Let me clarify something. My personal choice to not shop at Pet Smart, is just that, my personal choice. I’m not asking, suggesting or even hinting that anyone else should follow suit.
I also know that this very likely isn’t how Pet Smart does business usually.
Having said that, this was in fact our experience, inside the Banfield Animal Hospital that is located inside of Pet Smart. If nothing else, In would think that Pet Smart would want to know that this occurred so that they can ensure it doesn’t happen to another family.
This blog is all about my family’s personal experiences. This is one of those experiences and it greatly affected us, therefore I feel it’s does belong here.
Again, I’m simply sharing why I personally, will not return to Pet Smart. What you or anyone else does is up to you and everyone else.
Today we put to rest the very first dog I ever owned. Her name was Rogue and she was with me on the day I met Lizze. Until I was writing this, I had forgotten about that.
Rogue was almost 13 years old and suffered what we believe was a stroke today.
With it being a Sunday, all the other Vet clinics are closed so we made an appointment to have her seen at the animal hospital inside of Pet Smart. We had called ahead to make sure that they were equipped to handle it should she need to be euthanized.
We were told that they could handle a situation like this and so we scheduled an appointment at 4pm.
A bunch of us brought her in to the North Canton, Ohio (Belden Village Area) location, because we knew this was going to be goodbye.
This is where everything went downhill.
The woman at the front desk was named Becky. She was very unpleasant and showed little compassion for us right from the start. We were put into a room where we basically waited for well over an hour to be seen by the Vet.
A tech came in at one point and that was the only communication we had with anyone until the vet came into the room.
We all waited knowing full well what was going to happen but it was taking forever and no one stopped in to check on us or explain the significant delay.
Everyone was very emotional because Rogue was a member of the Lost and Tired family.
At one point, Lizze walked up to Becky in an attempt to get some tissues. Lizze was crying and Becky, showing not an ounce of decency ignored her and took a call and began explaining insurance options to someone on the other end. All while Lizze was standing there crying, trying to get her attention.
What was so hard about acknowledging her presence and asking if she could help or simply find out what she needed?
I was very offended by her lack of compassion and honestly questioned why she was allowed contact with people in the first place. We all noted her poor treatment of us.
When the Vet finally came in to see Rogue, it was decided that it was best to end her suffering and put her to rest.
The Vet and her actual techs showed us a great deal of compassion and respect. We were all very grateful for that. Unfortunately, Becky’s demeanor was more than enough to make an already difficult situation that much more difficult.
They asked us to leave the room so the could start the line needed to administer the fatal medication.
As we gathered outside the door waiting to say our final goodbyes and be by her side and she went to sleep for the final time, we were all crying.
It was at that point that Becky took it upon herself to collect payment for the visit and medications associated with what hadn’t even happened yet. I asked her if she could just give us a few minutes as the procedure hadn’t taken place yet.
She replied that they needed paid in full before they would continue with the procedure. I was really taken aback by this and not only offended but angered as well.
I wanted to know why she was trying to collect monies now before anything had even happened. How often do you pay the vet before the visit?
She kept pushing and again I asked why she was handling us in this manner and why she was showing us no compassion. She replied that it was company policy to collect payment prior to the visits.
It was at that point that I said I hope that some of what they were charging us went to sensitivity training.
My Dad paid the bill and then we went back into the room to be with our dear friend as she passed on.
I don’t know what else to say about this experience. This was very painful for all of us and the treatment we received from Becky only made it more so. It’s for this reason that Lizze and I have decided not to give Pet Smart our business any longer.
I understand that everyone has a bad day but would it have killed her to show an ounce of compassion to a family that was grieving?
We have had to put down pets in the past and the experience was completely different. Perhaps this is just what you get for seeking help from an animal clinic at Pet Smart.
Pet Smart, I realize that you won’t even notice the loss of our business. However we will know that you no longer have it and that will have to be enough for now.
This picture was taken because the boys wanted a picture with her before we left for the vet’s. They are both really sad but Elliott is devastated as he really loved Rogue and is such a sensitive soul.
RIP Rogue. You were a good friend and a beloved member of our family for almost 13 years. You will be missed.
We are so sorry for your loss. Banfield Pet Hospital is a separate company from PetSmart so, please go to http://www.Banfield.net or email Banfield at InternetInquiries@Banfield.net so that they may reach out to you.
@Lost_and_Tired We are so sorry for your loss. Pls email AskPetSmart@ssg.petsmart.com w/info & our Customer Care team will reach out 2 you.
@whynotfathers @petsmart @reality_autism Been saying this about #petsmart for years. This is shameful to say the least…
@whynotfathers @reality_autism Such a sad story. Our hearts go out to the family.
@whynotfathers @PetSmart this is awful! Was she wanting to get off work?! So sorry for your loss
I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is agonizing. @Petsmart needs to do something to make this right. Firing Becky would be a great start.
@AspieWriter @PetSmart @reality_autism So sorry for your loss – that sounds BEYOND crappy. Hope she does get sensitivity training!
Getting a dog put down is like shooting a friend. It hard enough even without the poor customer service.
Rogue RIP also my dogs Snoops and Hobbs
@Kiboomu @PetSmart @reality_autism So sorry for your loss! Hope Becky gets some talk from @PetSmart that kind of attitude is unacceptable
@Kiboomu @PetSmart @reality_autism I am so sorry for your loss.
‘Perhaps this is just what you get for seeking help from an animal clinic at Pet Smart.’, sadly that’s it in a nutshell i think.Here in UK ive heard similar horror stories and im guessing accounts for the difference between a petstore which operates to make a profit that has as part of its chain a ‘pet clinic’ and a bone fide vets, which still operates to make a profit but has no other means to do so, a history of dealing with distraught owners and families and is professionaly involved rather than an outlet.
13 Years is good, she must have had a good life and despite the crapness of the service i hope she was euthanased without pain or fear.
I am so sorry for your loss. However, I am wondering if Becky were capable of showing emotion or empathy. If you think about it, many of the children on the spectrum do not show empathy or they have poor social skills. I am not saying you should not complain, but I am saying as parents with children on the spectrum we need to look at things differently. She may very well fall somewhere on the spectrum. We hope one day for all of our children to be gainfully employed as well. I hate that you were treated this way, and this is strictly my own opinion… dealing with a child on the spectrum.However, a complaint and a suggestion that their employees might benefit from sensitivity training would be great…I am just saying sometimes it is very hard and the older our own children become and hit the work force there may be a whole lot more of this type of thing happening. ,,,just my opinionagain I really am sorry about the loss of your girl….I know she was a member of the family and it was very hard on all of you.
My non-professional yet autistic opinion people with autism often trouble developing empathy primarily because they have trouble delays in learning receptive language, verbal or otherwise. I think interpreting body language helps just as much as interpreting verbal language in developing empathy, but, again, just my opinion. Language is how you learn people have different thoughts from your own.
However, an adult, even an autistic adult, will have empathy, even if they are otherwise profoundly socially inept. This is, of course, barring some sort of brain damage acquired later in life, but back on topic, I think you are talking about a lack of social skills, and not a lack of empathy.
That being said, Becky was, most likely, not autistic.
Aw Rob, so sorry about the loss of your dear family friend. We have an amazing girl named Rogue whom the boys love to death – it would kill them if something happened to her or to Reese (our little chihuahua). What happened to your family shouldn’t have happened. If you don’t at least receive an apology I would be surprised – At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if the rest of the staff treated your family with respect and compassion, the actions of one person overshadowed an already difficult time. If receiving their payment was so important perhaps that should have been one of the first things they did instead of waiting after you had already waiting and you were about ready to say goodbye to your dear family friend. For shame, PetSmart – whether you directly employ the people in these centers, it is your name we will all remember.
I’m so sorry this happened to you.
When I was a brand new cat owner, I was suckered into the whole Banfield scam. From what I could tell, they were all about pressuring unaware pet owners into purchasing their over-priced vet services. They were very used-car-salesman-type people (at least in the front office). I wouldn’t be surprised if they got paid some kind of commission.They talked me into a yearly plan that I couldn’t wait to get out of (when it expired a year later). I told myself that I would never go to another one of those offices. PetSmart? If I had to. Banfield? Never again.
@Matt McCabe thanks Matt. It’s really good to hear from you. I was just wondering how you guys were doing. In sorry that you went through that but I suspect you’re right.
first i am very sorry to hear of your dogs passing. some people dont understand that they are as close to you as a son or daughter. however you would think working in a vet clinic that she would of gotten that. second i have to commend you on holding back. if it were me in a situation like that I would of WENT OFF. I cant stand things like that,. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. take care
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Lizzie and the kids. I can understand your frustration with the situation that occurred with Becky. I have had to deal with a few bad vet clinics before, and when your pet is so much more than a “pet”, it makes things tough. Do what you need to do, but please don’t spend too much time focusing on the negatives in those last moments. Keep as many positive memories as you can of your dear companion Rogue, and don’t let this tarnish your memory bank.
sorry about your loss and un -compassion of someone like that
We had a similar experience with an Emergency Vet.http://ravingmotherfromhell.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html
@amycaraballo Spot on! It’s sad how emergent pets are treated 🙁
I am sorry for your loss and have no other words to add to your assessment of that situation. how sad for you all. You’re in my heart and prayers. I shared your article on my wall. I want others to know of this place that is in that area. Maybe your business or lack there of won’t be noted–but if enough people in your area also decide the same as you have for that store–they’ll have to find out why.
I am sorry for your loss! I know what it’s like to lose a furry family member :(I would email Petsmart and let them know about Becky. It would be horrible for another family to go through what you just did. She clearly does not like her job and can’t show even the tiniest bit of empathy.
We won’t take our animals there either. they took a chunk out of my sheep dog the last time he was there, and then blamed him for not standing still while they were using scissors on his rump. Then when they called to schedule a follow-up call, they said “if Max doesn’t behave this will be the last time we cut his hair.” I can’t expect Max to behave if he is afraid of the people with the hair cutting tools. We never got billed for the vet visit after they cut him. All in all, not happy with Petsmart.
My thoughts are with the Lost and Tired family on the loss of your buddy.
@Carlyoung thanks Carl and wow, that sucks. I’m sorry to hear about that.
Also, I got your message on Facebook and I’m right there with you my friend. It scares me too. I’m here if you need me. 🙂
I feel for your experience but you cannot judge the store as a whole by one bad egg. My experaince with Petsmart has been very positive. Petsmart as a company is awesome. They do great things in the community. I would speak with a manager or corp about the situation. Your blog reaches many ppl and I don’t want your one bad experaince to cause trouble for a company that is good. I already see comments about sharing this everywhere. While I love your blog and the msg you usually put out this is one I cannot support.
@TheraNicholeLedet I agree with you to an extent. However this blog is all about my family’s life and our experience. This is something that happened to and I’m not happy.
I was very clear that the actual medical care Rogue received was very good and that the Vet and her techs were very kind and compassionate to us. However, the bottom line is that we were mistreated and it happened at a time that really impacted me.
I’m sure that Pet Smart as a whole isn’t like this, but in our case this was a very bad experience.
If this happened to us it may be happening to others as well.
Please know that I respect your opinion and appreciate your honesty.
Whether or not this veterinarian’s clinic is owned by PetSmart or not, it operates under their banner and they are responsible. I am posting your story on every social media site I use, and if you tell me where this store is located I will personally make sure that your family receives an apology, which is the very least you deserve. If we let this pass it will happen to other grieving families. I understand the need for payment, but there are more sensitive ways to handle this.
@hudginsvicky more power to you.
This was the Pet Smart in North Canton Ohio. It’s in the Belden Village area.
Sorry to hear about your experience. However, most likely the vet at PetsMart is not directly associated with PetsMart. Around here its a separate company called Banfield (and I’m not a fan either, I think they price gauge to high heaven and I feel they are too rushed and busy, esp on a Sunday to provide quality service). It is a touchy subject, because I agree that yes, PetsMart does allow them to operate in their store. However, having been a PetsMart employee, I have seen first hand the number of people that will try to go to Banfield and NOT PAY for services similar to yours. Ultimately, its your choice where you spend your dollar. Personally, I prefer smaller mom and pop pet supply stores as they usually carry higher quality food products and actually hire people who are well educated in pet care. My condolences for your lost, I know how hard it is to lose a friend. My senior girl is about 14 years old now and I know the end is coming soon. Its never easy.
I hope you will post a review on Yelp and any other site you can find. I also think you should contact the corporate office. This is unforgivable. Becky should be fired immediately. It shouldn’t take special training to be compassionate. I’m so sorry for your loss and this terrible experience.
@hudginsvicky thank you and I will.
Im so sorry for your loss to the whole family!!! We had to put our 12 year old cat down this year! Hugs to all of you!!
@DebbieHawsmanTomor thanks Deb
R.I.P Rogue! <3
@Shay Huia thank you