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.