Central Point, OR asked in Animal / Dog Law for Oregon

Q: Can vets turn animals away when it’s life or death, and what happens if they do and the animal dies? This is in Oregon.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jina Ly Clark
Jina Ly Clark
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I am not aware of any laws requiring veterinarian hospitals to accept animal patients on an emergency basis. I understand hospitals must accept humans as patients on an emergency basis.

My dog needed emergency services I had to call around to find an opening after Dove Lewis informed me they were too busy to give him the needed emergency care. Fortunately, I was able to get him into Blue Pearl and they saved his life. Sometimes, places are so busy they cannot adequately service additional emergencies due to staffing issues. I think it is better if vet clinics are honest about their ability to handle more pet patients, so people can find a place that is more readily available to meet emergency needs.

We are a law firm and we are not always available to help people on a last-minute basis either due to our contractual duties to existing clients. I wish I could be in two places at one time.

Of course, if the reason service was denied was based upon discrimination of a protected class such as race, sex, or religion, then there would be a violation of the law.

I am sorry about the loss of your pet.

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