Bradshaw Animal Hospital

Weird Experience Neutering Our Kitten at Bradshaw Animal Hospital

Bradshaw Animal HospitalBradshaw Animal Hospital was not my first choice of a place to get our ragdoll kitty neutered, but I recalled the SSPCA worked closely with Bradshaw Animal Hospital during my short stint in 2003 at the SSPCA. Ha, I bet most of my regular readers do not know that I once worked briefly as the Marketing Manager at the Sacramento SPCA. At the same time that I reactivated my California real estate license. I considered it volunteer work, although to be honest, the SSPCA did pay me.

I had just moved to Sacramento, wondering what I would like to do. Nonprofit + animals = feel good purpose. But I was wrong. The culture at the SSPCA was not a good match for my personality and, besides, real estate is my first love. So, I resigned after a few months. The woman I reported to kept trying to supervise. You know, telling me what to do. Criminy. Her efforts didn’t go over so well. Too many personal agendas there.

Further, animals are my passion, and realizing so many are killed at the SSPCA was heartbreaking. You have to be a certain kind of person to work in that environment. Thank goodness there are people who can excel under those circumstances because god knows we need the SSPCA.

But my point is that Bradshaw Animal Hospital enjoyed a good reputation with the folks at the SSPCA. When my own vet at River City Cat Clinic could not give me an appointment sooner than 30 days out to neuter our new kitten, I turned to Bradshaw Animal Hospital. The entire experience was fairly weird. Maybe I have higher expectations of customer service, since I strive so hard myself to deliver for my real estate clients, I dunno.

First, when I made the appointment for last Tuesday, the appointment person told me not to feed our kitty any food after 8 AM that morning. I thought, hmmm, it’s been probably 30 years since I’ve neutered a kitten. All of our kittens over the years have come to us altered. Maybe times have changed. I thought it was 8 to 10 hours on an empty stomach but that’s not what she said. She also told me I could drop him off at 10:30 AM and pick him up at 3 PM.

The night before, Bradshaw Animal Hospital called to confirm my appointment. They reminded me not to feed him after 10 PM that night. What? Which was it? 8 AM the morning of or 10 PM the night before? Turned out it was definitely the night before, so the person who gave me all of that initial information was completely wrong. That’s dangerous.

When I dropped off our new kitten, Ziggy, on Tuesday morning, I met with the doctor. The doctor then informed me I could not pick up at 3 PM because the surgery would happen then. She said they always keep him overnight. Wow, that was another screw up. OK, he could stay. The doctor also promised to call me right after the surgery to tell me he was all right. It might be as late as 7 PM, she warned. She didn’t call until 9:30 PM. Past my bedtime. But that’s explainable because Bradshaw Animal Hospital is a 24-hour emergency clinic. Emergencies crop up all the time. Couldn’t they ask a clerk to call, though?

After stopping at Hampton Station in south Sacramento to attach a lockbox and get listing paperwork signed yesterday, I noticed I had a spare hour. That should be enough time, I figured, to pick up Ziggy from Bradshaw and get home to Land Park to meet my team members for our lunch date. I raced to Bradshaw Animal Hospital. I even called the front desk from my car to ask that they prepare Ziggy for departure and to warn in advance that I was in a time crunch and would arrive in 5 minutes.

That turned out to be a pointless gesture and request. The front desk clerk just said great, hung up and ignored the fact I ever called. When I arrived, people swarmed the front desk. After waiting 10 minutes for a person to take my payment for services rendered, I let her know again that I was in a time crunch and only had a couple more minutes to wait. Could they please put a rush on bringing my kitty? That request fell on deaf ears.

Yup, I watched the time slip away, tick, tick, tick and figured by now my team members were standing in my driveway. Oy. I considered leaving and coming back after lunch but devoting another 90 minutes to this venture seemed like a stupid idea. Finally, after another 10 minutes passed, a person appeared with Ziggy in the carrier. I grabbed the carrier, thanked her and as I headed for the door, I heard her sputtering, I need to go over with you . . . Can’t, you guys, no time. How many times must I say it? It took me 30 minutes just to get our kitten.

Nobody listened. Nobody cared. Humans make no difference. The communication was terrible. But they probably did a good job neutering our kitten. When you perform the same procedure over and over, you become a pro. Perhaps I simply expect too much from customer service in an environment that doesn’t value the same thing.

When your pet is sick or injured, you put up with bad customer service, maybe even don’t mind. Your pet comes first. You come second.

But I could have gone anywhere in Sacramento to pay for neutering and a microchip.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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