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Adverse Vaccine Reaction Financial Settlement, Part 5

Please note: When this post first went live, Lilly was still alive and doing OK. Lilly ultimately died from her adverse vaccine reaction (and illness and side-effects of treatment) on December 17, 2013. We spent 23 months and nearly $31,000 fighting to save her. We lost. 

Here is part five (of five) posts about my attempt to get financial help from the company that manufactured the rabies vaccine Lilly received January 23, 2012. Today, please take our dog blog poll. Would you have taken the money?

Months ago, we asked in dog blog poll if you thought the vaccine company would pay or should pay.

Today, we want to know. Would you have signed the legal release form and taken the money?

[polldaddy poll=6363528]


Here are links to all 5 parts of this Adverse Vaccine Reaction Financial Settlement series of posts:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

Part 4 –

Part 5 –



Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

jody - September 5, 2012

I would be working with my lawyer to press the issue. Threaten legal action and local media coverage and insist that the company pay for the entirety of the diagnostic AND recovery costs, no matter how long that takes or how much it amounts to.

Getting local media involved is a great way to put pressure on the company to do the right thing.

Jena Gonzalez - August 16, 2012

I didn’t take the money either for my Kitty Kat’s Vaccine Associated Sarcoma read my story here I am sorry you are going through this.

Jena Gonzalez - August 16, 2012

I didn’t take the money either. Read about my Kitty Kat’s Vaccine Associated Sarcoma here I am so sorry that you are going through this.

Pup Fan - July 27, 2012

I would have made the same choice that you did – their proposal was overly broad in so many ways.
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Living Large - July 16, 2012

I definitely would not have.

Susan - July 14, 2012

If I could afford legal representation, I might have countered by trying to negotiate a differently worded agreement and better terms. If that were rejected, I’m not sure what I’d do. I’m not a journalist, and my livelihood doesn’t depend on what I share in my blog.

Honestly, it would have to boil down to how important it was for us to receive some financial help. I wouldn’t bankrupt us for the sake of the principle of the matter in this case, since this was such a rare type of vaccine reaction and the treatment cost has been so high.

If there were reports of dozens of dogs having this type of reaction, I’d feel more of an obligation to spread the word.

All of that said, I think the company was over-the-top with their restrictions. You have simply reported the facts and Lilly’s official diagnosis. You haven’t said all vaccines and the companies that manufacture them are evil.
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Jana Rade - July 13, 2012

Well, re #5 kinda already done?
# depends what is mean by “disparaging and/or defamatory statements”; one would assume that stating of facts as they occur(ed) does not qualify?
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Greg - July 13, 2012

I think that I probably would have rejected the first offer and asked for more, and if they gave more, I would have accepted it, though like others have said, writing about it was not something that I would need to do – I think covering the expenses would have been important.

I can fully understand your position on not accepting the funds they offered, given their terms!
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Dorothy Baxter - July 13, 2012

I admire you for standing your ground with this company. I also would have turned down the offer as it stands. You have been more than fair to them by not revealing what company is involved. They on the other hand have shown no remorse or concern over what has happened and have no desire to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. An acceptable offer would have been to 1-cover ALL costs relating to Lily’s treatments now and for the future 2-allow you to discuss the situation as long as you didn’t name them specifically and 3-as a show of their concern for animals to make a LARGE donation to vaccine research. If the company had ANY morals that is the type of offer they should have made. Wishing all the best for you and Lily and praying that she makes a full recovery.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 13, 2012

    Interesting ideas, Dorothy. I’d never have thought to carry the request that far.

      JoAnn McLemore - August 3, 2012

      I voted NO….I’m in complete agreement with Dorothy. And I also am wishing all the best for you and Lily and praying that she makes a full recovery.

Hilda - July 13, 2012

In your situation, no, I would not have. It’s nearly impossible for a writer in this pet-related niche to sign a gag order. I support your decision all the way.

On the other hand, for a non-writer, regular person with a sick pet, it could be a very sweet deal. I don’t want anyone to think they are morally deficient if they do or did decide to take the money in a similar situation.

I don’t write or blog about pets. If one of my animals had a vaccine reaction, it could be that I would take the money, depending on the circumstances. But I hope I’ll never have to be in that situation.

Hilary - July 13, 2012

I also voted no. I write about my pups, now just Luna, albeit not for awhile, but I’m starting up again. And even if I didn’t, I think severing the free speech rights is a detriment to my core.

Jackie Bouchard - July 13, 2012

I voted no. As you know, like you I am a writer. I also have a blog about my pup. It would be a hard decision, because it’s a lot of money, but I would not take it.

I know a lot of people would probably desperately need the money and take it – and I absolutely don’t blame them. But it’s sad that they can’t then warn others about what they went through. It’s pretty disgusting actually that they companies care so much more about th money than anything else.
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