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Northeast California

BBB Accredited Business since

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Valley Oak Veterinary Center meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered the rating for Valley Oak Veterinary Center include:

  • Length of time business has been operating

Factors that raised the rating for Valley Oak Veterinary Center include:

  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 3 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

3 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 3

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Valley Oak Veterinary Center
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: December 28, 2007 Business started: 12/12/2011 Business started locally: 12/12/2011
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Veterinary Medical Board
1420 Howe Avenue Suite 6, Sacramento CA 95825
www.dca.ca.gov
Phone Number: (916) 263-2610

Type of Entity

Sole Proprietorship

Business Management
Mr. Rick Gebhart, Owner Ms. Shelly McNutt, Manager Ms. Erin Portillo, DVM
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Rick Gebhart, Owner
Business Category

Veterinarians Pet Services


Additional Locations

  • 2480 Dr Martin Luther King Junior Pkwy

    Chico, CA 95928

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Complaint Detail(s)

9/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I took my dog to the veterinary center to have him checked out because he got attacked by a dog he was walking around and everything here drinking eating etc my fiance took him to the valley oak veterinary center to have him looked at and they did xrays to see if there was any internal wounds and *** ******** said no there wasn't and said he will be fine when asked was she 100% positive positive he will make it she said yes she gave him an antibiotic injection that was suppose to last 2 weeks and stone pain medication. Well my fiance brought him home and he was not moving and hardly breathing and with in an hour he was dead.i called later they told me call back tomorrow and couldn't help me. I called the next day to talk to the manager she told me the dr didn't say that and that he was half dead already and to call back Tuesday 8-2-2014 so i did she said the medical director said i have to pay anyways and they get 30 cases a day someone please help me they don't need to get away with this

Desired Settlement: I would like my bill dropped what i paid so far back and for the pain and anguish for the loss

Business Response:

Thank for bringing this complaint to our attention. We recognize, as animal lovers, that it is always painful to lose a pet. We do everything we can to help every animal and family that comes through our doors. Having read the documentation written by the doctor at the time of the visit, here is a summary of what happened during this visit.

A male dog was presented to our hospital by his owner as having been bitten by a pit bull the day before. It was noted during the exam that the dog was lethargic though responsive, dehydrated, and had two puncture wounds on both side of his abdomen. The owner reported that the dog had been vomiting at home and not eating. Our doctor determined the appropriate treatment for the case as presented and wrote up an estimate that included diagnostic lab work, radiographs, pain medication, and antibiotics. This protocol and estimate has been reviewed and confirmed as appropriate by our Medical Director.


When presented with the estimate of the initial diagnostics listed above, the owner was concerned with being able to cover the costs. We have many payment methods available and we explored those with the owner. The owner was declined for Care Credit and we attempted to fill out paperwork for another payment method called iCare. The owner abruptly left without finishing the paperwork or paying the exam fee.

Hours later the owner returned with some additional funds in change asking about the radiographs. The owner was guided back to the iCare paperwork and told that it needed to be completed in order to move forward with the radiographs. It was also stated that a 30% down payment on the estimate is needed as that is the policy for iCare payment plans. However, they still did not have 30% of the original estimate. The doctor then made a new estimate which stated that they declined the lab work and included a cheaper pain medication. They owners left the dog at the hospital to take their change to the bank.

The dog vomited in the cage in the treatment room while waiting for his owners to return. The owners called for radiograph results instead of returning. They were asked to return to finish the iCare paperwork before the radiographs could be completed. They returned, filled out the paperwork, and were placed in an exam room so the doctor could speak with them about the results. The radiographs showed a fractured vertebral body, no evidence of wound communication into the abdomen, and no cause for the vomiting. This reading has been confirmed by a second radiologist. The fracture itself was not life threatening, but the cause of vomiting had not been identified. The vomiting could not be addressed without the lab tests and diagnostics that were initially declined by the owner. The owner was presented with two options: authorize the additional charges for diagnostic lab work or continue with the second estimate to give antibiotics and pain medication and see how the dog does.  The doctor reiterated these two options to the dog’s other owner over the phone. They opted to continue with the second estimate and declined additional diagnostic lab work. The doctor administered an antibiotic injection and pain medication and the owners took the dog home.  They were told to bring the dog back if his condition did not improve, with the understanding that additional testing would result in additional charges. The dog died at home a few hours later according to the owner.

At no time did the doctor guarantee to either owner that the dog would be “fine” nor did this exchange happen: "when asked was she 100% positive positive he will make it she said yes”. The doctor recommended and provided estimates for additional diagnostic lab work that the owners declined. The doctor did not find anything in the radiographs that suggested that the vomiting was connected to the fractured vertebral body and without further testing there is no way of knowing what else could have been happening that might have caused the dog to die.


Cases like these are very difficult for everyone. We know that pets are loved and we know that money is a factor, too. Our doctors’ job is to provide recommendations for the best possible veterinary care; owners have to choose what is best for them to do with those recommendations. The exam, radiographs, antibiotic, and pain medication provided by the doctor and the hospital were part of the agreed-upon treatment plan by the owner/s.  The treatment plan was performed based on the owner’s decision to have the work done and agreement to pay the bill. While we have great empathy for these owners as we know how painful it is to lose a pet, the charges for the work performed will stand based on their agreement.


Business Response:

Thank for bringing this complaint to our attention. We recognize, as animal lovers, that it is always painful to lose a pet. We do everything we can to help every animal and family that comes through our doors. Having read the documentation written by the doctor at the time of the visit, here is a summary of what happened during this visit.

A male dog was presented to our hospital by his owner as having been bitten by a pit bull the day before. It was noted during the exam that the dog was lethargic though responsive, dehydrated, and had two puncture wounds on both side of his abdomen. The owner reported that the dog had been vomiting at home and not eating. Our doctor determined the appropriate treatment for the case as presented and wrote up an estimate that included diagnostic lab work, radiographs, pain medication, and antibiotics. This protocol and estimate has been reviewed and confirmed as appropriate by our Medical Director.


When presented with the estimate of the initial diagnostics listed above, the owner was concerned with being able to cover the costs. We have many payment methods available and we explored those with the owner. The owner was declined for Care Credit and we attempted to fill out paperwork for another payment method called iCare. The owner abruptly left without finishing the paperwork or paying the exam fee.

Hours later the owner returned with some additional funds in change asking about the radiographs. The owner was guided back to the iCare paperwork and told that it needed to be completed in order to move forward with the radiographs. It was also stated that a 30% down payment on the estimate is needed as that is the policy for iCare payment plans. However, they still did not have 30% of the original estimate. The doctor then made a new estimate which stated that they declined the lab work and included a cheaper pain medication. They owners left the dog at the hospital to take their change to the bank.

The dog vomited in the cage in the treatment room while waiting for his owners to return. The owners called for radiograph results instead of returning. They were asked to return to finish the iCare paperwork before the radiographs could be completed. They returned, filled out the paperwork, and were placed in an exam room so the doctor could speak with them about the results. The radiographs showed a fractured vertebral body, no evidence of wound communication into the abdomen, and no cause for the vomiting. This reading has been confirmed by a second radiologist. The fracture itself was not life threatening, but the cause of vomiting had not been identified. The vomiting could not be addressed without the lab tests and diagnostics that were initially declined by the owner. The owner was presented with two options: authorize the additional charges for diagnostic lab work or continue with the second estimate to give antibiotics and pain medication and see how the dog does.  The doctor reiterated these two options to the dog’s other owner over the phone. They opted to continue with the second estimate and declined additional diagnostic lab work. The doctor administered an antibiotic injection and pain medication and the owners took the dog home.  They were told to bring the dog back if his condition did not improve, with the understanding that additional testing would result in additional charges. The dog died at home a few hours later according to the owner.

At no time did the doctor guarantee to either owner that the dog would be “fine” nor did this exchange happen: "when asked was she 100% positive positive he will make it she said yes”. The doctor recommended and provided estimates for additional diagnostic lab work that the owners declined. The doctor did not find anything in the radiographs that suggested that the vomiting was connected to the fractured vertebral body and without further testing there is no way of knowing what else could have been happening that might have caused the dog to die.


Cases like these are very difficult for everyone. We know that pets are loved and we know that money is a factor, too. Our doctors’ job is to provide recommendations for the best possible veterinary care; owners have to choose what is best for them to do with those recommendations. The exam, radiographs, antibiotic, and pain medication provided by the doctor and the hospital were part of the agreed-upon treatment plan by the owner/s.  The treatment plan was performed based on the owner’s decision to have the work done and agreement to pay the bill. While we have great empathy for these owners as we know how painful it is to lose a pet, the charges for the work performed will stand based on their agreement.


BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

5/9/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I took a feral cat in for an exam because she had a wound. the Dr recommended an antibiotic, then told me it would be 20 more for a shout rather than a series of pills. I agreed.I was then given a written estimate of 177 because they convinced me to get rabies shots and an hiv leukemia shot. They came back a bit later and told me that they had a problem with the hiv testing and to come back in an hour. when I came to retrieve the cat I was presented with a bill of 268. This is unethical and against fair business practices. no one called me to authorize anything, and my estimate was 177.

Desired Settlement: I agree to pay the 177. I'd like a refund of the other 98.

Business Response: Upon learning of this complaint our client ambassador contacting this customer and through their discussion determined that our estimate process was not followed completely which resulting in miscommunication with this client.  We have addressed this with the employee involved.  We issued a refund in the amount that was requested and believe this matter has been resolved to her satisfaction.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

6/12/2012 Problems with Product/Service