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Thu, Oct 11 | By Matt Van Hoven | 309

A dog named Pilot was rescued after being held hostage for two weeks – by his vet. Dr. Garry Innocent threatened to have the puppy surrendered to Gwinnett County Animal Control in Georgia if his owner didn't pay an outstanding medical bill.… more ›

Good Samaritan Saves Dog From Vet
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Bandana
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Bandana
5 years ago

I hope to heck Georgia gets with the times and changes this law. There's got to be some way to set up a payment plan and use some other type of collateral. To me, that would be like a pediatrician keeping my baby if I couldn't pay the bill all at one time. The Good Samaritan that came to Mr. Gomez and Pilot's rescue is awesome.

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Shannon J.
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Shannon J.
5 years ago

They should have been able to make a payment arangement to work out the debt and let the dog go home.

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HSBarron
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HSBarron
5 years ago

Totally torn on this one. It's so hard to enforce people to pay bills these days if you don't make them pay up front, but making that bill increase at such a high rate and holding their animal isn't right either.

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deb a.
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deb a.
5 years ago

I have been told in my vet tech classes that a vets office is a business and they have to survive so in one sence I understand, but our lab got parvo as a puppy, it cost me $2500.00 to save him, with parvo that is not always the outcome, my vet set up a payment plan, sounds like a honest young person he went to pay, the vet should have meant him half way. Thanks to the good samaritan

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Stephanie G.
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Stephanie G.
6 years ago

What a horrible VET, thank God for the kindness the woman offered. I hope the bad publicity hurt that Vets business!!

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Karoline
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Karoline
6 years ago

How disgusting that the vet would extort money from a client! I hope he's lost his license to work with animals, he clearly doesn't have their interest in mind. Kudos to the person who paid the bill though!

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Sshughes
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Sshughes
6 years ago

That is just horrible. I know there are costs to keeping up with a pet and that is why the rate kept rising, but if the vet's office could have worked out a payment plan with the owner and let him take him things would have been much easier done.

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Barbara K.
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Barbara K.
6 years ago

That vet should lose his license. That is not ethical....and he kept charging more money for boarding! We have civil courts for this kind of dispute.

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Stephanie C.
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Stephanie C.
6 years ago

That was a little harsh, I mean, I'm sure that they could have discussed payment plans like hospitals do with people who have large bills. That was a little extreme.

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Marissa L.
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Marissa L.
6 years ago

What a wonderful person!!! I wish everyone could do something so good.

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JoAnne B.
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JoAnne B.
6 years ago

Gives new meaning to good samaritan.

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Jwunderle
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Jwunderle
6 years ago

What was the initial bill? Unfortunately, the mounting healthcare costs for animals can be difficult to pay, just like for humans. Special consideration/time to complete payment rather than additional boarding costs could be a better option in many cases.

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Cindi K.
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Cindi K.
6 years ago

the dog should not have been held until payment made. He should have set up a payment plan. Not my kind of a vet for sure

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MzTee
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MzTee
6 years ago

I can't imagine holding the dog hostage like that. Sounds almost like another way to make more money. Wonder why he didn't just take the money the man first offered and allow him to pay the rest on a payment plan!!!

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Diann S.
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Diann S.
6 years ago

It's the same as holding someone hostage-change the law.

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FREDINA S.
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FREDINA S.
6 years ago

I think that the hostage of animals should be prohibited, but the bill should be payed in not too long of time. The vet was wrong in holding him there.

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Penelope P.
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Penelope P.
6 years ago

they should change the law. The pets need to be with the people who love them.

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Julie Kay S.
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Julie Kay S.
6 years ago

That vet's name -- Innocent -- sure doesn't fit him! Thank God for the lady guardian angel! What kind of costs could treating a case of parvo have racked up that couldn't have been paid in a couple of payments? Holding the dog hostage should get that vet a lot less customers! Outrageous! Poor dog; poor owner (literally and sympathetically).

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sal r.
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sal r.
6 years ago

i think that things could have been worked out a little better than to hold the dog hostage

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Pam
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Pam
6 years ago

I'm happy to hear that a complete stranger came to his rescue. It's great to know that there are still some loving souls out there. I think that vet is alittle to money hungry. The vet should have been able to work out some sort of payment option. But then again the greed took over and he seen more dollar signs if he kept him longer.

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Mom W.
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Mom W.
6 years ago


when the vet told him the price he should have called him when he realized that the bill was going to be higher than expected. If mechanics can do it with a car than a vet can do it with a pet.

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Punkinhead
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Punkinhead
6 years ago

hmm...tough call here...the vet just wanted his money...but perhaps a better solution would have been to work out a payment plan instead of holding an innocent animal hostage (which cost the vet even more money had they not been able to finally pay).

i'd never go to this vet though...hopefully his other clients see how unreasonable he is and stop going too.

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Cindy M.
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Cindy M.
6 years ago

Tell me what good would it have done to kill the dog? Why not release the dog and take other action to claim money owed. This practice should be shut down. This vet should not be allowed around animals nor humans for that matter.

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Sandra F.
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Sandra F.
6 years ago

I don't think the vet cares a hoot about animals. I would never take my pets there. He could have at least waived some of the cost knowing that this dog would be going to a good HOME! Thumbs down to the vet! Thumbs up for Gomez!

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Mary P.
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Mary P.
6 years ago

I think the doctor was a little hasty to hold the dog for 10 days & then plan on turning him over to animal control. I agree payment arrangements should have been discussed first & if the owner consented & then didn't have the cash then take him to court. Holding the animal wasn't right.

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Linda W.
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Linda W.
6 years ago

Whether the doctor was being reasonable or not depends on whether the owner is dependable in paying his bills. It would seem they could have made some arrangement for payment.

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KRISANN
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KRISANN
6 years ago

The law is outdated and I would get a new vet.

Why add more money to the bill - not logical at all.

The vet should have set up a payment plan with the owner.

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EddieP
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EddieP
6 years ago

How did the vet think charging boarding fees was going to help? He should have worked out a payment plan with the owner. Now all he got was a lot of bad press.

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b s.
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b s.
6 years ago

A law that needs to be changed. It also sounds like he should get a new vet, because this one seems to be only interested in making money.

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Lyn (Madelyn) H.
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Lyn (Madelyn) H.
6 years ago

I think Vets need to explain more clearly up front what the cost of each item will be and be willing to do a payment plan when the cost is very high.

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Jamie
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Jamie
6 years ago

I think the vet should have tried to work something out with the owner, instead of adding additional fees. Thats nuts. If I heard this on the news and used this vet, I would be changing vets. But am glad it worked out.

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Sandeecbell
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Sandeecbell
6 years ago

My vet lets me pay it out if I need to. But then again, I've known my vet for 15 years.

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christa  a.
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christa a.
6 years ago

I understand that the vet needs to make a living but at what point does it stop? If they were going to hold the dog they could have at least not added to the bill while the kid was trying to get money.

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Litlroo4737m
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Litlroo4737m
6 years ago

It sounds like the vet was not up front about how much the bill was going to be in the first place. Glad there was some one there to help Josh out.

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collyn f.
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collyn f.
6 years ago

this is an amazing story glad he got the dog back!!!! the vet is a jerk

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linda s.
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linda s.
6 years ago

This vet is an idiot, ever heard of payments? Obviously this guy care about his dog.

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Dmat56
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Dmat56
6 years ago

There are a lot of people who can't pay their own hospital bills, they don't keep them in until they pay. I think the doctor should have made some kind of payment plan with the owner. And the owner should have been given some estimate of the cost. I always get one.

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Michelle R.
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Michelle R.
6 years ago

Not everyone has enough money to pay for expensive things like this but I think they should at least give options like pay pal.

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Diane H.
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Diane H.
6 years ago

I can understand holding the animal until the bill is paid, but to continue to rack up charges on someone that can't pay the bill in the first place????? I don't know about that one! I think they should amend the law and not be able to charge more after the bill is submitted.

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Beth s.
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Beth s.
6 years ago

I dont think the vet had a right to hold the dog. He most not of truely loved animals because he would of thought of the dog and how it must of missed its owner. they could of worked out a way to pay it. The dog could of been a HUGE part of his family, like if he had a kid that need the dog to sleep or something. or if that was the only friend the man had. ANIMALS are EVERYTHING to somepeople. This should of never happened.

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Darlene S.
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Darlene S.
6 years ago

Did the Vet offer a payment plan? I would hope they would in this situation to save the dog from disaster.

Thumbs up to the samaritan that stepped forward to help. I understand the vet deserves to be paid just like any other service but to just surrender him and we probably know what that means
is unacceptable until all avenues have failed.

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Jess w.
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Jess w.
6 years ago

Maybe they could have thought of a payment plan...or something.?

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Eddie
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Eddie
6 years ago

There';s two sides to every story, but I think the vet should have made more of an effort and should not have held this dog for ransom.

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Karen C.
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Karen C.
6 years ago

I definitely think the law should be changed. The vet was just trying to scam more money by keeping the dog and charging boarding fees which the vet knew the owner wasn't able to pay!! How about payment arrangements???

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Gene M.
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Gene M.
6 years ago

Hey, the vet has bills to pay too. Maybe if an offer of making payments were made, this might not have happened

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renee a.
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renee a.
6 years ago

Being working in the pet profession.I seen alot and heard alot.Not knowing the whole story.But in most cases the vet will work out something in payments.I know the vet I help out sometimes still has people who owes them money for over a couple of years.Anyone that has a pet sould have their pets checked out by a vet and start shots at 6 wks of age.Then follow up on boosters. Accidents happen where money might not be avaliable at the time.But if they are a good vet they take care that pet no matter what.But some people out there get pets and don;t care for them as needed. Although people have kids that can;t afford them either.But there is people in professions that souldn;t be I agree.

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Pam
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Pam
6 years ago

This is just one more reason that these days, I feel vets are way out of line in terms of their charges and their compassion. Not all, but many are just in it for the money and that saddens me. He could have worked with the guy. I mean really, have a heart!

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Mickey S.
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Mickey S.
6 years ago

Dr. Innocent - you suck!!!! How could this man or woman become a vet without having a heart and compassion for these animals and their families. Carol Diamantis, you are an angel! We need more people who care like you and more who love animals who love us unconditionally!

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Alana S.
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Alana S.
6 years ago

Its hard to believe that a vet would do that???< mostly there in ifor the love of animals an dnot money, so there maybe more to this story than we have here??

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Robin T.
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Robin T.
6 years ago

Dr Innocent? Sounds like Dr. Greedy to me. Great way to make more money, by keeping the dog and charging kennel fees. If Gomez didn't pay the bill, the vet could always sue. But holding a pet hostage?
Archaic! What's next? Holding our children hostage when we can't pay the hospital bill? I wonder if he's ever heard of a payment plan.

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