Lazy 5 Vets Needlessly Killed Client’s Cat Then Chopped His Head off and Billed Her

This is one of those veterinary hospital rabies alerts which ends tragically and which should never have taken place in the first place. And it’s all the fault of the damned hospital if we believe the story teller. The page has been updated to reflect developments.

(1) Important note at Tues 9th Jan 2018 at 15:17 GMT (UK time): I have telephoned the Lazy 5 Veterinary Hospital and spoken to the practice manager (Scott). My intention was to get their side of the story. I told him that I owned this website and had recited the Facebook post on it and therefore had criticised the hospital. Scott informed me that he was unable to comment at present because of (a) instructions from his veterinary association and (b) client confidentiality. He said that he was preparing a statement to be issued in due course and that the hospital was considering suing. I presume this means in defamation. We can therefore expect a statement soon. He said that he was confident that the hospital had carried out correct protocols and that the FB post was inaccurate.

(2) Scott did say that they have received death threats. I don’t think it is helpful to do that but I understand the anger.

Lazy 5 Vets statement on their FB page

Lazy 5 Vets statement on their FB page

(3) I have amended this page at 15:22 UK time to add the above. I have also added the word “claimed” or “claims” in the introduction and “alleged” to the photo caption and underlined ‘allegations’ below. I need to protect this site.

(4) I am told that Starla has no intention of removing her Facebook post, the source of this story.

I have quoted verbatim Starla Daniel’s Facebook post below so this is an introduction based on Starla’s FB post. I have taken it to be true although it is her side of the story and always there are two sides. At present these are allegations.

Starla took her cat, KitKat, to the Lazy 5 Veterinary Hospital in Salisbury, North Carolina because he was ill. KitKat was 18 years of age. Starla had been taking him to the same hospital since he was a kitten. They had given him his rabies vaccinations she said.

The vet tech told Starla that they had to do an x-ray and some blood work and asked if KitKat might bite her. Starla told her that he might bite and that he was very sick. Therefore, on this basis, the vet tech was given a full warning about the possibility that her cat might bite.

But she claims they failed to take precautions against being bitten and failed to follow protocols. As a consequence when the vet tech return she told Starla that the cat had bitten her. She also said that KitKat had cancer. The vet tech said that they had to test him for rabies and that they’re going to have to put him down and cut his head off and send off the head for testing for rabies. And to add insult to injury that Starla would have to pay for the whole thing. All of it should not have happened.

If we are to believe Starla (and I do and I hope that she has not embellished her story), then all of this would have been avoided if the vet tech had protected herself against a bite or scratch as she should have. This is the root cause of the problem. One person on the face of it screwed up. Perhaps became careless and then reacted poorly when challenged. Even in good places small things can go wrong and cause big problems.

There is another issue but I am unclear how important this is or if it is relevant. NC state law requires cats and ferrets to wear rabies tags, but a local government may adopt an ordinance exempting them from this requirement. If an animal owner fails to comply with these requirements, the owner may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor or the local health director may seek an injunction.

Yes, KitKat was elderly and had cancer but it is alleged that there was no need for the callous and heartless behavior of the veterinary staff. I’m now going to hand you over to Starla’s Facebook post because I found it very poignant, to the point and you can feel the heartbreak, anger and loss in her words….

Starla Daniel writes on Facebook Yesterday at 6:18am · Salisbury, NC, United States:

“It breaks my heart what happened to my sweet KitKat and I want everyone to know so it doesn’t happen to your loved one…….I took my fur baby to Lazy 5 Vet in Salisbury NC, where I have taken him since he was a kitten, for 18 years Lazy 5 Vet has given him all his rabies shots and when I took him to Lazy 5 because he was sick, he was still up-to-date on his rabies shot and they have recorded of it.

The vet tech came in and told me my baby was going for an x-Ray and blood work to find out what was wrong with him and she ask me if my cat bites. I told her, “Yes, he does bite and he is very sick and if she goes near his face he will bite her!” and she picked him up and carried him away for his tests.

The veterinarian returned with him and said, “I have some bad news, your cat has cancer, doesn’t have long to live and he bit my vet tech as she was carrying him back to you so we have to test him for rabies and we can’t let you take him back home and I’m going to have to put your cat down, cut his head off and send it to Raleigh to have it tested for rabies”.

I was so heartbroken to know my poor KitKat had cancer and not long to live and so mad/furious/livid that the vet tech didn’t take precautions to protect herself from my cat bitting her, when I told her he bites!!!!!

The veterinarian was so heartless and so rude to me and never apologized for her vet tech not taking responsibility/following protocol!!!!!!!

When I question the veterinarian about why her vet technician did not take precautions and put a muzzle on my cat or ask me to put a muzzle on him and why the vet tech didn’t wear gloves, knowing that I told her that my cat bites and is very sick, she just kept saying well he didn’t bite her on the way to get test done just on the way back.

My response was, well your veterinarian technician should have taken precautions knowing that my baby does not feel good and the most important fact, I told her that he does bite, when she asked me and since your vet tech was so careless/heartless and did not take her job serious and apparently you do not take your job serious or care about the animals that come into your hospital nor their families because your staff does not follow protocol when told an animal bites and you don’t care that they didn’t protect themselves and now you’re taking this all out on an innocent animal by cutting off my precious babies head and knowing he is up-to-date on his rabies shots!!!!!!

And the fact that your veterinarian technician did not follow protocol/protect herself when she was told that my cat does bite and knowing that my baby was sick!!!!!!

And to top it all off, The veterinarian even made me pay to have my babies head cut off and sent to Raleigh and made me pay for him to be tested for rabies when it was her fault and the veterinary technicians fault that all this took place to begin with!!!!!!!

When I told her I was not going to pay it and I was taking my baby home she threaten to call the law on me!!!!!!!

After testing, My KitKat DID NOT have rabies!! The veterinarian nor the veterinarian technician still have not apologize!!

My baby died that day from a heartless veterinarian technician and a heartless veterinarian that did not follow a simple protocol!!!!!!!!

So the reason why I’m letting everyone know what happened to my baby is because if you take your fur baby to lazy 5 vet or any veterinarian and your baby is sick, please make sure the veterinarian technician and veterinarian follow protocol for sick animals by making sure you ask them to please put gloves on themselves and make sure you ask them for a muzzle and you put a muzzle on your fur baby, especially when your fur baby is not feeling good and they’re sick with cancer like my baby was, so you do not have to go through what my family and I have went through knowing our poor babies head was cut off because of a Lazy 5 Vet heartless veterinarian technician mistake/heartless veterinarian!!!!!!!

We love and miss you KitKat!! ❤️

Please everyone share this awareness so everyone can protect their fur babies!!”

LINK to Starla’s FB page.

Facebook Discussion


Lazy 5 Vets Needlessly Killed Client’s Cat Then Chopped His Head off and Billed Her — 38 Comments

  1. scott smith

    1 review

    a year ago-Worst vet experience ever. Poor management and policies forced me to lose my dog to quarantine for 10 days. Totally avoidable. No apologies, just incompetence. Worst vet experience ever.


    Response from the ownera year ago

    We apologized for this unfortunate situation numerous times to your wife. Even though we had highly trained employees handling your pet in a fear-free environment, pets can still bite. When this happens, we are confined by state and local law and must report the pet to animal control. That is the law, not a procedure that can be negotiated with management. Animal control has the ultimate authority when pets need to be quarantined. There are new state laws in the process of being passed that are more lenient on animal bite quarantines but the local level has to adopt them. There is nothing that we can do about this as we explained to your wife numerous times. This is a procedure that is supposed to be followed at all animal hospitals, not a reflection of poor management or policies that we put into place.
    We gave discounted boarding rates and offered free bath for your pet upon leaving. We did and continue to apologize for this experience for you and your family but we are following the laws set forth by our state and county officials.

    So this isn’t the first time there has been this scenario.

  2. Dear Posters: Who among you has ever met Starla Daniel, the woman who posted these accusations? Who among you has ever been a client of Lazy 5 Vets? If you have never met Starla, or if you have never been a Lazy 5 client, why do you feel you have the knowledge/information to make an informed, intelligent comment here?

    I have never met Ms. Daniel. I will not attack her here.

    However, I HAVE been to Lazy 5 Vets many, many times. This clinic is so professional and SO dedicated to pet care. EVERY SINGLE PERSON on their payroll is a heart-and-soul animal lover. None of you posters know the whole story here. Nor, do I. But, be sure of this: I would trust MY OWN life to the Lazy 5 Vets! (And, certainly both of my cats’ lives.) Back up, people. Assess. Please don’t attack innocent strangers. They do not deserve this, I am sure of that.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Thanks Catherine. I agree in principle but things can go wrong even in good places and if that is the case the cat’s owner has a right to tell the story. If we believe Starla, it seems to me that the person who behaved unprofessionally is the vet tech (one person in the entire establishment). It is she who has caused this by not protecting herself against a cat bite. It is as small an issue as that but the consequences are big. If she had worn gloves KitKat would be alive today and there would be no rumpus and criticisms.

    • Thank you. We are also clients and they have cared for five of our pets over the last 10 years and we have received nothing but exceptional care. The doctors and the vet staff are so caring and involved

  3. So… they threaten to sue instead of simply posting a statement regarding the incident. Sounds like an attempt at intimidation to silence a journalist who simply REPOSTED A PERSON’S COMPLAINT. They just keep sounding more and more wrong…

    • I agree that. They could have responded properly by now. And the threat to sue is probably empty. To sue in defamation is hard.

    • My bad vet slapped me in the face with her lawyer. I dug in deeper. It’s an attempt to shut the victims down. I’m sure they’re wailing at FB too.
      Something went wrong here but as usual the vets are going to rely on their professional expertise stance to get away with it.
      If you sift through this, disregard all the emotion you see an 18 year old cat was destroyed because he bit someone who should have been more careful. That’s just the meaty core of what happened the rest will flesh itself out if the owners follow through. I got the statement that my bad vet sent to the SVB only because I sued and went though discovery.
      back to the 10 day holding. Almost without fail pets who bite and have owners or a vaccination record are quarantined at HOME. Very few cases end up mandated to a secure kennel at a vet or shelter.
      So we have an 18 year old cat who may or may not have had cancer but the cancer is not relevant in this case really who nipped a tech and ended up dead with the head being cut off and sent to a lab.
      Add to this that the SVB handles discipline for veterinarians. Very few of those cases end up before a board hearing instead they are if found at any fault offered what amounts to plea deal that is often little more than a few hundred dollars.
      Suing is difficult and costly and you will need to hire a lawyer to get an expert witness to even consider testifying in your case. The law says your pet is worth what a replacement is. Yes your beloved pet has no value beyond what it costs to go the shelter and get a new one.

        • Sometimes it’s best to step back for a bit and let the dust settle and see what comes out of it.
          I repeat there is something off here because the two sides are so polar opposite. Usually you can see a kernel of truth in the mix up but this time quite honestly none of this makes sense.

          • Thank you, ME KIng. Sanity reigns. Something is definitely off here. Lazy 5 Vets is an exceptional veterinary clinic. Their people are extraordinary. They don’t deserve this slander, I am sure.

            • Be careful about calling it slander Catherine because you don’t know if it is or not. Starla made a very forceful statement that has the ring of truth about it. Why would she do this if it was fiction?

            • Something is off but something set this off. BTW my freaking horrible monster under the bed so called veterinarian had lots of people just like you calling her the best vet in the world.
              It is possible they are wonderful vets and staff and something went very wrong but they are handling it poorly. Quite literally they could have shut this down before it got to FB there are standard protocols good vets use when something bad happens and they are indeed responsible.
              I am waiting to see if the owner files with the SVB and the AG. If she does I tend to side with the cat owner. Filing a false report there might indeed leave them open to a lawsuit. If they don’t file then they are simply mouth-breathers who may or may not be telling the truth but are not willing to advocate for their cat.

  4. My heart broke reading this article. This is unconscionable. There was absolutely no reason for the veterinarian to send away KitKat for testing when his rabies vaccine was up to date at their very own clinic. Very bad judgment on the veterinarian’s part and now CYA. In the interim KitKit lost his life and did not deserve to die this way no matter how ill he was. My heart totally goes out to his griefstricken owner. KitKat can never be brought back, but this clinic needs to learn a lesson to prevent the same fate from occurring to other animals and their companions, although it has probably happened before.

  5. Micheal one of our adopters took their 10 month old fully vetted kitten to them they also had been her vet for years.. The comment and innuendo was “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ITS A RESCUE CAT” . They also told her the kitten was sick because the previous cat who died at 8 years of age from FIP (?) the kitten is probably getting FIP from contamination in the house from the deceased 8 year old .

  6. Micheal one of our ad took their 10 month old fully vetted kitten to them they also had been her vet for years.. The comment and innuendo was “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ITS A RESCUE CAT” . They also told her the kitten was sick because he previous cat who died at 8 years of age from FIP the is probably getting FIP from contamination in the house from the deceased 8 year old .

  7. I practice law in NC and have handled animal-related cases in that very county. The owner needs to get legal help immediately. Not only is there a personal injury claim for veterinary malpractice (& vets carry insurance to cover these claims), but the owner should immediately make a complaint to the state veterinary board to see to it that those responsible receive professional discipline. Please pass the word along.

    • If the owner is telling the absolute truth she has a case. My husband and I made the decision to tell only the truth as it was no matter what no matter how much we could have embellished it because we knew we were 100% in the right. At the very least this veterinarian violated the standard of care. One point to anyone defending this. If every pet owner lived in fear of having their pet put down and it’s head chopped off after because it bit, scratched or nipped someone at a clinic no one would ever take their pets in unless it was a dire emergency. The complaint to the SVB should be supplemented by one to the AG. They may refer it back to the SVB but you now have a complaint against this clinic in the AG office. Something truly off kilter happened here but the one that paid the price is Kitkat and her guardians.

      • ME, it seems to me that the hospital is generally good or very good but if Starla is telling the truth (and her statement rings true) the problem was that one person, the vet tech, failed to listen to her client and protect herself/himself from a cat bite. If she had all this would have been avoided. So things can go wrong in the best places. A small problem caused a big fallout.

  8. This is from personal experience Michael. The first step when a veterinarian really screws up is to discredit the guardian making the complaint. I went to their FB page and they are all just so upset over the negativity. CYA it’s cover your backside time for them and the best way to do that is to make the pet owner look like a hysterical unreasonable nutcase.
    As with the monster that killed our Kitten the acolytes of the bad vet will emerge with their heartwarming stories and gratitude. It’s something you can’t quite understand as they pit the wonders of when an incompetent vet gets it right against the horror and pain and suffering caused when they screw up and it gets caught. I hope they get sued.

    • I imagine if anyone gets sued it’s going to be a defamation suit filed by Lazy 5. This is a wonderful facility and it is mind-blowing how quickly perfect strangers are believing a perfect stranger and her recount of what happened without any knowledge or proof of their own. It will all come out and right now it is in the right place with the proper boards thank goodness.

      • They won’t sue. Waste of time because the hospital made a mistake. The statement fails to address the central issue: why the vet tech was bitten when she was warned about the possibility.

  9. I read about this some time ago. I have news for anyone who sides with the clinic that pulled this one off. Staff at clinics get bitten all the time.
    I believe it was discussed here that a simple titer would have show that the cat had adequate antibodies to protect it from having rabies and it’s important to know that most veterinarians and some staff handling sick animals take the rabies protocol to protect themselves and ,,,wait for it,,,USE TITERS TO DETERMINE WHEN AND IF THEY NEED A BOOSTER.
    The standard of care here is so far below par the vet should be sanctioned and the owners should be able to sue and in some cases punitive damages may be allowed. It is in New Mexico if not they should go for a higher court and make this band of negligent nut case unprofessional cretins pay out the backside.

    I guess it’s time to ask your vet before they handle your animal if they use pre-exposure vaccination for themselves and their staff.

  10. As I think I reported here last year, almost the same thing happened to me and the cat I brought to emergency on her fateful day. I only had her two weeks but I loved her… and she did not deserve to die so needlessly. I named her Aubry and I brought my fight about her to the state board. A total of three animal care facilities made egregious, cascading errors and poor judgements: the emergency hospital, animal control (shelter) and the crematory. We put entirely too much trust in these people who lord their power over our loved ones, and us.

    The biggest unanswered question here, imo, is why they failed to verify by their own records that putting him down wasn’t necessary. What good are the records or even the vaccinations? Given that cats are not likely carriers of rabies in the first place, is it just a money grab? I think so.

    I’m so, deeply sad about this episode, as I’ve been through it too.

    • This isn’t a money grab this is chain reaction stupidity. I encourage everyone to look up their states Veterinary professional conduct rules and state laws regarding standard of care required by a veterinarian.
      Their first stop should be a lawyer followed by complaints to the SVB followed up by a complaint filed to the Attorney General.

    • You do not know this situation, as you were not present. Please, do not make assumptions based on a post written by someone you don’t know. This clinic is above reproach and is loved by their community. Believe my opinion or the opinion of the grieving pet owner. Your choice, of course. But, please think of all involved before you jump to conclusions in a chat room. Thanks.

      • I agree in general what you say but Starla’s impassioned plea for justice on her FB page must mean something. It rings very true although it is her side of the story. This sort of animal hospital behaviour has happened before. The cat was old, had cancer and bit a vet tech. Over and out for the cat. But it was it did not have to happen.

      • Exactly! People are so quick to point fingers and to show their true nasty colors. It’s pitiful when they don’t even know who this person is that posted this or have even stepped foot into Lazy 5

        • There has been a statement from the hospital. I’ll write on that shortly. There is no doubt in my mind that the hospital made a mistake and it resulted in the unnecessary euthanasia of KitKat.

  11. Oh, I want to cry. From sadness and anger both. I hope she brings some kind of a civil suit against those SOB’s. No excuse. How totally horrific. My heart hurts for her. I might try to look her up on Facebook. I hope she reports this to whatever governing authority for vets is in North Carolina. And I hope she sues them. Sickening monsters. 😢💔

    • It would have incensed me. I would have been raving at them. But by all accounts this animal hospital is good and has a good reputation. The problem, if we are to believe Starla (and I do), is that one person, the vet tech, screwed up. She failed to listen to her client and protect her hands and arms (I am guessing that she was bitten on her hand). If she has covered up all this would not have happened.

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