I was overwhelmed with emotion

Written by KellyAnn | Danvers, MA Hospital: Bulger Veterinary Hospital

I cannot say enough about the genuine GOOD regarding the Bulger Veterinary Hospital ER staff. Unfortunately my first trip was also my last trip to this facility as Thursday night I found my beloved cat in an extremely alarming state. She had lost control of her bowels and bladder, could barely move and was unable to stand. I called the Danvers Animal Hospital where my cat was a regular patient (it was 7:30pm) only to get an answering machine with the number for Bulger ER.

Upon calling Bulger I was sobbing and distressed, running around to get ready to take my cat to the nearest place for help. The woman on the phone was incredible; she was so calm, reassuring and patient. I live a 1/2 hour from N. Andover and upon my arrival was immediately greeted by Kelly (yet another calm and gentle presence) and Buffy was brought to the waiting ER staff. My mother and I were given a room to sit in and though we did not wait for more than 15 minutes before approached by the vet’, we had Kelly checking in periodically and an ER vet tech came in twice to provide updates.

The ER vet, Katie Rickershauser was professional but at the same time, genuinely compassionate with true empathy of such a devastating situation we were facing as pet owners. Sadly, Buffy had suffered quite a stroke and Dr. Rickershauser provided an explanation of the possible options we had, none of which sounded to be enough to return Buffy to her original health.

Buffy was a gift when I was 14 years old and has been a part of my family for the past 15 years.  As this was my first experience with having a pet in such perilous condition I was overwhelmed with emotion and what option would result in having the best of both worlds; to keep Buffy with us but out of pain. I told Dr. Rickershauser I did not want Buffy to be in pain/distress any longer than necessary and would do whatever she recommended, and that was to put her to sleep.

They brought Buffy to us wrapped in a blanket and left us to be alone with her while providing reassurance we take as much time as we needed. I held Buffy, feeling her purr and talking to her while she was administered the medication. Dr. Rickershauser was so peaceful in the entire event: explaining the procedure and what would happen so we would not be alarmed by anything unexpected. Kelly was incredibly efficient with all the paperwork; explaining possibilities for after-care and even allowed me to return the next day to pay the balance as I had left in such a panic I forgot my wallet at home.

We opted to have Buffy cremated and Bulger works with the pet crematory to make the process so simple. My only responsibility was to call the Forget-Me-Not to address our wants/payment and the woman I spoke to was not only helpful but genuine in her compassion. Buffy’s body was picked up the very next morning and her ashes will be returned to Bulger only 4 days after she passed.

I truly felt that Kelly, Dr. Rickershauser and the techs went above and beyond in their efforts to provide Buffy, myself and my mother the absolute best care in regards to the physical, emotional, & mental pain caused by the loss of a pet. Two days after leaving Bulger, we received a beautiful card in the mail with Buffy’s actual paw prints and a handwritten message of condolence and support from Dr. Rickershauser.

Though we continue to grieve the loss of our beautiful and spoiled, “Brat-Cat” Buffy, we were so blessed to have such a wonderful and capable ER team and I find solace in the apparent love and drive each team person puts into their profession.



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