Vet lost our cat...

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I recently took a 4 yr old cat to a local vet that we've used for about 15 years. When the time came to bring her home they called and said she ran into their ventilation system. The vet asked us to give them a few days to get her out.

The other day they let us know that she had actually escaped the building and hasn't been seen in a few days. Naturally we're very upset at this, but kinda dumfounded on what we should do about it. We're going to look around the vet's area, probably post a few fliers. We consider the cat gone, as she was a stray we bought in and she was always skittish around strangers, I doubt anyone could successfully capture her for us.

What responsibility would the vet have towards us in a situation like this? We're bummed because we had a good relationship with this vet, although some of the employees are dumb as rocks, the care was always good. I'm just completely shocked something like this could even happen.

--
What is so bad about religion is that it fosters a primitive form of morality that hinders progress in virtually any domain beneficial to our modern world.

rinobio's picture

I would demand the vet make the fliers and help you to look!

Jordan's picture

Wow, that totally sucks. I would be so freaking angry.

A. Jordan Rushie
Attorney and Counselor at Law
2424 East York Street, Suite 316
Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.385.LAW1 (5291)
Blog: www.phillylawblog.com
Website: www.fishtownlaw.com

th's picture

This is so crazy! I'm so sorry to hear about it.

You wanna dance? LET'S DANCE!

jbette01's picture

So I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but was she in for surgery or something similar? It sounds unlikely that a cat that may be weak would be strong enough to get around the ventilation system of a building.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Please tell me the name of this vet because I never want to use them.

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Pure_Fishtown's picture

BTW, why in God's name was the ventilation system open? That, in itself, is probably illegal by L&I standards.

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Laurie's picture

Sickening. If I were you, I would call them twice a day every day and ask if they've found your cat, and show up there to shame them too. I used to be a vet tech and I could tell you some crazy stories about little furry escape artists, but none every found their way out of the building. Nor did anyone on staff rest until the kitty was rounded up. And after we got the cat, the escape route was blocked. If these idiots had open vents (that were open to the outside!) then they obviously don't care about their patients. You should post the name of the vet here.

PS If some of the employees are "dumb as rocks" then your pets are not getting good care. At least 50% of care is done by staff, not the vet.

Kat's picture

So sorry to hear this!

ThatGirlWithTheFunkyGlasses's picture

Gosh, I am probably gonna get blasted for this, but if I were in your position, I would sue them. That's just utterly irresponsible and inexcusable.

Ugh.

2014 york's picture

It sounds like a stupid mistake but I wouldn't go nut's in punishing them considering the cat was a stray. I would demand that they fix the problem and if you paid anything that your money be refunded. I'm sure they did their best to find the animal and already feel bad enough.

Leo's picture

ThatGirlWithTheFunkyGlasses wrote:
Gosh, I am probably gonna get blasted for this, but if I were in your position, I would sue them. That's just utterly irresponsible and inexcusable.

I would be heartbroken if a vet lost our animals, but a suit is not the right way to go for sure. Even if you won, you'd likely be able to recover the replacement value of your pet — not much else.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

Pure_Fishtown's picture

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Jordan's picture

Leo wrote:
ThatGirlWithTheFunkyGlasses wrote:
Gosh, I am probably gonna get blasted for this, but if I were in your position, I would sue them. That's just utterly irresponsible and inexcusable.

I would be heartbroken if a vet lost our animals, but a suit is not the right way to go for sure. Even if you won, you'd likely be able to recover the replacement value of your pet — not much else.

A court in Texas allowed someone to recover for sentimental value:

http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan12/120115q.asp

Not sure how it would play out in Pennsylvania.

A. Jordan Rushie
Attorney and Counselor at Law
2424 East York Street, Suite 316
Philadelphia, PA 19125 215.385.LAW1 (5291)
Blog: www.phillylawblog.com
Website: www.fishtownlaw.com

fuzzybottoms's picture

I still want to know that name of the vet.

Pure_Fishtown's picture

fuzzybottoms wrote:
I still want to know that name of the vet.

Me too and what the vet is doing to help.

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Fishtown Filly's picture

2014 york wrote:
It sounds like a stupid mistake but I wouldn't go nut's in punishing them considering the cat was a stray.

It does not matter whether the animal is a stray or a show cat, it is still a part of your family!

To the OP, I am very sorry to hear about this. Which vet was this? It sounds like they do not have adequate staff and/or they are not up to code in the overnight holding areas. I would definately demand any money back that you paid for this issue, and I would ask them what they are doing to prevent this from happening again.

My cat was lost overnight once, and I walked around the neighborhood calling his name until I heard him meowing for me. Maybe yours got himself stuck inside or under a building and he will make noise if he hears your voice. Good luck!

ThatGirlWithTheFunkyGlasses's picture

Leo wrote:
ThatGirlWithTheFunkyGlasses wrote:
Gosh, I am probably gonna get blasted for this, but if I were in your position, I would sue them. That's just utterly irresponsible and inexcusable.

I would be heartbroken if a vet lost our animals, but a suit is not the right way to go for sure. Even if you won, you'd likely be able to recover the replacement value of your pet — not much else.

Ah, I see. Well, boo. My pets are like my children.

Ugh.

rinobio's picture

2014 york wrote:
It sounds like a stupid mistake but I wouldn't go nut's in punishing them considering the cat was a stray. I would demand that they fix the problem and if you paid anything that your money be refunded. I'm sure they did their best to find the animal and already feel bad enough.

Seriously?

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Yo, Fishtown Yo, any news / update?

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

smallspark's picture

Aw hearing you consider the cat gone is so sad. I never understand that.
You cared enough to take them to the vet. Look for it, it's tough being a stray.
Especially in this heat, and if they get caught by animal control, there is such overcrowding...shudder.

Please look for them, have the staff look for them...and keep an eye out for them near you - they may make their way back to you.

You could catch it with a trap - contact www.flatironwildcats.com/ see if they have any extra traps or suggestions. Put a picture of your cat with a good shot of its face or some unique marking on it's forehead for example, EVERYWHERE In the area - with an email address as well as a phone #. Personally I'm more likely to email you than call, so I like both options.

Craigslist it, post your cat here, tweet it, facebook it.

And yes, tell us the name of the vet Nobody wants it to happen to them, and if you don't want to put in on here, direct message the people who asked.

Either way, give us a general location so people can keep an eye out. Your vet could be anywhere, which is effectively nowhere. Give us a clue. This way people know where to keep an eye out, look and help you. People do.

Don't give up on kitty. Try a little.

And, just in case, lost cat tips below, maybe your vet could do some:

For rescues,

The below hasn't been updated since a couple months ago but it should help.

VERY IMPORTANT:
Keep an eye on this site on facebook - go to their photos page: It's the only place you will see the most in-danger animals at Animal Care and control of philadelphia, which is the high-kill shelter, and where strays are brought.
Animal care and Control (known as Philly Urgents Page): http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=196737460358855
Make sure you give them a lost/found poster. Make sure you give one to PSPCA and to PAWS as well as any other rescues in your general area if you can.

To do (Biggies):


  • Posters: Putting large colorful photo posters in nearby convenience stores, vet offices, telephone poles, (smaller versions in neighbor post boxes, corner stores and posting in the local newspaper and online message boards. Cat's generally don't go far from their home base.
  • Put in a lost report at spca and other local rescues.
  • Find the local feral cat colony caretakers in your neighborhood and tell them.
  • Rub your scent (a worn shirt) and your cats scent (bedding etc.) at cat level on your stoop every night since other cats will spray over it.
  • Leave some of your cats used litter out by the stoop and on the street/walk every night, maybe even down the street, front and back yard and upwind. Cats navigate by scent and most likely as an indoor cat haven't marked your house outside so they have no idea where you are once they leave. Their used litter will let your cat know this is their house.
  • If you do the above and put a baby monitor outside, you might hear kitty if it meows. I understand this does work. Cats navigate at night mostly between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am, from what I see. If you walk around or call for kitty, be aware kitty might not realize it's you and stay put - it takes them a long time to creep out. Even if you walk up to it quickly, they may run b/c they are freaked out & not realize it's you.
  • Always put an email on your ad - create one for this purpose, not just a phone number. If an animal is spotted online, they won't want to call you. (for example, I hate calling people for a find that could or could not be your animal unless I was sure - and it's tough to be sure from a photo! But I would send you the information and let you decide if a photo is a match.)

  • Use flickr as the place to put a photo ( if you can't post a picture to every site) and make sure you include it. Photos are ridiculously important. You'll get a look instead of a skim or a skip - people will be more able to help you. Always post a photo that won't expire, somewhere and link back to it.
  • Walk around pspca and the animal control shelters and PSPCA- including isolation/sick areas – and look at all the animals yourself. There really is no substitution for this, if you go to the websites below you'll see many blank photos for animals listed, and they don't always list all the animals they have.
  • Go to what sites you can below.
  • Search terms I use are "missing" "cat" "lost" and I may just search by each color. People aren't decently descriptive online. Some just say cat. So I may search a couple of different ways per site, in different sections too!.

You have to be proactive and patient to find kitty.
Always upload a photo in lost pet postings. Good luck!

Remember cats do stay close to home unless a person with a car takes them somewhere (which some do - I would take a found animal to a low or no kill shelter if I could manage to, although I would post that info online). Someone may decide to help kitty stay alive longer by checking them into a rescue further away or near their house. If I had a car, that is what I would do. (although I would post that in my found ad.) Some may be busy dealing with a new kitty in their home first and may take awhile to post it online or let people know. This happened to me when I found some stray cats.

Networks that help you - free (I think) - def worth it: More eyes looking for your animal is a good thing.
FACEBOOK SITES
OliverAlert: By State https://www.facebook.com/OliverAlert?sk=photos

Lost and Found Animals in PA

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-and-Found-Animals-in-Pennsylvania/219470554753703?ref=pb
NON FACEBOOK SITES

Pet search engine - try it. http://www.akekee.com/
Bucks/montgomery/+county alive pets directory:
http://doylestownalive.com/pets/index.cfm?webname=dalive

Search for Breed rescues in the Tri-state area
Social media - twitter, consider creating a facebook page, post to lost cat facebook pages - get visible.

Site that help you but cost money - large network - probably worth it:

www.FindToto.com has a calling service that calls neighbors faster than you can put posters up.

HomeAgain is a microchipping service but has lost found service. Homeagain sends out flyers and also lists some animals on their website - I would check them out - although you'll download pdfs in order to see the postings.

petamberalert.com send emails out in their network (which is active)

Look up a Pet detective - they do good work and use a dog to track your cats scent.

Also:
whats your neighborhood community website? post and search there.

POST AND SEARCH on these sites or as many of the places below as you can:

Remember most of the sites expire - so repost repost repost if you can. If the ad is old, the animal is sometimes assumed found or not wanted anymore

Tips: Repost often. (And take the postings down when found.)
- CRAIGSLIST: expires in about 40 days Post at least twice there. WIth Photos - that is huge - text nets nothing unless you are lucky.
- PETFINDER: expires in about a year. Post at least twice there. WIth Photos - that is huge - text nets nothing unless you are lucky.

The remainder pretty much stay online as far as I can tell
Lostandpound http://www.lostandpound.com/
Petfinder classifieds: http://www.petfinder.com/local.html
Craigslist philly lost and found: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/laf/
Craigslist philly pets: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/pet/
Flealess! http://www.flealess.org/lostpets/pennsylvania.html
Adoptapet http://www.adoptapet.com for searching only (although you could post a lost add there, sort of) is sometimes quite useful, there are a lot of pets on there from many different smaller rescues. And they also list other shelters in your area. The adoptapet shelter list is not all shelters in the area but it's many of them - however it lets you search by detail so it's a good resource to know. Some people post their lost pet on adoptapet but that is not the sites main mission.

xtra:
www. tabbytracker.com (I would not recommend unless you put a photo b/c they don’t let you put decent info on there. But people do use it - just look at found section.)

RESCUES: aka Where to look for your Cat:
Rescues - if not stated, mostly in philadelphia by area.

There are more, I'm always updating the list- if curious search your area for rescues/shelters via google and also go to adoptapet.com and search shelters there by zip code, as well as petfinders. Look OFTEN, especially at the Animal Care and Control /PSPCA's in your area.

NORTHEAST-ish PHILLY
**Philadelphia Animal Care and Control: (Philly Urgents Page): (North Philly)
http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=196737460358855

**Philadelphia SPCA: (North Philly) http://www.pspca.org/adoption_centers

PAWS Petco cats: Port Richmond https://www.facebook.com/pages/PAWS-Port-Richmond-PetCo-Volunteers/197349133616775?sk=wall

**Northeast Animal Rescue: (Northeast Philly) http://members.petfinder.com/~PA283/index.html

Fishtown Cats: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fishtown-Cats/139982302718477?ref=pb

Operation Ava: Northern Liberties http://www.operationava.org

Street Tails: Northern Liberties http://www.streettails.org/

TUPAWS: Temple U https://www.facebook.com/TuPaws?sk=wall

Flat Iron wildcats (kensington) http://www.flatironwildcats.com/adopt.htm

CENTER CITY-ish

**PAWS Philly: (center and south Philly) http://www.phillypaws.org/Adopt/default.asp

Green Street: Center City https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Street-Rescue/174013725961321?sk=photos

Love Four Paws: Center city www.lovefourpaws.org

The Cat Doctor has cats for adoption: Art Museum https://www.facebook.com/TheCatDoctorPhila?sk=photos

SOUTH PHILLY-ish

4 Paws Philly: (South Philly) http://4pawsphilly.org/
**PAWS Philly: (center and south Philly) http://www.phillypaws.org/Adopt/default.asp

Morris Animal Rescue: South Philly https://www.facebook.com/morrisanimalrefuge?sk=photos
Prancing paws: South Philly and Willow Grove http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/PA675.html

WEST PHILLY-ish
Project Meow: (West Philly)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-MEOW-Make-Every-One-Wanted/225061582100
City Kitties adopt list (West Philly) http://www.citykitties.org/adopt/index.html
City Kitties neighborhood classified list (W Philly) http://www.citykitties.org/adopt/neighborhood.html
FurryPhiladelphia: (west Philly)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Furry-Philadelphia/120851281280795?sk=wall

Fairmount Pet Shop: west philly http://www.fairmountpetshoppe.com

FFUR: The Foundation for Feline Urban Rescue: (Germantown area) http://www.ffur.org/catlog/index.php/site/catlog/C4/

Baltimore Pet Shop: west philly http://www.baltimorepetshoppe.com/

I Hope you get your buddy back. Keep looking!!

Pure_Fishtown's picture

There is also another FB page -- Anything Pets -- Bridesburg, Fishtown, Kensington, Port Richmond. I can't access the link for you but someone else on here might provide it.

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)