Many pet owners who have been affected by the pet food recall have been stuck with large vet bills. Trying to get any kind of compensation or more so a compensation that is worthy of what they and their pets have gone through has been extremely difficult for pet owners. We are seeing a pattern that pet food companies will be more cooperative when there is media pressure or attention brought to the issue.
One pet owner decided to get a little help. In mid-April, his dog, Buddy, had become seriously ill and had to be hospitalized from eating recalled Natural Balance’s Venison and Brown Rice dog food. Fortunately, Buddy is recovering although he is still two to three pounds under his adoption weight. The dog’s vet bills totaled more than $2,700 from eating the recalled food.
Buddy’s owner contacted Natural Balance numerous times to have them compensate him for all of their vet expenses and had sent them the necessary paperwork and claim information that the company requested. Natural Balance’s insurance company responded and said that they could only reimburse him for only $150, the “value” of the dog (his adoption fee). To Buddy’s owner, this was simply not enough and he thought that all of his bills should be reimbursed. He then wrote San Jose Mercury News’s Action Line reporter Dennis Rockstroh to see if he could help with his situation.
We have racked up more than $2,700 in vet and hospital bills and were assured by the folks at Natural Balance that we would be reimbursed for ALL our expenses in a timely manner.
It is now June and we are still waiting.
I have been in contact with several people at Natural Balance on an ongoing basis.
They have been very helpful and understanding of my situation and I appreciate that.
But the bottom line is Natural Balance has yet to compensate us for our medical claim. This despite the fact that we have provided the company with copies of all our medical records, a sample of the tainted food and all other information that they have requested.
I have also been in contact with the insurance company that represents Natural Balance and was recently told that we may ONLY be compensated for the “value” of the dog or in our case the adoption fee we paid when we rescued Buddy, about $150.
In my opinion, that level of compensation would be unfair and unacceptable to me and to others with pets that have been adversely affected by the tainted pet food products previously sold by Natural Balance.
The reporter’s response after the jump.
From San Jose Mercury News:
A: I contacted Natural Balance for you, Don, and I have good news.
Company spokesman Greg Kay said that they have contacted you and have worked out a solution that includes paying for Buddy’s “reasonable medical bills.”
We’re not sure what “reasonable medical bills” mean, but we hope that means all of the vet bills that Don Fernandez has paid due to the recalled Natural Balance pet food and not what Natural Balance feels is “reasonable”.