A battle no one could win: Doctor’s office versus bird lover

Generic medical

A Gainesville, Florida physician practice thought it was doing what was in the best interest of patient safety, but found itself in the local newspaper after earning the ire of a 77-year-old bird lover.

Gainesville Family Physicians had a number of ducks and geese removed from a pond across the street from its office citing concerns over patient safety, according to The Gainesville Sun. The goose poop in the office’s parking lot become a health hazard. The Alachua County Department of Health sent an environmental specialist and the physician practice said it faced fines and citations if it didn't take action.

But when he showed up one Monday morning in late May to find the birds were gone from the pond, Gainesville resident Joe Morales told the newspaper he was devastated. Morales, who has battled cancer for 28 years and had open heart surgery a number of years ago, took to regularly feeding the ducks and geese at the pond for mental respite, the newspaper said.

The birds’ removal from the pond came as a shock, especially when he learned the doctor’s office was responsbile. “I visited them every single day, rain or shine,” he told the newspaper. “These were some really beautiful birds.”

The physician office stands by its decision and says it was trying to protect the safety and well-being of its patients, staff and visitors. It was another case of physician offices coping with the presence of animals.

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