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Warren Roger I Veterinarian
782 ELMONT ROADELMONT, NY 11003
230 miles away
Reader's Reviews (1)
posted 2 years ago
During the week of August 7, 2011, I made an appointment to have my cat bathed and groomed at the Animal Hospital of Elmont. I have a regular vet, but her office is not equipped for grooming/bathing.
I arrived today, August 26, 2011, on time for my appointment and was told my cat had to be examined by the vet prior to bathing. I asked "why" and was told they will not bathe an animal without an exam. "Why" was never answered.
I acquiesced without even asking the cost, but of course, thought to myself, "Another way to make money...oh well, I'm here, might as well go through with it."
Making small talk during the exam, I explained to Dr. Roger Warren, the cat had renal insufficiency and was slightly anemic. My cat is also disabled with hind leg weakness, resulting in the inability to stand on all fours, but he has a walker and manages extraordinarily well for a disabled cat.
It became immediately apparent that Dr. Roger Warren is one of those vets who "knows everything" and obviously does not respect the intelligence of his clients and the opinions of other vets.
He asked when the lastest blood work was done and I said he had a full senior profile and exam about six weeks ago. He asked if I brought the blood work results with me.
I laughed and said, "No, I came for a cat bath, not an exam," explaining my regular vet is in Suffolk County and I am only coming here for the bath.
If I had been asked for blood work when I made the appointment or a statement from my vet regarding my cat's health, I would have brought it along. I did provide my cat's Bulgarian Passport as proof of rabies shot and general good health.
He started asking me the values of the blood work quite arrogantly, and when I told him I could not remember offhand, he started questioning me further, intimating I had not had the blood work done. I told him in two years time, I have had full blood work done at least four times and partials, at least twice.
My cat has been seen by two vets here and two abroad in the last 20 months at least 50 times. (This cat was abandoned in Bulgaria by his previous owners and was out on the street for over a month during a severe winter and was very sick. He was seen by a vet almost daily for several weeks, when I first adopted him, even coming to my home when the weather was too severe to safely take the cat out. He was 100% stable (except for the rear weakness) when he entered the USA, 10 months ago.
He asked if the cat was vaccinated, and I said he has his rabies shot and nothing else, as I do not believe in vaccinations for indoor cats. He went on and on about the "what if" factors of other cats infecting him if he had to stay for a period of time at a vet's. I then mentioned, that even if my cat had surgery, I would not allow the cat to stay overnight at a vet's and furthermore, injecting a cat with renal insufficiency with potentially live viruses was not a wise choice either. Frankly, I don't like the idea of vaccinations for cats, period.
Jokingly, I said, I prefer the vets in Bulgaria (my cat's place of origin), as they do what they need to do, the owner can be present for any type of surgery or exam and they send the animal home with you, not keep them for days or weeks of ob$ervation at a vet's, charging $25 a day for aspirin in addition to the boarding fees. (Gee, I forgot to tell him they also make house calls during blizzards and do not charge for anything but actual treatment and medication.)
He then made snide remarks about the incompetence of Bulgarian veterinarians, which raised my dander, as the Bulgarian vets were the ones who saved Sasha's life a few times to begin with. They were extraordinarily competent and fast acting with no lectures.
I said, "The vets in Bulgaria were wonderful, but unfortunately, they lack advanced diagnostic equipment."
He laughed, repeating his opinion of the incompetence of vets abroad.
My head started spinning a bit as I wondered who this guy thought he was, duly remembering a large and ornate veterinarian diploma from Italy on the wall of his office.
I was becoming angrier with each moment. The vets in Bulgaria were stellar and did not do unnecessary tests to make money or charge for an exam when a cat came in for a bath.
My appointment was for a bath, not an interrogation by the Third Reich.
When he finished telling me about all the things I need done with my cat, everything I have heard a hundred times before and read online ten times that amount (i.e.: thanks, doc, but nothing new here), he asked if the cat can be bathed without sedation.
I said, "Of course and I would not allow him to be sedated for a bath under any circumstances."
He then picked up the cat, holding him under his front legs, rear legs dangling like a Raggedy Andy doll, for several minutes, stroking him and poking around his belly, with no protest from Sasha. Then the cat lay quietly on the table during the exam, with his usual expression of,
"Oh yawn..., here we go again. Another human prodding and poking. Think I'll go to sleep."
This is a completely laid back cat that is used to being handled on a twice daily basis for expressing of bladder and bowels and grooming. He continued that sedation "may still be necessary..."
I wanted to say, "Not on my watch, dear Doctor Warren!" but bit my tongue one of many times during the 20 to 30 minutes I was with this fool.
He then called in one of the vet techs (also his receptionist) and the doctor asked in front of her, "You want him bathed and shaved?" (He's a Persian cat, thus the "shave" question.)
I explained, not "shaved", but the belly area trimmed a little to reduce matting. (I comb my cat twice a day without fail and he has virtually no matting.)
The word "shaved" sent shivers through me, imagining if Sasha went in alone, the tech would have him shaved from the neck down.
I then questioned, "I can't be with him during the bath?"
He said, "No. We never allow that."
I stated, "When I originally made the appointment I was told I can be with him."
He laughed and said, "Nobody here ever told you that."
What I do know is, nobody ever told me I needed an exam prior to having the cat bathed, but I do recall asking if I could be present during his bath and was not told I could not be present.
Perhaps I misunderstood, but I would NEVER have taken my cat anywhere where I could not be with him during a bath, primarily because of his disability and secondly because I don't trust groomers to "trim". I didn't want a lion's cut as the cat drags his lower body and needs the fur to protect his skin.
Resigned, I sighed and said, "Oh well, I just wasted money on an exam for nothing," and started packing up, chalking it up to experience, but Dr. Roger Warren would not let it rest at that.
He flippantly and sarcastically did a sing-song, "Goodbye!!" and started walking away.
As I was putting my cat back in his carrier, he turned back toward me and arrogantly stated, "Well, you didn't pay for "nothing" [sic]. You learned your cat needs a sonogram," (to check the kidneys) "and additional blood work," (for the root cause of the anemia) and you could find this all online if you ever did any research." (Thanks again, doc, for this superb info...)
My blood was boiling... if this man knew the amount of time I have spent online researching everything and anything to do with my cat for the last 20 months, the four feline groups I belong to (one for anemia, one for CRF, one for disabled cats and one for Persian cats) he would have immediately apologized for his intimation of my failure to do research. An overload of information I DO have - and still digesting huge amounts of the stuff!
At this point, I was livid and just wanted to pay and get out of there.
It's times like this you wish you had had the foresight to put a microcassette player in your pocket to record the conversation. You had to be there to hear the innuendos in his mocking and deriding tones and see the expression of, "I'm going to keep pushing your buttons, lady, until they pop!"
I rebuffed by angrily saying, "I have a vet for my cat and came here for a bath, not an exam or your opinion. So, yes, it is a waste of money."
With that, he closed the exam room door as we were both raising our voices at this point, and continued lecturing me about how my money was not wasted. He just had to be right and was not quitting until I gave in. I feel sorry for his wife if he is married.
I asked him to just leave me alone and stop, but he continued barraging me with his arrogant and sarcastic line of questioning and unsolicited opinions. I put my cat back in the carrier and shaking at this point, opened the exam room door and went to the receptionist to pay, as he continued what I considered harassment at that stage.
At the receptionist's window, Dr. Warren continued blabbering, even after firmly asking him several times to, "Leave me alone," in front of his receptionist and a couple with a dog in the waiting room.
As I gave my card to the receptionist to pay for an exam, I did not want or need, under my breath to the receptionist, I again said, "What a waste."
I felt badly for the girl who was caught in the middle of this as he was pushing her to hurry up with the billing as well.
Dr. Roger Warren continued telling me how his wonderful dissemination of information regarding my cat was worth the money. He didn't seem to believe anything I had previously said to him about having a regular vet, the recent blood work or all the previous exams my cat has had. I didn't need or want his opinion! I wanted to have a professional bath for my cat, which I normally do once a month alone and was trying to give myself a break for a change!
Then he went back to the sonogram saying, "I don't even do sonograms here, so that's not for the money."
I said I have the cat scheduled for a pre-exam with my vet for an MRI (he has rear leg weakness and I would like to have a definitive diagnosis as to the prime cause) and he laughed, stating, "I don't believe you have an MRI scheduled."
I just stood there looking at him in absolute disbelief. Who does this man thinks he is to insult someone he has known less than 30 minutes and call them a liar or didn't he understand the word "pre-exam"?
We exchanged more words, but it kept getting more and more personal, until the breaking point:
Continuing to add insult to injury, he then had the audacity to say very angrily to me, "Why don't you go back to Bulgaria?"
I laughed and said, "I would love to!"
His anger piquing, he looked at his watch and said, "You know, I can have you out of here and on your way back to Bulgaria in ten minutes?!"
I looked at him aghast, and asked him, "Are you threatening me?" His voice was quite threatening.
In a state of heightened agitation and tapping at his watch, he said, "All I have to do is make one call, and you'll be out of here and on a plane back to Bulgaria in ten minutes!"
I am sorry, but I had to laugh to myself at that point, because even as I fumed, he obviously assumed I was not American and it sounded as if he was threatening to call immigration to have a born American deported or much worse, perhaps he knows some "professionals" of the more dubious sort...
His statement actually frightened me for a moment, when I thought of any other source outside of ICE having me "...back to Bulgaria in ten minutes..."
The irony is, I would love to go back to Bulgaria, so I retorted with, "If you're willing to pay for my cargo being shipped to Bulgaria and pay the plane ticket for me and my cat, by all means, do so!"
He then stated, "It might just be worth it to get you out of this country. We don't need your kind here!"
I have to note at this point that he and I are Caucasians in our 50's, so what he meant by "your kind" is a bit baffling! Unless he suspected my Jewish heritage, but we won't go there right now...
This fool continued his barrage and I bit my tongue several times because his comments were becoming more and more personal and there were other people in the waiting room. His receptionist was apologizing under her breath to me and looked embarrassed for him. I came close to punching this idiot in his face and I have the patience of a saint under most circumstances.
My preferred vet is female and I don't know why I said it, but I said, "I'll stick with my female vet from now on."
He then sarcastically asked, "Do you have a problem with men?"
My blood pressure was going through the roof, but I bit my tongue - yet again - as he was not worth arguing with. I had already decided at that point it was more fruitful to file a complaint against him for professional misconduct, but he responded to his own question and said:
"Yeah, you have a problem with men," nodding his head up and down like a bobble dog on the dashboard of a car.
He repeated triumphantly, "Yeah, that's what it is. You have a problem with men!" as he stood laughing and glowering at me.
At that point, I went numb as he hit a very sensitive button. I would have liked to reach into my bag to produce a thumb drive full of photos of black eyes and other bruises inflicted upon me by my estranged husband, who is a retired Bulgarian ambassador (just peruse this site for validation, Dr. Warren), but this insensitive bully of a man never would have believed I do not hold it against all men because of the brutality of one.
So I left the office with him assuming I am a lying, gay, illegal immigrant, I suppose.
I have never in my life run across ANY professional with such an outrageous lack of manners! I would have loved to refuse to pay, but he DID examine my cat (even though completely unnecessary) and I did not dispute payment at any time.
However, as an afterthought and calling my bank explaining in full the situation, they suggested filing a "dispute of payment", which I shall gladly do once the transaction completes, in addition to filing a complaint against Dr. Warren's horrendous lack of professionalism with New York State.
There are hundreds of other vets out there who are kind, compassionate and treat pet owners with common respect.
Think twice, think three times and unless it is an absolute life and death situation for your animal, please go elsewhere. I assume he is a competent vet, but he does not do well with the human species.
Dr. Roger Warren's complete lack of professionalism is absolutely uncalled for and a pure breach of professional conduct.
Cons: Rude, no bedside manners, etc...
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.