shelter that has a low-cost vet clinic. Except the vet gave them our address instead. We do not have a low cost vet clinic. We have some fantastic vets on staff who love animals (though not people) and do their damnedest for every animal that comes in, within our limited resources. However, we do not heal animals for free and then hand them back to the owners. That’s not what our agency does, otherwise we would have a non stop river of people coming in with sick and injured animals. We will never turn any animal away, but we are not a charity clinic. The charity clinic is 30 minutes away. By the time I figured out the situation, explained the differences in our respective services, and printed out google maps directions to the charity clinic (which is not hard to do, emergency vet!) they had decided that the car ride to the charity clinic was probably longer than the poor pup’s morphine would last and left her with us. Which I understand. I’m just really really pissed at the emergency vet for sending them to the wrong place to begin with.
UPDATE: the most misanthropic vet at work (he ranges from loveable, seething curmudgeon to screaming asshole, depending. Most days he’s bordering on angry Gordon Ramsay) did x rays, splints, pain meds, etc. and has decided to hold the dog for several days in case the owners were “confused” and come back expecting their dog back. So if they do come back, he’s basically giving them an out to get their dog back.
Also, some nice people dropped off a huge shopping bag full of leashes and collars for our lost dogs, which we were running low on after the 4th of July. That seriously made my night.