County Animal Clinic / Lost cat
On May 6, 2009, I brought my 3 year old male cat to the County Animal Hospital in Yonkers, NY to have a lump checked. I explained to the veterinarian, Dr. Brian Young, that this cat was mostly feral, and that although I could handle him easily, he was still very fearful of other humans and would probably have difficulty being handled.
The examination went well, but the doctor wanted to take a sample of the lump and so my cat was brought into the treatment room in the back for this procedure. Apparently, my cat was not handling this attention too well at all, and so, according to the doctor, he had to be darted in order for them to get a sample of the lump. He told me that this would take some time, and that he would call me when the cat was ready to be picked up.
I arrived at the hospital at about 8:15 pm, paid my bill, and my cat was brought out in his carrier. I proceeded to the parking lot attached to the animal hospital, and about 5 feet from my car, I heard the carrier door slam (it had not been secured properly, allowing the cat to escape) and looked down to see my cat sprinting to the rear of the lot. I called and chased after him, but I quickly lost sight of him as he rounded a bush and headed up Tuckahoe Road. I called and looked for him, but with no success. I returned to the animal hospital to inform them of what had just occurred. Only the receptionist offered to help. She drove around the neighborhood with me for about a half hour, looking under cars and in bushes, but again with no success.
The veterinarian apologized and the charges for the procedures were refunded. However, this is little consolation, as my cat is gone. I'd like to know what are the consequences for the veterinary professionals who allowed this to happen. I know I suffered the loss of a cherished pet. My cat is suffering continued confusion and fear. I have returned to this area several times a day since to call and look for my cat. I have posted numerous fliers, spoken to neighbors, left food out with the hope of seeing my cat, all with no success. Many of the neiborhood people I have spoken with have indicated that this is not the first time they have heard of this occurring (losing a cat because someone at the hospital failed to properly secure the carrier door). The hospital administrator called me the next day (at approximately 4 pm) and apologized also. However, she never indicated whether there was any consequences for the individuals who caused this to happen to my cat. Was there an investigation to determine who is responsible??? Was there any disciplinary action taken?? As I indicated, this is not the first time this has occurred at this facility and it will not be the last, as the personnel at this hospital do not seem inclined to do what is necessary to prevent this from ever happening again. How can this be prevented in the future if it is not clear how it happened and who is responsible. I got the impression that they felt that this is just a mishap, that's all. Well, I take this loss very seriously and I am hearbroken. I know I cannot return to this establishment and would recommend that others stay away as well. This hospital charges significant fees for its services, citing the quality of care and concern for the animals. I have paid these fees without complaint but now must question the quality of service. If they cannot perform routine tasks (properly securing our pets), how are they performing the more difficult tasks.