SC

SC Vets Up To No Good

This week an agricultural subcommittee of the “Republican-controlled” S.C. House of Representatives took up a controversial bill aimed at limiting the activities of non-profit animal rescue groups and shelters. The bill, introduced by Rep. Davey Hiott (RINO-Pickens), would basically ban non-profits from providing medical care at a reduced cost while…

This week an agricultural subcommittee of the “Republican-controlled” S.C. House of Representatives took up a controversial bill aimed at limiting the activities of non-profit animal rescue groups and shelters. The bill, introduced by Rep. Davey Hiott (RINO-Pickens), would basically ban non-profits from providing medical care at a reduced cost while limiting other care provided to animals.

Who profits from this bill? That’s easy: Veterinarians.

The South Carolina Veterinarians Association, led by one Patricia Hill of Simpsonville, S.C., has seen competition expand in the last few years for its members as a result of mobile vaccination clinics and rescue groups. The bill in question – which was allegedly drafted with little to no input from such shelters – is designed at eliminating competition.

You would think local vets would be appreciative of the thousands of animals that rescues have saved as potential vet clients, but they’re not – even though the S.C. Humane Society has made it clear it is against this bill.

What’s the bottom line here? Vets are afraid of competition … very afraid. These non-profits and municipal shelters are providing spay/neuter and vaccine services at a much lower cost then vets offer, and vets don’t like that.

Consumers on the other hand …

Anyway, the full S.C. House agriculture committee will take up this bill up at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday of this week. Of the eighteen members of the committee, we’ll find out who is a free market capitalist – i.e. who believes in competition without government intervention – and who will vote to limit economic freedom.

And if you aren’t sure what the byline is referring to, educate thyself with the iconic tune by George Clinton:

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63 comments

Suzanne May 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Large group showed up yesterday afternoon at the Blatt for a reading of it in support of the Rescues and against the Bill.

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Suzanne May 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Large group showed up yesterday afternoon at the Blatt for a reading of it in support of the Rescues and against the Bill.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

There are plenty of good vets out there but there are some really shady ones as well. I had to deal with a really sick cat last October. He was around 11 years old and, all of a sudden, he had serious balance issues. Took him to the vet several times over a couple of weeks. Shots were given, ears were flushed out, expensive food was purchased and a host of other problems were treated. They even updated all of his vaccines as he lay lethargic on the examining room table.

After well over $350 worth of bills, they finally suggested that he should be tested for kitty aids. It came out positive. That should have been the first test they ran. They knew exactly what was wrong with him from the gitgo. They gave me a break on the lethal injection.

What a pack of money grubbing assholes…

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southmauldin May 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I’m very sorry for your loss. My gf’s vet has made a fucking fortune treating her dog. They can’t diagnose anything but keep charging out the ass every time she drops that dog off.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Sounds like it’s time for her to seek a second opinion…

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Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 3:26 am

Any ethical vet will recommend testing a cat with possible exposure for FELV/FIV before pursuing any treatment. Unfortunately, as you’ve discovered, not all are ethical. I know of a similar case in which a vet treated a gunshot wound in the jaw of a cat including surgery. When the cat came to me, I asked if he’d been combo tested and immediately took him to my vet to have it done. He was positive for FIV. I’m sorry for your loss and the bad experience. I’ve tried to live, learn, and pass it on, just as you’ve done by sharing your story.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

There are plenty of good vets out there but there are some really shady ones as well. I had to deal with a really sick cat last October. He was around 11 years old and, all of a sudden, he had serious balance issues. Took him to the vet several times over a couple of weeks. Shots were given, ears were flushed out, expensive food was purchased and a host of other problems were treated. They even updated all of his vaccines as he lay lethargic on the examining room table.

After well over $350 worth of bills, they finally suggested that he should be tested for kitty aids. It came out positive. That should have been the first test they ran. They knew exactly what was wrong with him from the gitgo. They gave me a break on the lethal injection.

What a pack of money grubbing assholes…

Reply
southmauldin May 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I’m very sorry for your loss. My gf’s vet has made a fucking fortune treating her dog. They can’t diagnose anything but keep charging out the ass every time she drops that dog off.

Reply
2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Sounds like it’s time for her to seek a second opinion…

Reply
Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 3:26 am

Any ethical vet will recommend testing a cat with possible exposure for FELV/FIV before pursuing any treatment. Unfortunately, as you’ve discovered, not all are ethical. I know of a similar case in which a vet treated a gunshot wound in the jaw of a cat including surgery. When the cat came to me, I asked if he’d been combo tested and immediately took him to my vet to have it done. He was positive for FIV. I’m sorry for your loss and the bad experience. I’ve tried to live, learn, and pass it on, just as you’ve done by sharing your story.

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Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm

There has to be some middle ground. I agree that the shelters should be able to do certain procedures, but I have problems with them doing anything “major”. Things that require the dog to be put under to do. That said, I think the vets are just upset that they’re bottom line is affected more so than looking out for what’s best for the animal. I don’t expect their services to be free, but there are certain procedures like shots and providing deworming medication that can be provided by trained personnel at a shelter.

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Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 3:41 am

The shelters that offer spay/neuter surgery have licensed vets on staff and trained techs. Some even have the same monitoring equipment as a regular vet’s surgical suite. The biggest difference is the number of pets that they alter which may create a more conducive environment for post-surgical issues. For that reason, I will continue to pay a higher price as insurance for my own animals’ health and well-being. However, providing low cost options for people to alter their pets is the foundation for reducing the homeless pet population. We kill over 14,000 cats and dogs every year in Richland and Lexington counties alone so I fully support shelters’ ability to spay and neuter cats and dogs. There is no other way to reduce that number as quickly.

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Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm

There has to be some middle ground. I agree that the shelters should be able to do certain procedures, but I have problems with them doing anything “major”. Things that require the dog to be put under to do. That said, I think the vets are just upset that they’re bottom line is affected more so than looking out for what’s best for the animal. I don’t expect their services to be free, but there are certain procedures like shots and providing deworming medication that can be provided by trained personnel at a shelter.

Reply
Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 3:41 am

The shelters that offer spay/neuter surgery have licensed vets on staff and trained techs. Some even have the same monitoring equipment as a regular vet’s surgical suite. The biggest difference is the number of pets that they alter which may create a more conducive environment for post-surgical issues. For that reason, I will continue to pay a higher price as insurance for my own animals’ health and well-being. However, providing low cost options for people to alter their pets is the foundation for reducing the homeless pet population. We kill over 14,000 cats and dogs every year in Richland and Lexington counties alone so I fully support shelters’ ability to spay and neuter cats and dogs. There is no other way to reduce that number as quickly.

Reply
Steve May 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Not too sure there is a level playing field here. Vets pay property taxes, business licenses, etc. plus have to follow vet medical guidelines while the clinics do only some or none of the above. There is another side to the story that may be worth investigating.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Nonsense. I do business with these low cost “clinics.” They are liable for as many bills, fees, and licenses as any vet’s office is responsible for. They are able to charge less because of the volume they do. Always a licensed vet on hand.

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Steve May 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Not too sure there is a level playing field here. Vets pay property taxes, business licenses, etc. plus have to follow vet medical guidelines while the clinics do only some or none of the above. There is another side to the story that may be worth investigating.

Reply
2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Nonsense. I do business with these low cost “clinics.” They are liable for as many bills, fees, and licenses as any vet’s office is responsible for. They are able to charge less because of the volume they do. Always a licensed vet on hand.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Here we go again…

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Here we go again…

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not a vet...but a veteran May 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

If Vets have to pay the taxes, so should the shelters. You wouldn’t want a food truck parked right outside your restaraunt that doesnt have to go through the same requirments restaraunts do. These “shelters” are doing the same thing with their mobile trucks except they dont have to pay any taxes on products they buy. Pawmetto lifeline is govt funded as well…getting grants of $1m plus from govt & then turning a huge profit & not paying any taxes. The Mungo’s aren’t idiots…they are making a killing off the taxpayers and ruining the free market. Their prices aren’t that cheaper either!

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

What retailer has to pay “taxes on products they buy?” Sales tax is paid by the end user. What I am getting here from the defenders of this BS legislation is a huge concern for the business operator and little, if any, concern for the animals in need of convenient and economical care.

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not a vet...but a veteran May 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

12-36-110 section l…veterinarians are the end user. So if the buy $100k in lab equipment or a $5 leash they intend to resale…they pay taxes. Not equal playing field for competition. Especially when shelters get free grant money to operate. When a shelter turns a multi million dollar profit…there is something wrong with this picture. 501C status shouldn’t protect the Mungo’s

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FortheloveofDogs May 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

What’s your beef with the Mungos? They donate thousands of dollars to rescue every year. Are you donating the same percentage of your salary to save animals? Also, vets charge insanely higher prices so rest assured the customer is paying the tax.

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Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

They probably built his house and put the wrong doorknobs on his house.

Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

The way I understand your example above, the vet would pay sales tax on the purchase of the lab equipment because he or she is the end user. However, the vet purchases the leash wholesale and doesn’t pay sales tax on the purchase. The leash is resold at retail so the consumer pays the sales tax, it’s just collected by the vet and forwarded to the state.

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not a vet May 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

Read the state sales tax code…vet is end user no matter what. Vets cannot be issued a resale certificate st8a form from scdor.

not a vet May 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

Read the state sales tax code…vet is end user no matter what. Vets cannot be issued a resale certificate st8a form from scdor.

Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I’m all for non-profits having to pay property taxes… let’s start with churches.

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nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I worked for a vet (20 years ago) and he did not have to pay SC sales tax on any meds that he bought for re-sale.

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Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:11 am

Restaurants often purchase emergency supplies at grocery stores and it’s a tax-exempt/wholesale transaction too.

Reply
not a vet May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

No one pays sales tax on groceries…that is exempt from sales tax in sc

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not a vet...but a veteran May 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

If Vets have to pay the taxes, so should the shelters. You wouldn’t want a food truck parked right outside your restaraunt that doesnt have to go through the same requirments restaraunts do. These “shelters” are doing the same thing with their mobile trucks except they dont have to pay any taxes on products they buy. Pawmetto lifeline is govt funded as well…getting grants of $1m plus from govt & then turning a huge profit & not paying any taxes. The Mungo’s aren’t idiots…they are making a killing off the taxpayers and ruining the free market. Their prices aren’t that cheaper either!

Reply
2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

What retailer has to pay “taxes on products they buy?” Sales tax is paid by the end user. What I am getting here from the defenders of this BS legislation is a huge concern for the business operator and little, if any, concern for the animals in need of convenient and economical care.

Reply
not a vet...but a veteran May 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

12-36-110 section l…veterinarians are the end user. So if the buy $100k in lab equipment or a $5 leash they intend to resale…they pay taxes. Not equal playing field for competition. Especially when shelters get free grant money to operate. When a shelter turns a multi million dollar profit…there is something wrong with this picture. 501C status shouldn’t protect the Mungo’s

Reply
FortheloveofDogs May 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

What’s your beef with the Mungos? They donate thousands of dollars to rescue every year. Are you donating the same percentage of your salary to save animals? Also, vets charge insanely higher prices so rest assured the customer is paying the tax.

Reply
Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

They probably built his house and put the wrong doorknobs on his house.

Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

The way I understand your example above, the vet would pay sales tax on the purchase of the lab equipment because he or she is the end user. However, the vet purchases the leash wholesale and doesn’t pay sales tax on the purchase. The leash is resold at retail so the consumer pays the sales tax, it’s just collected by the vet and forwarded to the state.

Reply
not a vet May 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

Read the state sales tax code…vet is end user no matter what. Vets cannot be issued a resale certificate st8a form from scdor.

Squishy123 May 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I’m all for non-profits having to pay property taxes… let’s start with churches.

Reply
nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I worked for a vet (20 years ago) and he did not have to pay SC sales tax on any meds that he bought for re-sale.

Reply
Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:11 am

Restaurants often purchase emergency supplies at grocery stores and it’s a tax-exempt/wholesale transaction too.

Reply
not a vet May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

No one pays sales tax on groceries…that is exempt from sales tax in sc

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

On the one hand, there’s no reason to stop animal shelters from giving basic care. On the other hand, what limits are there to what they can do? Do they have to have an actual trained veterinarian to give advanced care? Do they follow the same guidelines as other veterinarians?

To put this on human terms, we shouldn’t ban clinics that help the poor, but we shouldn’t open up health care to just any old quack doctor either. The industry exists to promote health, not someone’s bottom line, and not a system that has no checks in place.

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Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:04 am

Your question about limits as to what they can do is a good one…I’m not sure, but as for any other procedures, there are already specialty clinics out there so there’s really not much of a demand for the shelters and clinics to expand their service offering. Assuming we’re talking about a legitimate facility, spay/neuter surgeries at a shelter or clinic are performed by a licensed vet and they do meet the same requirements as a “regular vet”, though they may not follow the same procedures, use the same anesthesia or supplies, or have the same equipment for patient monitoring. Vaccinations at the mobile clinics are usually given by a very brave and efficient vet (any that aren’t, won’t last) who I hope is well compensated. I think vaccinations can be given by a tech with a vet on premises.

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Smirks May 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

On the one hand, there’s no reason to stop animal shelters from giving basic care. On the other hand, what limits are there to what they can do? Do they have to have an actual trained veterinarian to give advanced care? Do they follow the same guidelines as other veterinarians?

To put this on human terms, we shouldn’t ban clinics that help the poor, but we shouldn’t open up health care to just any old quack doctor either. The industry exists to promote health, not someone’s bottom line, and not a system that has no checks in place.

Reply
Michelle Smith Unroe May 23, 2013 at 4:04 am

Your question about limits as to what they can do is a good one…I’m not sure, but as for any other procedures, there are already specialty clinics out there so there’s really not much of a demand for the shelters and clinics to expand their service offering. Assuming we’re talking about a legitimate facility, spay/neuter surgeries at a shelter or clinic are performed by a licensed vet and they do meet the same requirements as a “regular vet”, though they may not follow the same procedures, use the same anesthesia or supplies, or have the same equipment for patient monitoring. Vaccinations at the mobile clinics are usually given by a very brave and efficient vet (any that aren’t, won’t last) who I hope is well compensated. I think vaccinations can be given by a tech with a vet on premises.

Reply
JJ Evans May 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I needed to get my cat a flea treatment. The vet said before I could buy it from him he would need to do a full exam on the cat (exam would cost $50). I bought the flea treatment elsewhere.

Reply
nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm

My ex-vet told me that having pets was a “luxury”.
Seems like, if vets were smart, they would catch on that they may have to change their ways, particularly in a time of economic stress.
They could have a “shot day” a day or two a month and give shots with no exam. That’s what the mobile clinic does when it comes to my town. They don’t do spay/neuters, just shots & heartworm checks and meds
Office vets can’t seem to get the concept of volume.
They could steal the business back from the mobiles if they thought about it.

Reply
JJ Evans May 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I needed to get my cat a flea treatment. The vet said before I could buy it from him he would need to do a full exam on the cat (exam would cost $50). I bought the flea treatment elsewhere.

Reply
nitrat May 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm

My ex-vet told me that having pets was a “luxury”.
Seems like, if vets were smart, they would catch on that they may have to change their ways, particularly in a time of economic stress.
They could have a “shot day” a day or two a month and give shots with no exam. That’s what the mobile clinic does when it comes to my town. They don’t do spay/neuters, just shots & heartworm checks and meds
Office vets can’t seem to get the concept of volume.
They could steal the business back from the mobiles if they thought about it.

Reply
FortheloveofDogs May 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

The only ones that will be left suffering from this will be the animals. People who can’t afford regular vet costs will not go and many will be left to die in shelters because rescue is unavailable. It will be a very sad day in SC if this bill passes committee and full house votes.

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FortheloveofDogs May 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

The only ones that will be left suffering from this will be the animals. People who can’t afford regular vet costs will not go and many will be left to die in shelters because rescue is unavailable. It will be a very sad day in SC if this bill passes committee and full house votes.

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Bill Clinton May 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Talk about interfering in the free market!

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Bill Clinton May 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Talk about interfering in the free market!

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Jj May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

You’re neglecting to mention that these non profits 98% of the time receive taxpayer funding in one matter or another. Thus, the private vets are competing against government supported “non-profits”, while the non-profits administrators here make over 120,000/year….which is why they are able to provide these services at such a discount, they pay no taxes, receive government funding and have limited overhead that a regular vet doesn’t have. It’s not a competition question. You’re missing the big picture.

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2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Lots of these organizations depend upon private funding and donations. I think they do a great job providing services to folks who can’t afford expensive private vets. What would you do? End this altogether and have thousands of unwanted, starving animals wandering around the countryside and in your neighborhood?

I went through the rabies series shots about 25 years ago. If you want to see a case where government works really well go out and get bitten by a stray animal. I reported the incident to the Charleston County Health Dept. and was inundated with calls from public health doctors from all over the state who explained to me what I needed to do and how soon it needed to be done. And…OMG!…the treatment was FREE!

You end these programs and you will face other costs that will far exceed the cost of affordable preventive medicine for pets.

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Jj May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

You’re neglecting to mention that these non profits 98% of the time receive taxpayer funding in one matter or another. Thus, the private vets are competing against government supported “non-profits”, while the non-profits administrators here make over 120,000/year….which is why they are able to provide these services at such a discount, they pay no taxes, receive government funding and have limited overhead that a regular vet doesn’t have. It’s not a competition question. You’re missing the big picture.

Reply
2big2fall May 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Lots of these organizations depend upon private funding and donations. I think they do a great job providing services to folks who can’t afford expensive private vets. What would you do? End this altogether and have thousands of unwanted, starving animals wandering around the countryside and in your neighborhood?

I went through the rabies series shots about 25 years ago. If you want to see a case where government works really well go out and get bitten by a stray animal. I reported the incident to the Charleston County Health Dept. and was inundated with calls from public health doctors from all over the state who explained to me what I needed to do and how soon it needed to be done. And…OMG!…the treatment was FREE!

You end these programs and you will face other costs that will far exceed the cost of affordable preventive medicine for pets.

Reply
Bill Sherman May 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

We took in a stray cat last Fall and She receives excellent care at a shelter in Murrells Inlet. at a much lower charge than our other Vet.This does seem to be a State wide issue

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Bill Sherman May 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

We took in a stray cat last Fall and She receives excellent care at a shelter in Murrells Inlet. at a much lower charge than our other Vet.This does seem to be a State wide issue

Reply
loisdeboid May 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

If vets can do this, then maybe doctors who face “competition” from free clinics need a bill, also. Probably (and I hope) the most these vets will get is an influx of new customers who stiff them on the bills. And what are the vets going to do about the influx of sick and/or surrendered pets at the shelters and rescues they just screwed? Probably fly to a beach in the Bahamas and sip expensive cocktails.

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loisdeboid May 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

If vets can do this, then maybe doctors who face “competition” from free clinics need a bill, also. Probably (and I hope) the most these vets will get is an influx of new customers who stiff them on the bills. And what are the vets going to do about the influx of sick and/or surrendered pets at the shelters and rescues they just screwed? Probably fly to a beach in the Bahamas and sip expensive cocktails.

Reply

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