Many Great Veterinarians Terminated On Trumped UP Charges by Banfield
Hello! My name is Dr Richard Kelleher. I have heard about your experience with "the devil," Banfield. We share the same client, Jerry Tuccillo who owns "Scooch" who I have cared for for many years. When he moved to CT, he contacted me to let me know how pleased he was with your care and that you are an excellent vet. I was terminated from Banfield two months ago (after 12 tears of service) because I was a few minutes late a few times. I do see how the company has changed since Mars took over. They are ONLY concerned about sales. I know for a fact that I was let go because I was not a high producer. As we become more experienced, we don't need to run every unnecessary test and have the ability to treat based on experience. Unfortunately for them, it does not generate dollars, but it DOES generate client loyalty. I guess a candy company is unable to see that advantage. I am aware of a neuro specialist who applied at Banfield and she told me that there wasn't even a DVM present at the interview. She was appalled! This company has strayed so far from its original vision that I am actually worried about the pet care that occurs there. I have witnessed pets on fluids all day, standing in their own urine because they keep para hours so low that hospitalized pets do not get their proper care! It is sickening and not what our profession represents! I applaud you for your perseverance and cannot believe that they had you taken off for psychiatric evaluation. Your stance for animal welfare and avoiding over vaccination is outstanding and I truly believe that all pets in your hospital should have titers performed. As much as they preach "evidence based" medicine, this is the perfect opportunity to follow their standards. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not recognize disease in their pets and yearly vaccines are the only "ploy" to get them in so that we are able to protect their pets. We have dedicated our lives to protect and care for God's creatures. Why must they make it so difficult or us do to what is right????? It's just baffling! I know that Vet medicine and business go hand in hand, but I don't believe that any of us got in this profession to become
rich. We just want to do what is right and provide a useful service to our community.
As for me....I am still unemployed in the West Palm Beach area. Not many job opportunities here right now. I recently received a letter from unemployment that Banfield is appealing my claims on the basis of misconduct. They have absolute unfounded accusations that I have used my iPad DURING surgery. I have used it for music, but have never broken sterility. I was told that iPhones are OK, but iPads are forbidden. Today, I sent an email to my medical director and the regional VP and MD requesting proof and testimony to substantiate their claims. They are trying to screw me and get me to pay back the unemployment that I have received. I find it very disheartening that I have dedicated my life to pet care, only to be harassed by a candy company. I still have faith in our profession, but it is up to people like us (those that truly care about the pets welfare) to make it known that many of us still
care. I do realize that many vets out there are just out for the money or just give Depo injections to mask the problems. How do we fight to give our profession the respect that we deserve? Right now, it can only be the few good people like ourselves to make a difference. I certainly support your cause and will offer to support you in any way. As far as the vaccine "protocol" goes.....what is the difference in you protecting susceptible pets vs Banfield's decision to NOT vaccinate indoor cats for FELV? Do they recognize the risk of fibrosarcoma and just not admit it? I am so frustrated with the direction this company has taken, but truly worry that the pet care is not there and that they will eventually create a scar on our profession as more and more pets get inadequate care.
I want to thank you for your continued excellent care of Scooch. I spoke with Jerry for 2 hours tonight and he is at a complete loss as to where to find good veterinary care. He truly misses you and is upset with what corporate has done those of us who actually perform quality medicine. He will NOT be renewing his wellness plan. I will remain in touch with him to assure Scooch is doing well. There are few available jobs down here. If you know of any reliable places or hear of any good places of employment, I would greatly appreciate a heads up. I'd certainly love to remain in Florida because I have so many clients waiting to find me that I may reconnect with their beloved children. After 12 years in the same location, I have watched and connected with many pets as they grow into their old age. But, relocation has not been ruled out.
I will support any cause that you choose to discourage people from Banfield. As a large corporation, care must be taken to not slander anyone, but I am not comfortable knowing people place their trust in Banfield's care and don't even realize that their pet is not getting what they pay for. I am still friends with some of the doctors/nurses there. As I understand right now, PCA's (pet care assistants) are monitoring anesthesia without any training or even completing their BLC's. It is a disgrace!
I do feel that my termination has alleviated a lot of stress in my life, but unemployment right now is not fun either. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I support you and am happy to see that someone out there is standing up for their own rights as well as the safety of our beloved pet population. I wish you the best of luck! You can always contact me at this email as well as my cell (561-512-9698). Please let me know if you need anything. You are welcome to share this letter, I just ask that my name and personal info be deleted. At this time, I have an unemployment battle to fight. I also have very much documented regarding other violations that have occurred in the hospital. I feel the time is coming soon to alert the upper management what is truly going on in the S. Florida market.
Respectfully and sincerely,
Dr Richard S Kelleher