Avoid Brambleton Veterinary Clinic in Roanoke

If you live in Roanoke, Virginia, I strongly urge you to avoid the Brambleton Veterinary Hospital in Southwest Roanoke County. The staff there is incredibly unprofessional, and it makes me worry about the quality of care the animals receive.

(If you don’t, ignore this post. Or, if you’re feeling kindly, link to it. That’ll push it up on Google. :)

We have been customers of Brambleton Veterinary Hospital for more than two years with our three dogs and two cats. We’ve always paid our bills immediately and never had a problem. We’ve also brought in injured strays to them, as well as animals we’ve fostered for the local SPCA.

Bottom line: We’re good customers.

And Brambleton Veterinary Hospital screwed us.

My wife brought our dog in today when he was injured. The vet at Brambleton Vet took care of him and said the best place for him was at home. But in her rush, my wife only grabbed a Visa card that’s tied to our savings account, which had a zero balance. She asked to pay by Amex, but Brambleton Veterinary Hospital doesn’t take it.

So she called me and told me to bring the checkbook. I made the 10-minute drive and dropped it off. But then — and I still can’t believe it — the idiot at Brambleton Vet said that my wife got her checkbook too quickly and he didn’t trust it. (She had said it would take me 20 minutes to get there, but she overestimated how long it would take me to get Sam in the car.)

She offered to have a friend with a Visa call. No. At this point, he said, he would only take cash because “her story changed too many times.”

The fact that her story changed because she was offering him different ways to pay didn’t seem to matter.

I got on the phone and read the idiot at Brambleton Veterinary Hospital the riot act. He kept changing his story — first the problem was that my wife got her checkbook too quickly. When I said, “So you’re saying you think she ran out and mugged someone who just happened to have the same name and address? Look at PJ [the dog’s] tag. Our phone number is on it and it matches the check!”

But the moron at Brambleton Vet (did I mention it was in Roanoke?) couldn’t see the stupidity. Then he changed his story to the fact that my wife offered different forms of payment.

In reality, the guy wasn’t going to give our dog back. He was going to hold the poor thing hostage despite the fact that the vet said it would be better for him to be home. Despite the fact that we are long-time customers with lots of animals and lots of friends.

And then he got upset when I told him that, as we work with the SPCA, I would make sure that no one who adopts a dog or cat is given the name of Brambleton Veterinary Hospital. (And the SPCA gives a lot of vet recommendations.)

“Your husband is threatening our business,” he told my wife.

“After the treatment you’ve given us he ought to,” she told him.

So I’m heading off to various message boards to tell this story. Then I’ll contact the Better Business Bureau and whichever state agency regulates animal hospitals. And, as my wife put it, every time there’s an empty space in the appointment book, the people at Brambleton Veterinary Hospital in Roanoke will have to wonder if it’s because of us.