You must go through the licensing board in the state where the veterinarian practices. To find vet board web sites, read board procedures, and download complaint forms (where applicable) to begin the complaint process, go to State Veterinary Boards
To write, call, fax, or email your state board to obtain information on a history of complaints, investigations, or disciplinary actions against a vet, or to request complaint forms, go to Contact Your State Board
For a partial list of veterinary board web sites in other countries, go to International Veterinary Boards
No. Complaints must be filed by the animal's owner/guardian. We occasionally monitor ongoing cases to check the status of an investigation, but we cannot file on your behalf.
For legal reasons, we will not post third-person accounts regarding what happened in your particular circumstance. The original material on this site regarding Suki's Story, for example, is told by Suki's guardian (the owner of this site) and can be verified by evidence, patient chart, invoices, lab work, and the vet's written statement to investigators. Without being able to verify the events, the site cannot be responsible for telling your story. However, if you create a tribute site for your pet, please send your link to My Story and we will be happy to link to your site.
For more details, see Guidelines and Disclaimers.
The same places that animal guardians go -- to your state licensing board to file a complaint. You may also have recourse with the EEOC if your problems have to do with your employer's treatment of you and not the animals. For animal abuse, some vet techs have enlisted the help of local humane societies or other animal advocates in their area. If possible, try to obtain as much documentation as you can of any animal abuse, fraudulent activity, and potential violations of vet board statutes of standard of care. Consult with an attorney or law enforcement in your state to see what can be done.
If you live in Maryland, check out The Toonces Project. They are gathering accounts from veterinary technicians who have witnessed acts of veterinary malpractice, negligence, and abuse.
This site is not about revenge. It's about accountability. Animal guardians who have lost their pets to negligence, incompetence, or malpractice are not frivolously looking for someone to blame. Nor are they unstable, vindictive, crazy, liars, or any number of names that guardians have been subjected to by the vets themselves, the vet's family, friends, staff and techs, and peripheral veterinary business associates like groomers and breeders who have a vested financial interest in protecting even the most incompetent and negligent vets.
Likewise, veterinary technicians and others who work in that profession and who report veterinary abuse are not "disgruntled" employees out to get vets. They are brave and ethical people who could not look the other way like so many others do. Almost everyone associated with creating, maintaining, or contributing to this site is an animal guardian who has ethical, skilled, competent veterinarians caring for their pets on a regular basis. Those of us with pets will always have vets in our lives, and are grateful for the ones who abide by the ethics, rules, and oath of their profession.
Not so long ago, hardly anyone suspected nannies, babysitters, day care personnel, teachers, coaches, or priests of child molestation or abuse. How could they? Anyone who works with children must love them, right? Wrong. Thanks to education, awareness, enforcement, victims' rights groups, and media coverage, most parents are aware of potential hazards and have learned how to assess and monitor who is taking care of their children. Also, few parents would casually drop their babies off like dry cleaning, and yet animal guardians leave their furry family members--who are as defenseless as babies--with veterinarians that they assume are all alike. They aren't. Assuming that any vet is as good as any other is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Veterinarians require screening, monitoring, and a system of checks and balances that is unfortunately up to you, the guardian, because you cannot depend on the licensing board or legal system to protect you if something goes wrong.
And not all animal doctors love animals any more than all people doctors love people.
Victims of veterinary incompetence, negligence, or malpractice have fewer options and legal recourse than those dealing with other professions. Animals have very little worth in society alive, much less dead. On top of that, veterinarians are rarely held accountable by their professional associations and licensing boards.
As the public becomes more aware, and more animal guardians file complaints and civil actions in order to hold vets accountable, then hopefully we will all be safer. Until then, it is up to us as guardians to do everything possible to protect our pets.
Fortunately, the media is slowly discovering, and covering, this very real and very serious problem. But much more needs to be done, with the goal being that the public will be as aware of the problems within the veterinary profession as they are about similar problems in almost every other profession. Raising awareness will increase the level of protection for companion animals everywhere.
Why did you start this site?
I started this in memory and honor of my wonderful cat Suki, who was horribly mistreated by Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, San Antonio. Read Suki's Story.