A woman just called as a vet had recommended she try and contact us. It appears her daughter saw a cat knocked down by a car and she wanted to know if we would take the cat. I spent at least five minutes explaining that we would like to know the prognosis of the cat - would it be likely to walk again? Would it be paralysed? Would she be keeping it if it was the latter case? Most importantly, I wanted to know what the prognosis was and if the operation would be a success.
She kept saying she did not know, nor did she know what the prognosis was. I asked if she could check with the vet and get back to us. She asked if there was another shelter she can send the cat to.
After explaining again about how we want to know what the long term effects are so we can best see how to help, she said that the cat had been hit on the mouth and the jaw was a bit out of sync! I've told her to send in the bill and we'll see what we can do to help. She said that she needed us to pay the whole bill - and I explained we can't commit to paying for an operation because we do have limited funds and we need to know what's involved.
This reminds me of a woman who a few years ago told us she needed help and it was a matter of life and death. She said she would check and said the bill would not come to over $250 and we told her to go ahead. In the end, the bill came in at over $1000. I told her we couldn't help - a lot of it was for hospitalisation. Apparently she just left the cat in there long after it could go home and the bill kept piling up. We told her we would help out with what we agreed on but no more.
That incident made us very careful and we now have guidelines on what we can and can't help with so that we can try and help as many people as possible.