Woman Sells Belongings on eBay to Save Her Dog

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emmaIn May, Vicky Hughes learned her beloved dog Emma had a slipped spinal disc that would require emergency surgery. She was further devastated to learn her pet insurance wouldn’t cover the surgery. So she used all her savings and sold her personal items on eBay to cover the cost of the surgery.

Hughes found her dog Emma collapsed on the floor of her home in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England back in May. Hughes rushed Emma to the vet where it was discovered the dog had a slipped spinal disc and would need a six-hour emergency surgery. The cost of the surgery was £4,000. Hughes didn’t hesitate about the cost and gave the vets permission to perform the surgery.

Hughes had pet insurance. She was paying £144 a year for it and she thought it would protect her against expensive surgeries like this one. A few days later though she received a phone call from the insurer who informed her that the treatment wasn’t covered.

“I broke down in tears on the phone when they told me Emma was not covered,” said Hughes. “It was as if they didn’t give a stuff about what had just happened.”

With her insurer not coming through, Hughes did what she had to. She used up all of what little savings she had. However, to cover the expensive bill she had to resort to selling her fridge, freezer and some of her clothing on eBay.

Hughes’ story is just one among many of pet owners being denied a claim because of small print and exclusions.

“I simply assumed my insurance would cover all accidents,” said Hughes. “I had no idea that treatment would be excluded.”

4 thoughts on “Woman Sells Belongings on eBay to Save Her Dog”

  1. 144 a year is not a lot. She maybe only had basic cover up to 1 or 2 thousand pounds worth of cover. I feel sorry for her but it’s like insuring something for less that’s value and expecting to be paid it in full.

    • No, these pet insurance companies are heartless wonders and a total rip off. Not worth the paper the policy is written on. Never trust an insurance company.

    • even had she the top level coverage, it’s unlikely a known genetic problem would’ve been covered.

      if you take out life insurance, die of a heart attack, and it turns out you’ve had coronary artery disease all along, the insurance company will duck out of paying claiming “pre-existing condition”.

  2. I would never get pet insurance with the intention that it will cover anything expensive, because the insurance companies do everything they can to get out of paying any large bills. I spent about $7,000 on surgery for my dog, removing cancerous mammary tumors. It wasn’t covered by insurance either. The cancer came back though, and about five months later it came back, too aggressively to do anything. But although I was in debt for years, it was worth it.

    I hope her dog is recovering well, and that the prognosis is good.


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