A Forum for Information & Discussion of The Hannah Society

Your Story #5

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I was excited about the prospect of the Hannah Society, especially after talking to the counselors at their Clackamas Mall storefront location, but I later found that these counselors work on commission and are largely uneducated on what happens after they collect your initial registration fee and paperwork. I don’t know if the ignorance is real or feigned so that they can bring in more commissions.

When I went in, I described my dogs’ preexisting conditions.  I was promised that these conditions would not be a problem and would only add $5-$10 to my monthly fees (I believe the estimate was initially $85/month for each dog).

I turned over a check for $200 (initiation fee/$100 per dog), signed over my rights to my dogs (Yes, you have to sign over ownership of the animals to the Hannah Society–this is a very creepy part of the process that allows them to keep their rates low by limiting their liability), and made an appointment for them to have physicals with the Hannah vet.

When I arrived at the Hannah vet offices, I encountered a few disturbing things:

One, I was told that most of the puppies that Hannah offers for adoption were purchased from breeders because the Northwest “doesn’t have enough rescues to satisfy demand” (not kidding, this is the story I was told–I’m sure the county animal shelters and the Oregon Humane Society feel differently).  I don’t think that the Hannah Society does a adequate job of clarifying this to the public.

Two, I was told my dog flunked their physical because of his degenerative disc disease.  If they accepted him into the program it would be $350/month if I wanted any coverage for his back (excluding surgery).

If I wanted to include him in the program without treatment for his back, it would be $150 a month (this is almost double the original estimate and not at all what was communicated by the Clackamas Hannah Pet Counselors).  When I asked why the alternative/no back treatment plan was so expensive, they explained that my dog was considered high maintenance because he scooted his butt on on the carpet and had tartar on his teeth.  While I understood their concern regarding the back problems, I felt that doubling the initial estimate because of these issues seemed extraordinarily excessive–these are normal things for any dog.

Three, I was told that if I opted into the plan, my dogs would not receive the same standard of care that they were getting from their current non-Hannah vet (this is something that is DEFINITELY not communicated by the Hannah Pet Counselors). This was most apparent regarding teeth cleanings.  Under the Hannah Plan,  cleanings  were not annual, but rather determined by the vet on an as-needed basis.  Hannah does not take X-rays or put the dog under for their cleanings (most vets will tell you this is subpar service and more cosmetic than offering legitimate preventative dental healthcare).

 

After leaving the office, I decided to not participate in the Hannah Pet Society. The initiation fee of $200 was refundable if participation was declined after the physical exam.  I had to call the Hannah Society FOUR times and make a visit their storefront in order to get that refund.  I didn’t get the impression that they were trying to keep the money, but I definitely felt like returning it was their very last priority.

After my very disappointing experience, I started asking around about other people’s experiences with the Hannah Society.  What I gathered is that no one pays the rates advertised (they are always higher, even if the pet is perfectly healthy–I think an audit of the Hannah Society’s records would prove very interesting),  but most people are happy with the service from the group.

If you don’t mind adopting a puppy from a breeder or starting your perfectly healthy (no butt scooting! no tartar!) puppy with the Hannah Society and aren’t super concerned about them receiving a high level of vet care (hey, it doesn’t matter to everyone), this is probably a good investment for you.

If you are committed to rescue, have dogs with ANY issues (and I do mean any), or a dog who isn’t a puppy, this is probably a program to avoid.

The program would do better to adjust its rates to actually reflect what it charges and to educate and / or require its counselors to honestly disclose the level of care, frequency of care, and actual cost of participating in the society.  It also needs to be more transparent with the public over where it gets its puppies (you will only find out if you specifically ask).

Read it on Yelp!