Rosalia woman's dog put down after she couldn't pay for vet serv - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rosalia woman's dog put down after she couldn't pay for vet service

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Chessy Chessy
ROSALIA, Wash. -

"If you can't pay we won't operate."  That's what Linda Choate of Rosalia says she was told after she took her dog for emergency care on Mother's Day.     

Choate says she feels like she failed her 4-year-old dog, Chessy, because instead of running free in the fields around her old farm house, the dog ended up buried in a makeshift pet cemetery on her property. 

"Without her getting treatment it was just going to be a horrible, painful death for her," says Choate.  She found her Chesapeake yesterday morning lying outside of her house with parts of her intestines hanging outside of her body. 

Choate says she recently had Chessy fixed and believes the dog may have gotten her stitches open.    

"I didn't know what to do," Choate tells KHQ through tears.  She took Chessy to WSU Veterinary School to get care at the emergency clinic, but was told the dog would need thousands of dollars worth of surgery.   

Choate didn't have the money up front so she had to apply for a care credit, which was denied.  Feeling as if she had no other choice, Choate chose to have Chessy put down. 

"I feel like I sent her there on a death sentence," says Choate.  "It's not fair."

WSU Veterinary School says this is a common problem faced by veterinary practices that offer emergency services.  Their policy is that they require the client to have the lower end of the estimate up front before the doctor will do surgery.   

"I don't feel like they care, unless there's money," says Choate.  "I feel it's wrong.  I'm very angry and I'm very sad."

WSU Veterinary School is a for profit clinic.  Unlike with humans, veterinarians aren't required to operate on an animal without payment. 

The best way to prevent this situation from happening is to carry pet insurance.  You pay a monthly premium, but when your animals have unexpected health issues the insurance will cover most of the costs and can prevent you from having to make a difficult decision.

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