Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital

★★★★☆
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37.8598 -122.293
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510-848-5041

2126 Haste St

Berkeley, CA

94704

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Pets & Animals

Pets & Animals
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I brought my baby boy (cat) who was 18 years old and clearly suffering and dying. It was clear to me because I knew my cat. I had him for over 10 years and I adopted him as an adult. The vet I saw, Dr. Garcia, did a check-up and offered several possibilities of what it could be. He wanted to run tests that would have cost over $1000 (including an ultrasound) in order to get a precise diagnosis. My cat was skinny, tired, and clearly in pain. He had difficulty sitting. Dr. Garcia surmised that it was Renal Failure which is universally fatal in cats at 18 years old, read the literature. He neglected to inform us that the vital signs showed that the body temperature of my baby was abnormally low. That is a sign that a cat is in the END STAGES of Renal Failure. That is a death sentence. However, he neglected to let us know that fact and instead tried to guilt me into doing all of those tests and treating my poor old sick baby who was dying using any means necessary to keep him alive. At what quality of life? He was suffering. I took him here because it was a weekend and our normal vet Cheshire Cat, who is the best for cats, was not open. This vet had the utter audacity to tell me a story about spending thousands of dollars on his puppy just so that his puppy could run with him again. Attempting to guilt me into doing "whatever is necessary" to keep my cat alive. My cat was no kitten. So, we decided to allow him to put a fluid pouch under the skin of my cat (to hydrate him and make him more comfortable) and gave him palliative medicine for his upset stomach and lack of appetite (he was dying!). Instead of recommending the right thing for my suffering baby, a dignified and peaceful death, he charged us over $250 for all of this palliative care. When our regular vet at Cheshire Cat saw the condition of my baby only a few days later, he did not even question what should happen. We had a very peaceful ceremony to send my baby into eternity. Our vet would not comment on the treatment we received at Berkeley Dog and Cat (but I read his face).

So I called to complain. The office manager was rude at first and defended Dr. Garcia to the end. She redeemed herself when she called on her free time the next day to assure me that the head veterinarian would be calling me. When the head vet called me I told him how hard it was to let go of my baby. I told him the entire story and let him know that his employee, Dr. Garcia, was uncompassionate and wanted to do anything to keep the ongoing suffering of my baby going as long as possible. The head vet actually said, "Well at least you only had him 10 years, just imagine what it is like when you say "Goodbye" to a cat whom you raised from kittenhood and had for 20 years." I was stunned into silence. I realized I could not teach empathy to these clinicians and I gave up.

The insensitivity, the willingness to run very expensive and traumatic diagnostic tests on a dying cat, and the willingness to prolong suffering for my cat as long as possible makes me swear to never, ever, ever take any pet of mine back to that place. And I swore to make sure others knew about my story. So, here it is. Your experience may vary...

The one star is there only because the place is spotless, clean, and the customer service people are very friendly. The office manager went out of her way to help me in the end.

I would never recommend any of the doctors over there though. I just want to make that very clear.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I brought my baby boy (cat) who was 18 years old and clearly suffering and dying. It was clear to me because I knew my cat. I had him for over 10 years and I adopted him as an adult. The vet I saw, Dr. Garcia, did a check-up and offered several possibilities of what it could be. He wanted to run tests that would have cost over $1000 (including an ultrasound) in order to get a precise diagnosis. My cat was skinny, tired, and clearly in pain. He had difficulty sitting. Dr. Garcia surmised that it was Renal Failure which is universally fatal in cats at 18 years old, read the literature. He neglected to inform us that the vital signs showed that the body temperature of my baby was abnormally low. That is a sign that a cat is in the END STAGES of Renal Failure. That is a death sentence. However, he neglected to let us know that fact and instead tried to guilt me into doing all of those tests and treating my poor old sick baby who was dying using any means necessary to keep him alive. At what quality of life? He was suffering. I took him here because it was a weekend and our normal vet Cheshire Cat, who is the best for cats, was not open. This vet had the utter audacity to tell me a story about spending thousands of dollars on his puppy just so that his puppy could run with him again. Attempting to guilt me into doing "whatever is necessary" to keep my cat alive. My cat was no kitten. So, we decided to allow him to put a fluid pouch under the skin of my cat (to hydrate him and make him more comfortable) and gave him palliative medicine for his upset stomach and lack of appetite (he was dying!). Instead of recommending the right thing for my suffering baby, a dignified and peaceful death, he charged us over $250 for all of this palliative care. When our regular vet at Cheshire Cat saw the condition of my baby only a few days later, he did not even question what should happen. We had a very peaceful ceremony to send my baby into eternity. Our vet would not comment on the treatment we received at Berkeley Dog and Cat (but I read his face).

So I called to complain. The office manager was rude at first and defended Dr. Garcia to the end. She redeemed herself when she called on her free time the next day to assure me that the head veterinarian would be calling me. When the head vet called me I told him how hard it was to let go of my baby. I told him the entire story and let him know that his employee, Dr. Garcia, was uncompassionate and wanted to do anything to keep the ongoing suffering of my baby going as long as possible. The head vet actually said, "Well at least you only had him 10 years, just imagine what it is like when you say "Goodbye" to a cat whom you raised from kittenhood and had for 20 years." I was stunned into silence. I realized I could not teach empathy to these clinicians and I gave up.

The insensitivity, the willingness to run very expensive and traumatic diagnostic tests on a dying cat, and the willingness to prolong suffering for my cat as long as possible makes me swear to never, ever, ever take any pet of mine back to that place. And I swore to make sure others knew about my story. So, here it is. Your experience may vary...

The one star is there only because the place is spotless, clean, and the customer service people are very friendly. The office manager went out of her way to help me in the end.

I would never recommend any of the doctors over there though. I just want to make that very clear.

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We have been to Berkeley D & C Hospital twice, both on an emergency basis.
We saw Dr. Freeman, and he was the kindest, most compassionate Veteriarian I've known since Mark Youdall retired from Cheshire Cat Clinic. At the 2nd visit we ended up having to say goodbye to our beloved kitty, and Dr. Freeman was absolutely thorough in presenting the options, and made very clear that the choice was ours. He spent an amazing amount of time with us, and we never felt rushed. He seemed to understand what both we and our dear kitty were going through.
Afterwards, he even sent a personal note on a lovely sympathy card. I couldn't be more impressed.
ducklein@aol.com

5
★★★★★

We have been to Berkeley D & C Hospital twice, both on an emergency basis.
We saw Dr. Freeman, and he was the kindest, most compassionate Veteriarian I've known since Mark Youdall retired from Cheshire Cat Clinic. At the 2nd visit we ended up having to say goodbye to our beloved kitty, and Dr. Freeman was absolutely thorough in presenting the options, and made very clear that the choice was ours. He spent an amazing amount of time with us, and we never felt rushed. He seemed to understand what both we and our dear kitty were going through.
Afterwards, he even sent a personal note on a lovely sympathy card. I couldn't be more impressed.
ducklein@aol.com

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I've had troubles finding herp vets before and dealing with herp vets that know less than I do. Dr. Harkowitz is amazing! He knows everything about everything scaley and gives you a nice lecture on how to take proper care of your pet as well as what problems to look for and how to avaoid them. He is incredibly through and has the best price in town. I brought a sick, malnourished python to him when I rescued it and he charged less than anyone else ( I checked around) and that's with the cost of medicine and an emergency visit - they fit me in the same day due to the snake's condition. He even showed me how to diagnose respiratory infections in this snake in the future and walked me through the process of starting him on frozen mice and generally keeping him healthy and happy. All of my animals (2 snakes, a skink and 2 cats) now go here exclusively despite the 1 hour travel time to get there.

5
★★★★★

I've had troubles finding herp vets before and dealing with herp vets that know less than I do. Dr. Harkowitz is amazing! He knows everything about everything scaley and gives you a nice lecture on how to take proper care of your pet as well as what problems to look for and how to avaoid them. He is incredibly through and has the best price in town. I brought a sick, malnourished python to him when I rescued it and he charged less than anyone else ( I checked around) and that's with the cost of medicine and an emergency visit - they fit me in the same day due to the snake's condition. He even showed me how to diagnose respiratory infections in this snake in the future and walked me through the process of starting him on frozen mice and generally keeping him healthy and happy. All of my animals (2 snakes, a skink and 2 cats) now go here exclusively despite the 1 hour travel time to get there.

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I brought my bearded dragon here due to a problem with his tail. It was my first time there, the staff was extremely friendly and efficient. I was in and out - no problems or concerns. Dr. Harkewicz treated my dragon and was nothing but helpful, informative and caring. I would definitely recommend this place!

5
★★★★★

I brought my bearded dragon here due to a problem with his tail. It was my first time there, the staff was extremely friendly and efficient. I was in and out - no problems or concerns. Dr. Harkewicz treated my dragon and was nothing but helpful, informative and caring. I would definitely recommend this place!

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I was recommended to Dr. Harkowitz by 4 other vet offices that I called in search of a reptile vet that could treat my Iguana. Most all other vet offices said that they could administer emergency care to my Iguana, but other than that they recommended that I go to Berkeley to Dr. Harkowitz, since he was the most educated and experienced vet for reptile care in the Bay Area. Although it is a 40 minute drive for me, I did and continue to have my Iguana seen in Berkeley and feel well assured that Dr. Harkowitz will be able to assist in keeping my pet healthy and happy for a many years to come. On our last visit he was also treating a turtle and a gecko while we waited and their owners seemed happy as well.

5
★★★★★

I was recommended to Dr. Harkowitz by 4 other vet offices that I called in search of a reptile vet that could treat my Iguana. Most all other vet offices said that they could administer emergency care to my Iguana, but other than that they recommended that I go to Berkeley to Dr. Harkowitz, since he was the most educated and experienced vet for reptile care in the Bay Area. Although it is a 40 minute drive for me, I did and continue to have my Iguana seen in Berkeley and feel well assured that Dr. Harkowitz will be able to assist in keeping my pet healthy and happy for a many years to come. On our last visit he was also treating a turtle and a gecko while we waited and their owners seemed happy as well.

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My friend and I came here to drop off a lost cat with an injury. The receptionist was very sweet, sympathetic, and helpful, and did not keep us waiting. A veterinary technician came to get the cat from us, and she was also sweet and seemed like she genuinely cared about the animal. I?d definitely bring my pets here ? the people are so compassionate.

PROS: Great and compassionate staff!
CONS: None

5
★★★★★

My friend and I came here to drop off a lost cat with an injury. The receptionist was very sweet, sympathetic, and helpful, and did not keep us waiting. A veterinary technician came to get the cat from us, and she was also sweet and seemed like she genuinely cared about the animal. I?d definitely bring my pets here ? the people are so compassionate.

PROS: Great and compassionate staff!
CONS: None

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Dr. Harkowitz is an excellent veterinarian. He hails from University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary School. During my (or rather my pet's) hospital visit, Dr. Harkowitz was very knowledgable about various reptiles and amphibians, namely my blue tongue skink. Great service from the auxillary staff, too.

For inquiries to this and financial planning services, contact me at jeremy.chew@gmail.com.

4
★★★★☆

Dr. Harkowitz is an excellent veterinarian. He hails from University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary School. During my (or rather my pet's) hospital visit, Dr. Harkowitz was very knowledgable about various reptiles and amphibians, namely my blue tongue skink. Great service from the auxillary staff, too.

For inquiries to this and financial planning services, contact me at jeremy.chew@gmail.com.

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If you have a reptile in need of treatment then Dr Harkowitz at the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital is the person to see he deals with alot of the pet stores in the area and cares for the health and care needs of the reptiles in particular at these various stores.

The rates charged for his services are a little on the high end but he has a spotless record as far as no fatalities from treatment. I felt a little bad because he pushed a pedicure on my iguana I thought it would be a courtesy but it was charged for (maybe in hindsight it was worth it to save being clawed to death).

3
★★★☆☆

If you have a reptile in need of treatment then Dr Harkowitz at the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital is the person to see he deals with alot of the pet stores in the area and cares for the health and care needs of the reptiles in particular at these various stores.

The rates charged for his services are a little on the high end but he has a spotless record as far as no fatalities from treatment. I felt a little bad because he pushed a pedicure on my iguana I thought it would be a courtesy but it was charged for (maybe in hindsight it was worth it to save being clawed to death).

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Latest reviews from Citysearch.

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My tiny puppy was close to death suffering from Parvo. I went in to the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital on Haste St without an appointment. They all were very sweet to us. The Doctor told me that unfortunately, my ""Penny"" wasn't going to survive. She could have misled me to make a few bucks, but she didn't. She handled ""Penny"" very gently, and she put her out of her misery. Then, she waived the visit fee, and the euthanasia fee. She only charged me $35 for the cremation. I was very distraught, so their generosity was much appreciated. A few days later, I received a sympathy card from the Hospital. The Doctor and 2 other staff members all hand wrote a few sentences to me inside the card. No one will ever know how much this meant to me! They took the time to think about my sorrow and to make me feel better. These people are the best!!!

5
★★★★★

My tiny puppy was close to death suffering from Parvo. I went in to the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital on Haste St without an appointment. They all were very sweet to us. The Doctor told me that unfortunately, my ""Penny"" wasn't going to survive. She could have misled me to make a few bucks, but she didn't. She handled ""Penny"" very gently, and she put her out of her misery. Then, she waived the visit fee, and the euthanasia fee. She only charged me $35 for the cremation. I was very distraught, so their generosity was much appreciated. A few days later, I received a sympathy card from the Hospital. The Doctor and 2 other staff members all hand wrote a few sentences to me inside the card. No one will ever know how much this meant to me! They took the time to think about my sorrow and to make me feel better. These people are the best!!!

.

excellent. great with emergencies. They made us feel comfortable.

5
★★★★★

excellent. great with emergencies. They made us feel comfortable.

.

We have always had wonderful experiences with the staff during regular hours. Unfortunately, we and our pet were treated negligently in emergency care by Dr. Summer Godfry. She was very condescending, unprofessional, and insensitive to our pet's needs and gave us information another vet told us was incorrect. However, we have had good experiences after hours with Dr. Carlson. My recommendation: Berkeley D & C is wonderful if you avoid Dr. Godfry!

3
★★★☆☆

We have always had wonderful experiences with the staff during regular hours. Unfortunately, we and our pet were treated negligently in emergency care by Dr. Summer Godfry. She was very condescending, unprofessional, and insensitive to our pet's needs and gave us information another vet told us was incorrect. However, we have had good experiences after hours with Dr. Carlson. My recommendation: Berkeley D & C is wonderful if you avoid Dr. Godfry!

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