Pet carers sometimes seek to blame someone for the death of their pet and who is easier to blame than the vet, the very person who did everything to help save the pets life.
Vets are often in a no win situation when the pet carer blames them for doing too much to try and save their pet, or not doing enough. If there is a dispute over a particular type of treatment or cost, it is usually easily resolved, but when the dispute resulted in euthanasia of a much loved pet that is not so easily resolved – or is it?
Veterinary staff are providing an invaluable service, an honourable profession they embarked on because of their love of animals, they have taken a professional oath and abide by a professional code of conduct to ensure the health and welfare of animals in their care and ultimately they also suffer emotionally when there are no further treatments available for a pet or a pet dies in their care.
A vet can look after a pet for its entire life, saving that pets life when it is ill, yet heaven help the vet if the pet carer believes they did something wrong at the time of euthanasia.
When a pet carer is looking for guidance regarding how to complain about any aspect of their pets care, pre, during or post the death of their pet, the basis of their complaint is from their perspective, clouded by grief and may not in fact have merit.
You should always follow the correct complaints procedure set out by the veterinary practice and keep dialogue open in order to give all parties a fair hearing.
Speak to the Practice Manager or Senior Veterinary Surgeon in the first instance or if you don’t want to speak to them in person, put your complaint in writing. You should give the practice a reasonable amount of time to respond. Once you have received a response, and in the unlikely event you are still not satisfied with the explanation, you can take your complaint to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
Keep to the facts, do not add anything to embellish the story or make it sound more credible. In your letter you should give dates, time and people involved. Detail exactly what your complaint is. It may help to use a heading eg: The Basis of My Complain
Complaining about a pet crematorium is slightly different in as much as there is no governing body that you can contact for poor or unsatisfactory service. If you paid the Vet to arrange the cremation, your complaint (contract) is with the Vet not the pet crematorium. It is vital that you do your own research before employing the services of any pet crematorium because if anything goes wrong (and from time to time it does), you have no redress and you will have to rely on the goodwill of the pet crematorium to make things right.
Dawn Murray's new book 'An Introduction to Pet Bereavement Counselling' is now available to buy on Amazon. This is a must have reference book for anyone who supports or counsels others through pet bereavement.