Clinic business

Vet clinic receives backlash after story of dog being abandoned for $10,000 surgery bill goes viral

Maine vets are speaking out in support of an emergency vet clinic that has come under attack on social media since a story about its practice went viral last week.

The Scarborough Medical Veterinary Center said staff and animals have received death threats following a story first aired on WGME-TV about a dog named Jaxx whose owner returned him when she could not afford to pay for her emergency operation. The woman then tried to get it back, but the dog had been adopted by someone else.

The clinic said the facts of the case were misrepresented and it had to take additional security measures as a result. Other vets say this kind of scenario happens regularly.

“People who aren’t involved in the case, people out of state, people around the world will spend their time chasing after a vet based on a little tidbit of a story,” said Janelle Tirrell, Equine Veterinarian and Past President. of the Maine Veterinary Medical Association. She said what happened to the Scarborough hospital has happened to other vets in a state that is already facing a shortage of emergency veterinary services.

“People had to move. Their families have to move out of town because they’re practicing in a small town and people are threatening to burn down their house or do things to their kids in schools,” Tirrell said. “People tell us we don’t live up to our responsibility to animals. Add death threats to that and it’s just impossible.”

Tirrell points out that vets have a high suicide rate, partly because of the stressors they put on themselves, but also because of the criticism they face from clients and others on the networks. social, which can have a profound effect on a business.