*** CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP HAS RUINED THIS PLACE! ***
When I first started going to Austin Veterinary Hospital, I was extremely impressed by Dr Besch (the former owner) and Dr Schaubert. Both women were - and still are - fabulous vets, and I have nothing but praise for them and the treatment my pets received in their care. I particularly liked Dr Besch, and her direct, ""no nonsense"" manner, because it was obvious she became a vet because she loved animals, and not for love of a quick buck. Indeed, on one occasion, when one of my cats had a urinary tract infection, she didn't think it was necessary to send her home with antibiotics. This impressed me because far too many vets will try to get you to agree to unnecessary procedures and medications (I'm taking about you, ""Austin Vet Care"" on North Lamar!).
Unfortunately, Dr Besch, who must be approaching retirement age, recently sold her clinic to Dr Thomas Palvino, whom I disliked immediately when I first met him. He has a very smarmy, patronising air and I felt that he talked to me as if I were simple-minded just because I happen to be female. His smooth attitude cannot hide the fact that he is far more interested in the dollar signs flashing before his eyes than taking care of animals. Whenever I asked him to write a prescription for heartworm medication for my pets, he seemed annoyed and tried to convince me that the clinic's prices were just as cheap as going online to buy (not true by a long shot!).
Despite these minor grievances, I didn't really have much to say about Palvino other than I just didn't take to him, and that I was made uneasy by his overly business-minded attitude, and the expensive changes made to the practice, which will, of course, be passed on to the customers (e.g. a flashy new website - with professional employee photographs - business cards, and sign). After my experience today with ""Austin Veterinary Hospital"", however, I, and my husband's eight pets, will certainly not be returning.
To cut a long story short, Dr Palvino stubbornly refused to accept a post-dated check (for under $200) for the emergency treatment of my cat. Worse still, he insulted me by suggesting me that I had brought my cat to their practice today ""expecting not to pay"". I could hardly believe what I was hearing given that I have been a good customer and have always paid my bills in a timely fashion (within a month at the very, very latest...usually within two weeks).
I understand that veterinary practices are in no way legally required to accept post-dated checks, and that vets only do so out of the goodness of their own hearts. However, I have been a loyal customer of this practice for quite a while now, and, indeed, I am practically a permanent fixture there because I have so many pets, most of them strays from the Eastside. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I'm there nearly every few weeks for one reason or another.
Most vets would love to have a client like me because I am a responsible pet owner who keeps her cats and dogs up-to-date on shots and will seek out treatment for them at the first sign of illness. As I am a sucker who lives in an area over-populated with stray cats, I constantly find new strays who need medical attention. I have spent a LOT of money at ""Austin Veterinary Hospital"", and intended to keep taking my pets there, so I thought that my custom would be valued.
It would appear, however, that it is not, and that Dr Palvino feels it is OK to insult pet owners who are not rich and privileged. Palvino is so focused on money that the employee discount he offers to his lovely, hard-working vet techs is so paltry that they are forced to get their animals spayed/neutered at Emancipet (I was shocked to learn this on a recent visit!).
Pros: Dr Besch & Dr Schaubert
Cons: Dr Palvino