Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

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mikaela051287
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Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:22 pm

Hi all,

Real quick question I'm hoping someone who's more closely linked to a shelter can help me with.

I was fostering a female APBT for the past 7-8 months. Last month I officially adopted her. However, when she was initially placed with me I was told she had been 100% spayed. This was untrue, and although I made claims about it (like the fact that she had no spay scar and was clearly experiencing vaginal swelling) no one believed me until I sent pictures of her bleeding on my floor (sorry for the overshare...). Afterwards, I was told that they would only cover her being spayed through a shelter, however, I am not very comfortable with that, especially with the shelters in my area. I have had MANY issues with various shelters and have been set back quite a bit financially from dealing with them in the past and having dogs gets extremely ill.
Does anyone know if I have ANY recourse in having the shelter cover my dog being spayed at a more reputable place i.e. a veterinary clinic or animal hospital? Furthermore, when they placed her with me she also experienced head seizures/tremors. This was a preexisting condition but there were no notes from her previous owner (she was a surrender) on her condition, and the shelter decided to never check it out. I was told that they would cover me to go to a vet and have blood work done to at least rule some things out, but as of yet, none of that has happened.

Anyone have any ideas or advice? I would really, really appreciate it. Thanks so much in advance:)

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby Adrianne » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:33 pm

That is all very sad and frustrating! :/ Did you by chance have any of this in contractual form?

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:57 pm

The only hardcopy paperwork I have is her "medical history" which marks her as being spayed, etc. but says NOTHING about the head tremors. All other communication has been with the foster coordinator via email, which I still have....

Honestly, it is INCREDIBLY frustrating. Although my male dog is altered, my girl has had access to intact males in the past few months and although (thankfully!!) she never became pregnant, if she had........
At the beginning I allowed myself to believe it was possible she had been spayed because of a slight, SLIGHT discoloration I witnessed on her abdomen. But, I should've pushed them a lot harder and just demanded them to cover a vet visit to confirm either way.

What drives me up the wall the MOST is that had she been released to someone else, very easily could she have been used to be bred (as she was prior to her arrival at my home..) and the shelter, who's "intention" is to prevent overpopulation, took some very obvious cost-cutting measures while not even considering momentarily the well-being of the animal herself. :( (However, I would like to say that she is insanely happy, healthy (aside from these issues) and no idea how lucky she is to not be dealing with that shelter anymore!)

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby Amie » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:12 pm

My shelter will perform the surgery, and only in RARE instances let you do it someplace else - and we do not reimburse for that.

Many of our vets donate their time, so our cost per surgery is not going to be matched by any outside vet you find.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:36 pm

See, but that's not what they're doing. I'm located in Philadelphia, them in NYC. So, they don't expect me to bring Frankie to them, they want to pay for me to take her to a shelter here.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby heartbullies » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:45 pm

mikaela051287 wrote:See, but that's not what they're doing. I'm located in Philadelphia, them in NYC. So, they don't expect me to bring Frankie to them, they want to pay for me to take her to a shelter here.


What if you found a private vet that was just as inexpensive as a shelter there?

Or find out what the difference is, bring the dog to the place you want her to have the surgery, and pay the difference between the cost of the shelter speuter (which is what *should* have happened a long time ago!) and the cost of the private-vet speuter (which is what you are choosing for your pet)?

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:50 pm

Yeah, I just don't really like the shelters around here...I've had fosters go to them for neuter/spay before and develop really bad infections and they've also fairly consistently picked up bugs that have affected, severely, my resident dogs, and it doesn't seem worth the risk this time around, so yes, I want to take her to a veterinary clinic instead.
The reason I asked if anyone had any advice is because I don't really have the finances to pay the difference at the time being, and while I realize it isn't a shelter's responsibility to send a foster/adoptee to a vet to be spayed, I would really really hope health is of the first concern!
Furthermore, in terms of her head seizure issues that's another thing I have concerns about the shelter not covering and me not currently having the funds for----I guess I was under the notion, as it has gone with my fostering experiences in the past, that issues the dogs have that are preexisting are the shelter's responsibility and I'm just worried about Frankie's overall wellbeing;)
Thanks for the responses so far, guys! Appreciate it.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby airwalk » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:36 pm

We would only make arrangements through a local shelter for spay as well. Most Shelters are operating on a shoe string and while we (our shelter) doesn't cut corners, we definitely pinch every penny three times before letting it go.

Preexisting conditions are the responsibility of the new owner. We do our very best to figure out what might be going on and to let them know. If they adopt, however, the issue goes with the dog. There is virtually no shelter that has the ability, funding or resources to run full diagnostics on every dog to determine what conditions might exist and then treat.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby PITtsburgher » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:15 am

I hear ya on the Philadelphia shelter thing (worked for / fostered for / volunteered for / transported for a couple).

Right now you are in luck though as far as spays in Philadelphia.

UPENN Vet is doing free spays right now. They are studying if giving extra fluids during the spay helps at all. So it is a very safe study and you will be getting the best of the best as far as surgery and monitoring.
http://research.vet.upenn.edu/ClinicalS ... rgery.aspx

Another decent option is the new PAWS facility on Greys Ferry Ave. They have a free pit bull spay program right now.
http://www.phillypaws.org/sargefund/

Good luck, let me know if you need help getting in touch with either.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:50 am

mikaela051287 wrote:Furthermore, in terms of her head seizure issues that's another thing I have concerns about the shelter not covering and me not currently having the funds for----I guess I was under the notion, as it has gone with my fostering experiences in the past, that issues the dogs have that are preexisting are the shelter's responsibility and I'm just worried about Frankie's overall wellbeing;)


This has never been my impression. It is your responsibility as an adopter to be willing and able to provide for the health care of your new pet. You are financially responsible from the moment you sign the dotted line.

If you cannot financially meet her needs, maybe you should consider a pet that does not have special needs.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby Amie » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:00 am

mikaela051287 wrote:I was under the notion, as it has gone with my fostering experiences in the past, that issues the dogs have that are preexisting are the shelter's responsibility


Well, with fosters, they are still the shelter's animal. Even then most foster set ups say that they need to pre-approve vet visits and may not cover emergency care. But they do cover most issues, because the animal is legally their responsibility. Once you adopt the animal, it's yours.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby FBODGRL » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:58 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:
mikaela051287 wrote:Furthermore, in terms of her head seizure issues that's another thing I have concerns about the shelter not covering and me not currently having the funds for----I guess I was under the notion, as it has gone with my fostering experiences in the past, that issues the dogs have that are preexisting are the shelter's responsibility and I'm just worried about Frankie's overall wellbeing;)


This has never been my impression. It is your responsibility as an adopter to be willing and able to provide for the health care of your new pet. You are financially responsible from the moment you sign the dotted line.

If you cannot financially meet her needs, maybe you should consider a pet that does not have special needs.



I think the dog was a foster when the condition developed.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:07 pm

Yes, I understand all of this.

First off, without sounding too upset, let me say this. I am financially responsible enough to care for this dog, so the comments about not having a special needs dog aren't necessary, but thanks anyway. Someone who has money saved RARELY can go and drop $1000 dollars at a vet because a shelter made a mistake. That's not irresponsible, it's NORMAL.

Secondly, I was NEVER told she was a special needs dog, so that's not really my problem, is it? Maybe I should have read her mind to see what her underlying issues were when they dropped her off at my door and disappeared. They lied about her being spayed, and her seizures developed WHILE I was fostering her (although I assume she's had them PRIOR to being fostered by myself).

Sometimes it amazes me that people struggle to find arguments against people trying to do the right thing on this site. Not only have I taken time to ask on here for advice, but have called about 7 vets, animals hospitals, and shelters, today, in the midst of my mid-terms. Done 2 hours of research online. Been in school full-time. Have another dog and a cat. Walk/run my dogs for at LEAST 4 hours a day, EVERY day. So I don't need to hear any of the "you should think about whether or not....."
Quite frankly, I didn't ask for opinions, I asked for advice on how to deal with the shelter, not how to deal with my own dog that I have been caring for excellently without any regret or doubt on the matter period.

Lastly, just for clarification----I never officially adopted this dog in terms of signing anything. Verbally, she is mine. In writing, not so much.

So, once again, I TRULY appreciate the helpful comments, but do not appreciate nor have any desire for any comments on me reconsidering my ability to care for her, keep her, etc.

And, just for the sake of a brief update, I was contacted via the shelter today and told that they will pay for her blood work/MRI (if necessary) etc. and that we'll have to wait to get her spayed before fully understanding if she's having seizures, tremors, etc.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby mikaela051287 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:11 pm

Oh, and one last thing----

please don't misunderstand, I'm certainly not saying something regarding ALL shelters, merely the ones in the area that I've had personal experiences with. And thanks for the info on Penn spaying, by the way!
While I understand that shelters are incredibly strapped for money, volunteers, and pretty much all else, when I signed up to foster Frankie I was told that any major health issues she had, while being fostered, were the responsibility of the shelter, while all else was my responsibility. The issues of her head tremors came up months ago, and I've been contacting them quite frequently about it. They were aware, and claimed they would start up the process, far prior to my somewhat unofficial adoption of her. I'm not on here trying to point fingers, I'm on here merely to gather information so that I can provide the best for her.

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Re: Questions about Spaying through a Shelter

Postby PITtsburgher » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:44 pm

I've totally been there... I started fostering a dog that got really sick and the shelter refused to give him what he needed and then refused to pay when he had to go to the emergency room. And just like you I ended up adopting him and just paying for everything out of pocket. It's really hard when you're trying to do something good and get screwed over by the organization that you're trying to help. It's also hard when you don't REALLY have the money lying around but you can't just let the dog suffer even though it shouldn't be you paying for it.

That's good that the shelter seems to be stepping up about the medical care. Unfortunately MRI's are REALLY expensive, a couple thousand probably, so they might not go that far.

Did you look into the spay resources I posted or are you wanting to deal with the seizures first? I can think of 2 more free pit bull spays in eastern PA so let me know if you want links to those too. Penn and PAWS would be the best free ones though. Since she does have some health issues it would be great if you could get into the Penn program since they will do a much higher quality spay than your average shelter.

Anyway, hope your baby is feeling better soon :)


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