On Saturday, a New York veterinary group issued a statement to the public following a terrible misunderstanding which linked a woman spewing racial vitriol to their business. The South Bellmore Veterinary Group explained what transpired:
Yesterday, during the George Floyd protests, a woman in our parking lot harassed the protesters and screamed racial insults at them. As a result, the situation escalated and the police, fearing for her safety and for the safety of others, demanded that we open our doors to provide shelter to her.
Staff did not want to be associated with the woman, but claims that the authorities insisted that the woman be allowed inside of the hospital – they explain:
We objected, fearing that we would be erroneously associated with such toxic vitriol, but we were overruled by the police. Once inside, our worst fears were realized. The woman was photographed shouting at the window and giving the middle finger to the protesters. Social media ran with the pictures and the lady was misidentified as an employee of South Bellmore Veterinary Group.
The fallout from the misunderstanding has been swift – according to the veterinary group, people have left negative Yelp reviews, phoned in with threats, and bad-mouthed their business on social media.
The veterinary group requests that people take a moment to learn more about their business, and reiterates the fact that the woman is not part of their practice:
South Bellmore Veterinary Group has been a pillar in the community for almost 20 years. We embrace and value our diverse staff and clientele alike. We work tirelessly to provide a warm and welcoming facility to provide the best possible care for your pets. We take the hiring of staff extremely seriously and would never hire such a person to join our family. The vast majority of our clientele knows this and knew that there had to be another side to the story. To our newer clients who are less familiar with the practice, or to those who were considering entrusting us for the first time in the future, please do not be afraid to contact me to discuss this or any other matter.
I am keenly aware and sensitive to the fact that during these trying times, others have suffered far worse fates than being smeared on social media.
Robert Foley and his staff said:
My door is open to comfort, to listen and to help where I can; Black Lives Matter. To our first responders and essential workers, including my own staff, who have worked tirelessly during these challenging times, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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