Lawsuit between Humane Society and Veterinarian

Rebecca FuseeRebecca Fusee TracyMember Posts: 3,048
edited 3 January, 2007 in Laws & Legislation
October 24, 2006 NewsChannel 19's Amber Stuart reports: A local animal shelter may have to shut down, if lawsuit holds up in court. A Huntsville veterinarian is suing the Greater Huntsville Humane Society. Dr. Wilson McManus is suing the Greater Huntsville Humane Society for more than $300,000. That's a hefty bill for a business that depends strictly on donations from you, the community. Malte the cat has lived the Greater Huntsville Humane Society for many years. "We're here to save the animals," said Kathryn Murdoch with the Greater Humane Society. Malte could lose her home if Dr. McManus wins his lawsuit. Michael Lee, a Huntsville lawyer who represents the Humane Society, said Dr. McManus is suing the organization for not paying him for services. The Humane Society said Dr. McManus stopped billing the group in 2002. "His billing practices are ultimately his responsibility," said Lee. There's more. Lee told NewsChannel 19 that Dr. McManus increased his fees for spaying or neutering animals, from $40 per animal to more than $200 per animal, without notifying the Humane Society. Over a three-year period, that's a grand total of $332,000, which would be a huge blow to shelter's budget. "It could very well shut down the Humane Society," said Lee. McManus works at Apollo Animal Hospital, located on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville, Al. NewsChannel 19 went there to get Dr. McManus' side of the story. Dr. Chris Carter, another veterinarian at Apollo, told us "no comment" before we even asked a question. We asked, "So what can we tell the people?" To that, Dr. Carter replied, "Our attorney will release a statement later on." NewsChannel 19 asked, "Do you know why he didn't bill them for so long?" Dr. Carter said, "No comment." "Do you know why he raised the price from $40 to $200 [for spaying and neutering services]," NewsChannel 19 asked. "That's not what happened," Dr. Carter said. "It's with litigation." It's important to note fees are different with each veterinarian at the society. "Some vets offer their services at greatly reduced prices, or often times no charge whatsoever," said Kathryn Murdoch. The Greater Huntsville Humane Society wants to come to an agreement with Dr. McManus, which will satisfy both parties. NewsChannel 19 tried to contact Howard Grisham and Jeff Cook, attorneys who represent Dr. McManus. Neither returned our phone calls.


  • Rebecca FuseeRebecca Fusee TracyMember Posts: 3,048
    edited 8 November, 2006
    I don't think that there has been any additional news regarding the case. Wombat lives nearby and heard about the case, then passed it on to us in a group. Here is the link: Greater Huntsville Humane Society Link We're hoping to keep track of things... maybe we could help in some way. Purrs to the animals at the shelter...
  • Donna LenzDonna Lenz BethelMember Posts: 4,600 ✭✭✭
    edited 10 November, 2006
    Many shelters run on a wing and a prayer and owe the Doctors money. It's sad, and after a while the Doctors refuse to work with them until they pay their bills. What a lot of people do not know is that creature medicine is the same as human medicine - so it is expensive. Many Doctors will donate time/things to help the creatures - but they cannot donate everything. We would like to know more details about this case. Either way it is sad.
  • Sarah HarndenSarah Harnden SalemMember Posts: 194
    edited 30 November, 2006
    This is ridiculous..... he should be happy to know he's making a difference with pet overpopulation.....why must people be money hungry...I"M ON THE SHELTERS SIDE>>>>
  • Alana RobertsAlana Roberts BrooklynMember Posts: 758
    edited 2 January, 2007
    Hey there I went on their website but it dint say anything about the case, has it been settled yet? Surely the judge will never award that vet $200,000!
  • Desiree JohnsonDesiree Johnson RosevilleMember Posts: 3,736
    edited 3 January, 2007
    He should've billed them instead of piling up all at the same time.He should've told them about the change,too. (who charges $200 for a spay/neuter,anyway?)
  • Gary SturgesGary Sturges TorontoMember Posts: 80
    edited 3 January, 2007
    This is Jackie's dad speaking , to me the vet McManus and his lawyer sound like a pair of horse's asses .
  • Amber Isabell DiamondAmber Isabell Diamond Mount Ida.Member Posts: 12
    edited 3 January, 2007
    Defiantly on the shelters side here!
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