March 1 2014
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In memory and honor of one very special cat, victim of negligent and incompetent vet Edward J. Nichols, DVM, Crestway Animal Clinic, San Antonio, Texas. Read Suki's Story
For the Texas Veterinary Board investigation of Edward J. Nichols at Crestway Animal Clinic, see the official allegations here.
For the travesty of the informal conference in Austin where sole board vet Martin E. Garcia DVM of Raymondville, Texas, ignored all documented evidence of Nichols' mistreatment of Suki, see my account here along with the correspondence from the board agency.
For a detailed account of the facts and proof that Garcia chose to ignore, allowing Nichols to walk scot-free, read A State of Disgrace: Is the Texas Veterinary Board Really Protecting the Public?
For information on the lawsuit Nichols filed against me in his failed attempt to dismantle this site and his failed attempt to get an unconstitutional injunction to try to prevent Suki's Story from being told, see the timeline here.
NOTE: Nichols failed in his legal attempts to squash the truth of what he did to Suki. There is no judgment, ruling, verdict, gag order or court order controlling the content of this or any of my sites.
Never has been, never will be.
A message from the founder
Check out my new blog: Suki's Safe Haven
Why File a Complaint Against Your Veterinarian
The Secret Truth about Abusive Veterinarians
Is Your Veterinarian Trying to Game Google?
See the depths some of these creeps sink to in an attempt to hide the truth about themselves from the public.
First time visitors, please read Disclaimers and Guidelines and Mission Statement
Do you need to file a vet board complaint against a veterinarian?
Check out updated contact info for United States veterinary boards
Most board sites allow you to download a complaint form directly from their site.
If you are in Texas, go to Texas page
Suki's Safe Haven: Why File a Complaint Against Your Vet?
There's strength in numbers. Speak out against veterinary abuse, malpractice, and negligence.
New figures released from APPA's 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey (NPOS) show pet ownership is currently at 62 percent of all U.S. households owning a pet which equates to more than 72 million households. That's up from 56 million in 1988 when APPA's tracking began. Americans own approximately 78 million dogs, 86 million cats, 151 million freshwater fish, 8.6 million saltwater fish, 16 million birds, 16 million small animals and 13 million reptiles.
For 2012, it estimated that $52.87 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S., including $13.59 billion in veterinary care.
[Source - American Pet Products Association]
MICHIGAN RESIDENTS, check out Mulan's Horror Story
Vet William Schultz, DVM, Okemos, Michigan leaves gauze inside dog
Here's one for the books--if the books are about arrogant, bully vets threatening their own victims with a defamation lawsuit for telling the truth and providing evidence of what the vet did to an innocent animal.. Dr. William Schultz, DVM, of Schultz Veterinary Clinic in Okemos, Michigan, left a piece of gauze inside of Mulan, an Alaskan Malamute, leading to months of pain, a life-threatening infection, and a huge growth of tissue around the gauze that Schultz left behind.
Check out Cindy O'Malley's Pet Malpractice site which also brings attention to the antiquated laws in Michigan regarding animals.
WARNING! GRAPHIC PHOTOS.
The owner also told her story on RipOff Report here.
Vet leaves gauze inside dog during surgery, then threatens to sue owner.
If you are a Texas resident, and are being bullied by an arrogant veterinarian with threats of an injunction or lawsuit affecting your First Amendment freedoms, you should know that Texas passed anti-SLAPP legislation in 2012.
Check out SLAPPedinTexas.com for a list of legal resources.
Are you being sued by a veterinarian in your state?
If you've already been sued, contact me here so I can add the veterinarian's name to my page "Help! My Vet Sued Me!"
The public has the right to know who and where these bully vets are.
Pet Owners Want Informed Consent of Drug Risks
Every once in a while you run into a unique voice that speaks out for animals in a way that touches, inspires, and energizes. Iíve certainly run across a few in the last 13 years, as you can see from the web sites and articles I feature here on my site -- most of which came about as a result of a personal tragedy connected to veterinary care for their pets.
One strong, outstanding voice in the area of consumer education is journalist Kelly Kaczala, News Editor at The Press (Ohio). She has written frequently on the subject of pets as family, animal welfare, status of pets as property, and the risks of extra-label drugs being used by vets on pets.
One of her most touching articles is A Fond Farewell to an Old Friend featured on the excellent site DOGS Adverse Reactions telling of her sweet dog Mattie and her poignant memories of her.
I was curious as to what happened to Mattie and did some research. Mattieís heartbreaking account of her death is found in the article below, which was part of presspublications.comís Pets as Family Special Report. Kelly served as Project Manager and contributed heavily to the section, along with writers Melissa Burden, Larry Limpf, J. Patrick Eaken, and editor Tammy Wilhelm.
Kelly's sad experience with Sylvania Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Bob Esplin DVM and Dr. Ross Mahowald, DVM, is a cautionary tale to anyone blindly trusting their vets, especially when it comes to drugs that are administered.
Read more about Mattie here and what you need to know about drug dangers.
Romi's Rimadyl Site
D.O.G.S. Adverse Reactions
Animals in Print: Emerging Issues Regarding Informed Consent
This flame shines in memory of all of our beloved animal companions who were harmed or killed by veterinarians, whether through incompetence, negligence, malpractice, apathy, or cruelty.
We will never forget.
We will never be silenced.
If you haven't yet done so, please read our Mission Statement
April 26, 2013
A letter to Suki
August 5, 1979 - April 26, 1999
My friend and fellow citizen advocate Greg Munson sent me the following, for those fighting the good fight for justice and against corrupt systems that protect the wealthy and powerful. -- Each time a person stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. Few are willing to embrace the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. --Robert F. Kennedy
Do you need to file a complaint against a veterinarian? Start here.
Texas Residents: Do you know your veterinarian's disciplinary record? CHECK HERE!
But keep in mind, some of the worst offenders aren't even on this list!
Mesquite, Texas--Citizen advocate Greg Munson of Mesquite, Texas, has compiled a listing of all disciplinary actions taken against veterinarians in Texas.* The listing can be viewed at http://texasveterinaryrecords.com
Greg compiled this list because the list on the board's web site does not contain the full docket of disciplinary actions. The board is playing games with with what the public has the right to know. And when you check the site to verify a vet's license, the board outright LIES about some vets who HAVE been disciplined, claiming that there is no disciplinary action against them when there is.
The Texas Vet Board has a DISMAL record of disciplining vets who may have violated the standard of care. More than 90 percent of malpractice complaints in Texas are DISMISSED. Who exactly is the Texas vet board protecting? Not the public, that's for sure.
There are SIX VETERINARIAN MEMBERS ON THE TEXAS VET BOARD. Complaints are not evaluated by the board, but by only one vet (prior to 2005) or two vets (after 2005).
The Texas Vet Board system is a TRAVESTY that endangers the lives of our pets every single day by refusing to enforce the laws of its own profession against those vets who, like Suki's vet, breach the standard of care, fail to get owner consent for even serious procedures such as anesthesia and surgery, fail to perform presurgical labwork or pre-anesthetic evaluations, fail to keep accurate records, fail to properly diagnose and inform the owner of an animal's TRUE CONDITION, and then when caught, fail to accept responsibility for what they have done and instead blame the owners.
Check out Greg's consumer site. It is the ONLY place on the net where the public can get a TRUE picture of just how many vets in Texas have been disciplined -- not the whitewashed and dishonest versions put forth by the Texas vet board.
*Source of data: Public records from TBVME full docket listing, agreed orders, and online disciplinary records
Media Coverage of vetabusenetwork.com in Texas
Watch the KSAT-12 trailer here
KSAT-12 in San Antonio Asks "Who's Vetting Your Vet?"
"Vets are getting away with murder..."
--Greg Munson. advocate, Mesquite, TX
San Antonio--ABC affiliate KSAT-12 aired an investigative piece on Tuesday, November 18, entitled "Vetting Your Vet." Reported by April Molina, the Defenders segment focused on pet owners trying to make changes at the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Advocates Greg Munson (www.stempy.net) and Julie Catalano, founder of vetabusenetwork.com were interviewed, along with Dewey Helmcamp, executive director of the state board.
2007 - Watch CBS 11's anchor Tracy Rowlett's two-part investigative series on KTVT-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth:
Pet Owners Claim Vet Malpractice Killed Dogs/Pet Owners Fight for Better Animal Health Care (Dallas/Fort Worth), cbs11tv.com, March 21-22, 2007 (Interview with Greg Munson, Julie Catalano, Jack Wolfson, Janie Carpenter DVM
2004 - The Power of Forgiveness, Lisa Collier Cool, Reader's Digest, May 2004 (Interview with Julie Catalano)
More vetabusenetwork.com Media Coverage Here
A STATE OF DISGRACE: Is the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Really Protecting the Public?
READ AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF.
Beware of Dr. CheapVet!
The current financial climate makes it tempting to cut corners on veterinary care. But you could end up paying the highest price of all.
Does your vet brag about low, low prices? Imply that "other" vets are greedy while his only motives are practically saintly? Boast that he or she doesn't do "unnecessary" tests like those "greedy" vets?
Quick quiz: Do you KNOW what the standard of care is, or do you just take your "wonderful" vet's word for it?
Be warned: While you're idolizing your vet for saving you money, your pets could be paying the ultimate price.
by Julie Catalano, Founder, vetabusenetwork.com
Read full article here
Don't Believe Everything You Hear from Your Vet
Excellent article from PETA about the importance of questioning your vet.
The importance of questioning authority cannot be overstated. Blind obedience to authority can lead to horrifying consequences, as was clearly demonstrated in the Milgram experiments of the 1960s, in which between 61 and 66 percent of people were willing to administer fatal shocks (450 volts) to another human being just because the authority figure told them that they must do it.
The moral of the story is this: Take everything your vet says with a grain of salt. You alone are responsible for your dogís well-being, so if something in a treatment plan seems off, speak up! Ask for alternatives. Get a second opinion and a third and a fourth, if you have to, and by all means, check out the holistic alternatives and approaches. Go online and do some research on your own. Youíll be amazed at how much you can learn that way. Take charge of your dogís health yourself. You, and not your vet, are your dogís best advocate.
To this excellent advice I would add: ALWAYS get copies of your pet's records, including copies of all lab work.
As I've said many, many times - show me lousy records and I will show you a lousy vet.
Major Legal Victory for Animal Guardians in Washington State!
Do you suspect your pet died or was seriously damaged as a result of an unauthorized procedure by a vet? You might be interested in a big legal win that just took place in Washington State. Read A Major Victory for Animal Guardians posted at the Animal Legal Defense Fund site.
To me, unauthorized procedures are the ultimate betrayal, the personification of arrogance carried out by a vet who thinks that he or she has the right to do whatever, wherever, and however, to an animal that does not and never will belong to them without even consulting with the owner PRIOR to the procedures. It is unforgivable, inexcusable, and the sure sign of an egomaniac with so little respect for the rights of others that there really is no punishment sufficient for someone as despicable as that. - JC
Here is the most important legal information from the Washington case:
"The court held, importantly, that the question of whether an animal has any market value is one left to the jury to decide. All the plaintiff must do is present evidence that the animal lacks a market value and a replacement value (perhaps because of her age, mixed breed status, or health), and the question goes to the jury on the animal's value. Because juries are often sympathetic to the real value people place on their animal companions, this is a major victory for guardians." Read more here
"Help! My Vet Sued Me!!"
Check here for updates on lawsuits being filed by VETERINARIANS against their CLIENTS
We will monitor ongoing litigation by vets against their own victims and WILL REPORT ON THIS SITE whatever tactics are used by vets in litigation. If you have a story to share about vets who are filing lawsuits and/or attempting to obtain injunctions against former clients sharing their experiences, contact me.
WE WILL POST PUBLIC RECORD OF LAWSUITS FILED BY VETS TO SILENCE THEIR CRITICS.
Editorial: Why is the Free Speech Online Campaign Important?
by Julie Catalano
VAN's First Amendment Section
Consumer web sites watching selected state veterinary boards:
In memory of Asproolee
Alabama Vet Board Watch
In memory of Pocket
New Hampshire Vet Board Watch
In memory of Alex and Gus
www.aligus.com (North Carolina)
n memory of Stempy, Suki, Bo Bo Bear, Parker, Calypso
Texas Vet Board Watch
Check out video by award-winning author Jan Rasmussen at
Your Veterinarian: Friend Or Foe?
Jan Rasmussen, author of Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, has produced a series of outstanding videos on such topics as Avoiding Dangerous Veterinarians and Stand Up to your Veterinarian
Check out her blog at www.Truth4Dogs.com and website www.Dogs4Dogs.com
"Most of us trust our vets wholeheartedly, because we see dog care as too complicated for mere mortals, we happily abdicate our responsibility as our pets advocate in favor of our vet's perceived wisdom," she says.
She writes that a 2006 Gallop Poll shows that Americans perceive the veterinary profession to be among the top three "Honesty and Ethical Professions," says Rasmussen.
But as she wisely points out: "It's important to remember that perception isn't always reality."
Truer words were never spoken.
Going to the Vet? Ten Ways to Protect Your Best Friend
By Julie Catalano
Get copies of records...check out your vet's official and unofficial history of problems...plus second opinion, second opinion, second opinion...more
"Show me lousy records, and I will show you a lousy vet..."
Consumer blog a must-read for pet owners and guardians everywhere
Citizen advocate Stefani Olsen has done an extraordinary job of culling through the nation's disciplinary records on veterinarians from coast to coast -- and highlighting some of the worst offenders you can imagine, all taken from public investigative, disciplinary, and legal records. Warning: Graphic and disturbing content.
For those who think "it can't happen to me," the Bad Vet Daily graphically illustrates what can and does go on behind closed doors at vet clinics.
"If reading this blog gets one pet owner to admit the thought into their minds that maybe -- just maybe -- they shouldn't blindly trust their vet, it will have been worth it. We need to become proactive in evaluating vets and their care, not waiting for a tragedy." [Source: The Bad Vet Daily]
Excerpted from The Bad Vet Daily
Alabama Vet Fakes Burglary, Sets Clinic on Fire, Killing Two Dogs and Five Cats:
From Bad Vet Daily:
"This is a story that epitomizes how
vets can lie -- lies so bald-faced, so immoral, that one is left to ask:
'Is this man a sociopath?' Lies in which the vet is the hero or martyr,
whose heart bleeds for animals, when the truth is -- he is a killer of
"This is also a story of how eager the veterinary community, and the press and community at large are, to buy into this false heroic image of veterinarians." read entire post by the BVD editor here
Consumer Alert! You have the right to informed consent
INFORMED CONSENT -- DOES YOUR VET KNOW WHAT THAT IS?
AVMA Standard Consent Form
Is your vet using a consent form PRIOR to the procedures he performs? Even the AVMA offers the use of a standard consent form for its members to use which clearly states that the owner has "been informed that there are certain risks and complications associated with any operation or procedure of this type. They have been explained to me as well."
Further, the form states that the owner authorizes "the use of appropriate anesthesia and pain relief medication as needed before or after the procedure."
Getting permission from the owner prior to anesthesia and surgery? What a concept. A pet guardian has every right to know what is being done to their animal BEFORE it's done. Use a vet who does not use consent forms for procedures involving surgery and anesthesia at your own risk, or you may end up with a vet doing whatever he or she wants with no thought to your wishes and CHOICES as a pet owner.
Informed consent is the VETERINARIAN explaining risks vs. benefits of a SPECIFIC procedure PRIOR to the procedure being performed. It is NOT a vet doing whatever they want, in secret, and then claiming afterwards that "informed consent" was given. NOR IS IT "INFORMED CONSENT" THROUGH A THIRD PARTY SUCH AS A STAFF MEMBER, VET TECH, OR RECEPTIONIST.
If the vet himself did NOT explain the specific procedure to you BEFORE it was done, THEN INFORMED CONSENT DID NOT HAPPEN, NO MATTER HOW THE VET ATTEMPTS TO TWIST EVENTS.
More on record-keeping and informed consent here
Do you need to file a complaint against a veterinarian?
Texas residents, go to Texas Page
Consumer Website Watches Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Site launched by Mesquite victims Greg and Cindy Munson aims to shed daylight on proceedings in Austin and keep Texas pet owners informed on laws that affect pets and vets.
Do you doubt that vets protect vets?
If you do, consider this: More than 90 percent of consumer complaints filed with the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners against vets in Texas are DISMISSED - formerly by only one vet, in recent years by two, thanks to legislative changes - but never by the entire board as the public might be led to believe. Complaint dismissals are regularly rubber-stamped by the board only after one or two vets conduct their off the record "investigation" safely out of public view, while communicating with the vet in question and forbidding the complainant to have any contact with them. While some states open their investigative files to the public so that owners and guardians can make up their own minds, Texas does not. It is a secret system in this state that puts our pets at continuous risk.
But that won't -- and thankfully can't -- stop consumers from sharing as much information as possible.
If you live in Texas, please join the Munsons in helping to hold the Texas vet board accountable for the policies and procedures that are in place to PROTECT VETS at the expense of our PETS' LIVES, and at the expense of public health and safety.
Think Texas has the only sorry vet board in the country?
Dr. William Baber, Gallatin, Tennessee
Vet Accused of Inhumane Animal Euthanasia Regains License
April 25, 2008,
GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) - A veterinarian accused of euthanizing animals
without sedation at the Sumner County animal shelter had his license
reinstated, but will be on probation.
William Baber had his license suspended after the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners viewed video footage of his practices first aired by WSMV-TV in Nashville.
The video showed Baber injecting sodium pentobarbital directly into the animals' hearts, a procedure known as intracardial euthanasia. The procedure is legal in the state only if the animal is sedated. more
Vet injected sodium pentobarbitol directly into thousands of animals hearts without sedation or anesthesia. Baber claims he didn't know that was illegal.
Baber's License Suspended, Fined, mytennessean.com, December 14, 2007
PETA Action Alert: Demand Revocation of Cruel Veterinarian's License
Tennessee Vet's License Reinstated
Board Temporarily Suspends Tennessee Vet's License Due to Illegal Euthanasia Method
Sheriff's Office to Investigate Illegal Euthanasia Methods by Tennessee Vet
Other Related Posts:
Gallatin Vet, Baber, Arrested and Charged
Tennessee Vetís License Reinstated
Board Suspends Cruel Tennessee Vet After Video Exposes Euthanasia Practices
Tennessee Vetís Cruel Euthanasia Methods Exposed
Dr. William Baber, Gallatin, Tennessee
Gallatin Vet, Baber, Arrested and Charged, wsmv.com, January 3, 2008
"Tennessee Vet Gone Bad"
"...still conscious, the cats were described as...'going wild' after being placed in a container, with as many as 10-15 of them being dumped on top of each other in a 'cruel manner,' authorities allege. These animals were allegedly placed into an incinerator without ever verifying that they were dead before being incinerated." It was also reported that the killings were performed within view and earshot of other animals."
Baber reportedly killed approximately 3,000 dogs and cats last year, netting him $9 per animal.
[Source: On Loving Animals - William Baber, Tennesee Vet Gone Bad]
Dr. Joshua Winston, Phoenix
September 16, 2008 - Editorial
Big Surprise: Joshua Winston Cleared, but Will We Ever Know What Really Happened?
As I predicted when this vet was arrested and indicted for animal cruelty charges last year, Joshua Winston of Arizona was found not guilty of animal cruelty on September 11.
Sorry, but there's still something extremely disturbing about this case, and for that matter, any case involving alleged animal cruelty by a vet. Seems like they can never, for one reason or another, ever seem to make the charges stick despite all the evidence (Howard Baker in New Jersey, Mircia Volosen in Texas, Thomas Sheridan in South Carolina, and now Joshua Winston in Arizona). They go after the messengers big time ("disgruntled" employees, "disgruntled, crazy" owners, etc.), and listen to the "explanations" of these "doctors" who always seem to have a ready answer when it comes to justifying whatever it is they are doing.
Sorry, but I'm a little leery of hatchet jobs on anybody who dares to come forward and speak out against a vet.
Is it the blind hero worship of vets? Is it the shredding they do of witnesses who dare to try to hold these "professionals" accountable? Is it the crafty tactics used by defense attorneys to make sure their clients get away with whatever they are accused of?
Hard to imagine a pediatrician even being accused, much less arrested and indicted by a grand jury on the basis of the evidence and eyewitnesses, being found not guilty in a case of child abuse.
And yet the courts seem more than willing to cut veterinarians all kinds of slack in animal cruelty cases.
And make no mistake: The vets--and their lawyers--know this better than anybody.
So the board cleared this vet (no surprise there). The jury cleared this vet (no surprise there).
Maybe the court of public opinion will come to a different conclusion. One can only hope.
- Julie Catalano, Founder, vetabusenetwork.com
See more media coverage on Joshua Winston here:
A Dog of a Case: Andrew Thomas Again Proves that Indicting the Innocent Isn't a Good Idea, phoenixnewtimes.com, October 16, 2008
Sun City Veterinarian Found Not Guilty of Abusing Chihuahua, azcentral.com, September 9, 2008 (includes commentary by readers following the article)
Vet Arrested in Chihuahua's Beating, (Phoenix, Arizona) readingeagle.com, June 11, 2007
Dog beaten, eye dislodged, vet charged, www.pet-abuse.com - Joshua Winston, DVM
Recovering from the crash: A planner lays out a plan to help veterinarian Joshua Winston rally back from two big setbacks, cnnmoney.com, January 10, 2005
Vindicated Veterinarian Recounts Ordeal, yourwestvalley.com, September 11, 2008
Board clears veterinarian of punching chihuahua, Arizona Republic, September 26, 2007On a 5-2 decision, the veterinary board agreed last week there was no evidence that Dr. Joshua Winston had acted unprofessionally, and it later dismissed an animal-abuse complaint against him, said Jenna Jones, the board's executive director.
Winston, the owner of Sun City West Animal Hospital, was indicted on one felony charge of animal abuse in July.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas called the board decision "disappointing and contrary to the weight of the evidence" and said his office will continue to prosecute Winston. [Source: Arizona Republic]
Dr. Joshua Winston faces charges of animal cruelty and theft, according to a prepared statement from Maricopa County Sheriff's office.
The theft charges
come from a separate incident in earlier this year, when Winston was to
vaccinate a Neapolitan Mastiff and instead of vaccinating the dog, Winston
shot the vaccination into the air and charged the dog's owner, Jeff Orth,
$80. [Source: azcentral.com, July 10, 2007]
My favorite comment came from this poster on the Republic's web site.
"They decided he did not act unprofessionally!?!? Hmmm, And what does a vet charge you for the 'Professional' service of knocking your dog's eye out?"
Featured essay: Pet Owners Beware
"Consumers have the right to question the goods and services they pay for. Consumers have the right when business and government agency's refuse help to go to others seeking and sharing those same goods and services and ask questions. Consumers have a right to basic consumer rights, freedom of speech and freedom of information. As pet owners we are consumers. What reputable business hangs out a sign, offers goods and services to the public, solicits your business, takes your money, then has the state pass a law which restricts you from questioning or scrutinizing them? These people are your pets veterinarians."
A Must-Read - a PETA Investigator's Story
Do you know what happens in your pet's back room?
An 8-Point Plan to Protect Your Animal Companion
"Does the vet go into the back room for even simple procedures?...ALWAYS exercise your right to be with your animal at all times...If your animal must stay overnight...make sure someone is going to be there to monitor...For anything major, seek a second and third opinion. You are entitled to copies of your companion's medical records and x-rays...If you believe an animal has been mistreated, take him or her to another vet for a thorough examination." more
Vet Removes Dog's Teeth Without Notifying Owner, North Andover, Mass., eagletribune.com, June 2, 2007
"The whole idea is this is your child, this is your baby. How can you trust what they say when you drop off your pet?" asked [owner] Carew, who lives in Haverhill.
"'There is nothing you can do for a cat whose kidneys are failing.' Wrong. Fluids and various medications can be of great benefit.... Run from a vet who throws up his or her hands like this. At the very least, get a second opinion." [Stupid Vet Tricks?]
Dedicated to the loving memory of Toby
Family Blames Animal Clinic After Dog Suddenly Dies, wftv.com, Orlando, March 2, 2007
"Eyewitness News went to the animal hospital for some answers, but got none. Now Dan wants to find out not only what killed his dog, but at least three other dogs that were at the hospital. An after death medical report from the University of Florida said the deaths were linked to some kind of infectious organism."
Pocket's Story from New Hampshire
Check out Pocket's Story to see the disciplinary action (and lack thereof) taken against vets in New Hampshire.
Summary: 1995-2000 85 written complaints received and 9 forms of official discipline imposed for a rate of 10.5%
2000-2005 133 written complaints resulted in 7 forms of official discipline for a rate of 5.3% [Source: Pocket's Story]
A disciplinary rate of 5.3 percent? Pathetic! The NH board must be vying for the title of most worthless vet board in the country. Unfortunately, they have a LOT of competition in that category..
For more information, check out the New Hampshire Resident Page on Pocket's Story site.
Texas VetBoardWatch Site Launched by Texas Advocates
Urgent Notice to Pet Guardians
Do you have complete copies of your pet's medical records?
Veterinary Record-Keeping Essential to Your Pet's Health and Safety
Filing a complaint? Get copies of records immediately. If you live in a state that allows you to get copies of your pet's records (Texas does), do so as soon as possible and before you file the complaint with the state board. More
"After Luke died, I contacted all of the veterinary clinics where I had taken Luke and requested copies of his records. (You bet I was pissed!) All but one clinic did indeed send me records, however, the records were useless. I was shocked and appalled! The records were scant, incomplete, non-existent. Most of the "records" are only copies of the billing. Only the University of Minnesota Veterinary Clinic keeps records of any value - but then, their vets don't read them and end up killing your dog.... I'll tell you about that later."
From Luke's Story
INFORMED CONSENT -- DOES YOUR VET KNOW WHAT THAT IS?
"Obtaining the informed consent of the pet owner prior to the anesthetic and/or surgical procedure may be one of the most important steps in establishing an understanding with the client. This process addresses the issue of risks associated with the procedure." -- From the California Veterinary Medical Board web site.
Is your veterinarian following the law?
Veterinarians Can 'Get Away with Murder,' Animal-Law Attorney Says, columbiajournalist.org, February 26, 2007
"If you file suit against a vet in New York, donít expect much. Seligman, who is fighting to get damages for her client in the ruptured spleen case, says that while there does exist a standard of care Ė ďthe reasonably prudent doctor standardĒ Ė if something goes wrong, a veterinarian is hardly ever held liable." more
Consumer site for veterinary victims in Maryland
The Toonces Project
Toonces Olsen (Maryland)
Check here for list of Maryland vets disciplined between January 1, 2005 - August 2, 2006
Check out The Toonces Project Editorials:
Vets Sue to Silence Critics
Veterinary Board, Do Your Job!
Do you need to file a complaint against a veterinarian? Start Here
Texas Pet Guardians - What You Need to Know
Stempy's Story "Never Blindly Trust Your Vet"
Stempy's Checklist -- How to Choose a Veterinarian
Choose the original 40-question comprehensive version or the 21-question express checklist
Check background, compliance, experience, education, office hours, appointments, emergencies, practice issues, fees and payment methods, tour of the facility, and more
Stempy Munson (Texas)
Watch Stempy's Story and Suki's Story on CBS 11's Tracy Rowlett's Two-Part Series on KTVT-TV, Dallas:
Pet Owners Claim Vet Malpractice Killed Dogs (Dallas) cbs11tv.com, March 21, 2007
Pet Owners Fight for Better Animal Health Care , cbs11tv.com, March 22, 2007
State-by-state breakdown of vet board info, vets in the news, and media coverage on veterinary malpractice, incompetence, neglect and abuse.
Do you want to contribute links to what's happening in your state? Contact me here.
Whatever happened to Dr. Dachshund Killer in Texas?
Read more about Dr. Dog Killer here
Make sure your vet has this posted:
Does your vet obey the statutes of the Texas Veterinary Licensing Act? Do you see this sign at your vet's clinic? If not, maybe it's time to find another vet... Vets in Texas are required to post notice of where to file complaints.
Has a veterinarian ever threatened you? Email me here
Need a place to tell your personal vet experience? Check out www.ripoffreport.com
Lucky the Dog (Florida) makes the news again...
When Pets Die at the Vet, Grieving Owners Call Lawyers, USA Today, March 15, 2005
Pfizer settles lawsuit with guardians of dogs harmed or killed by Rimadyl. More
"Times Have Changed," by Laurryn Simpson
Romi Sanchez (Washington)
Read Romi's Story
Changes include recommendations made by vetabusenetwork.com to change the complaint review process in Texas
On May 18, 2004, I testified at the Sunset Commission which oversees the practices of all state boards, about what I believe to be potential for abuse and corruption on the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners with regard to the complaint review process. I testified to what I perceived to be then-Board secretary Dr. Martin Garcia ignoring all my evidence in my board complaint against Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, San Antonio, Texas, with regard to his questionable treatment of Suki.
Later, during subsequent testimony by other representatives at that meeting, Sunset Commission public member Howard Wolf, in referring to issues I had raised in my testimony, asked a question that relates to ALL pet guardians in Texas who trust their pets to veterinarians every single day:
"What about the standard of care? What about Suki the cat?"
- Sunset Commission public member Howard Wolf
It proved that someone is listening. And I was never prouder of my Suki than on that day in Austin.
I am happy to report that on September 1, 2005, HB1131 went into effect which will offer improved protection to pet guardians in the state who file complaints with the vet board regarding possible violations of the Texas Veterinary Practice Act.
TO START THE VETERINARY BOARD COMPLAINT PROCESS: Was your pet harmed or killed by what you suspect might be veterinary negligence, incompetence, malpractice, or abuse? Don't know what to do first? Unfortunately, there is no federal law that governs veterinarians. Each state has its own procedures.
Be sure the vet has a valid license to practice.
Two of our fave words: Public record. Call your state board to find out if the vet has a record.
States may vary. Check the procedures here.
Note: These are links to board procedures only. To file a civil lawsuit, consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.
State Veterinary Board Reviews
They are large and in charge. Read articles on how they do -- and don't do -- their jobs.
"The Board's first priority is to protect the public."
The Future of Veterinary Malpractice Liability in the Care of Companion Animals
by Christopher Green
The unwillingness of American civil courts to realistically compensate companion animal loss has effectively negated the only independent means of enforcing the veterinary standard of care. In doing so, it has perpetuated an industry-wide market failure by keeping veterinary malpractice insurance rates artificially lower than consumers would be willing to absorb to protect themselves. Given that U.S. pet owners annually spend over $19,000,000,000 (19 billion) on veterinary care, and make more than 200,000,000 visits to the veterinarian every year, the potential for social and economic loss is considerable. Read full article here
"Like any rule, the veterinary standard of care is only effective to the degree that it is enforced . . . the objective record of state veterinary boards clearly demonstrates that they rarely take meaningful disciplinary action in instances of negligence."
"Not surprisingly, American pet owners willingness to spend these increased amounts on companion animal care has translated into an enormous economic benefit for veterinarians. In the last 10 years alone,the gross revenue of companion animal exclusive practices has more than doubled,256 with 60%of this increase occurring just in the last four years.257 Even in the midst of a national economic downturn, three out of four veterinary practices expect to see further growth, both in the number of transactions and in gross revenue,again this year.
"The most recent AVMA statistics confirm that the average companion animal practitioner's income rose 25% in the last four years recorded. Individually, in 2001, veterinarians who worked exclusively with pets earned an average of $84,447 while board-certified specialists commanded an average of $142,174."
by Kelly Barron, Smart Money Magazine, August 16, 2005
Agriculture Ministry (Israel)
Protecting the Abusers, haareetz.com, Israel, April 30, 2007
"The ministry claims this is a matter of professional supervision
of investigative procedures and that the Veterinary Services is the body
most suited for this task. In practice, however, it amounts to a sort of
"Instead of mobilizing for the
active and systematic protection of animals that are subject to
exploitation and cruelty in so many cases, the Agriculture Ministry is
mainly engaged in protecting the authority that it fails to exercise in
any case, or in covering up for veterinarians who have needlessly
mistreated animals." more
Vet Clinic Owner Arrested Again, (South Carolina) myrtlebeachonline.com, June 13, 2007
"Anderson is not a licensed veterinarian in South Carolina, prompting the May charges, officials said." more
Dr. Penny Kelso
Viewer [sic] React to Disciplined Lubbock Veterinarian (Texas), kcbd.com, June 4, 2007
Dr. Edward Frankel
Hearing Held for Veterinarian (West Chester, Pennsylvania), dailylocal.com, November 10, 2006
"I said, 'Ed, you can't keep doing this, especially in front of the staff,'" Lisa Pasquarello, owner of the Honey Brook Animal Hospital, testified during a hearing for Edward Frankel on Thursday. "He said, 'I will handle the dogs any way I feel like.'" ....
Litwin provided details of several
alleged incidents, including one that occurred in October of last year
while Frankel and Litwin were treating a German shepherd that needed to
have a growth removed from its neck.
Dr. Marcel Christiaan-Rauch
Dead vet's $1.7 million home may be seized, (Perth) thewest.com.au, March 7, 2007
Vet dies before manslaughter, sex abuse trial, PerthNow, news.com.au, March 6, 2007
Joshua Winston, DVM
Sun City Veterinarian Found Not Guilty of Abusing Chihuahua, azcentral.com, September 9, 2008
Vindicated Veterinarian Recounts Ordeal, yourwestvalley.com, September 11, 2008
Board clears veterinarian of punching chihuahua, Arizona Republic, September 26, 2007
Vet Arrested in Chihuahua's Beating, (Phoenix, Arizona) readingeagle.com, June 11, 2007
Recovering from the crash: A planner lays out a plan to help veterinarian Joshua Winston rally back from two big setbacks, cnnmoney.com, January 10, 2005
"A profession that has it both ways..."
"And I say to [veterinarians], 'Let me suggest to you that you're a profession that has it both ways. On the one hand, you're a multibillion-dollar business where, when I come in to see you, you are relying on me having an emotional attachment to my animal so much so that I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to make that animal well. And you say to me in your waiting room, 'How's your boy? What's wrong with your kid? What's wrong with your baby?' And yet if you mess up, and I want you to be held accountable, you answer me with, 'It's a piece of property.' And I would suggest to you that if you actually believe that you should hang a plaque in your front office that says, 'You are hereby notified that we subscribe to the belief that your animal is a piece of property and will be treated as such here,' we'll see how long you stay in business. You just won't."
Santa Ana, Calif.-based animal law attorney Robert Newman, quoted in The $50,000 Mutt, eastbayexpress.com, June 11, 2003
WHDH Channel 7 News, Boston, "Pet Threat", May 18, 2005
Is your vet telling you about potentially deadly drugs?
Potentially Deadly Danger for Pets, Philadelphia, cbs3.com, July 6, 2006
For Your Pet's Sake , Chicago, cbs2chicago.com, March 1, 2004
Have you had a bad one?
From Vet Techs
A Former Veterinary Technician's Account. "I am glad some philosophies and attitudes have changed, but it will require constant effort by organizations like yours before the "good old boys" networks will be broken up and their power structures dismantled. " More
The Abusive Vet "Authorities must awaken to recognize that a veterinarian is just as capable of inflicting abuse as any individual....After all, the vet is in position -daily - to abuse defenseless animals behind closed doors, if he or she is inclined to do so....I have in my possession 30 pages of transcribed verbal statements given by four additional witnesses alleging neglect, abuse and killing of animals by the same veterinarian. Yet today this veterinarian is still practicing." More
The Vets from Hell: State slow to act after animal horrors
by Lisa L. Colangelo and Thomas Zambito
Looks like the United States isn't the only country having problems with its veterinary regulatory agencies. The situation in England is downright shocking, with abusive, negligent, incompetent vets being afforded even more protection by the RCVS - The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, animal lovers have been mobilizing there as they are here, with demands being made to open up the system to protect companion animals.
Visit the Bella Moss Foundation and read the heartbreaking story of loss by Jill Moss and her beautiful Samoyed, Bella, whose unnecessary death from MRSA has resulted in an official charity foundation in the U.K. to help other pets and their humans.
Two Veterinarians GONE from San Antonio Animal Care Services!
William Lammers, DVM, resigned from the San Antonio Animal Control facility after a controversy surrounding his inhumane methods of gassing animals was exposed by the San Antonio Express News, along with his noncompliance with changes recommended by inspection authorities. Thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens and a superb investigative series by E-N staff reporter Lisa Sandberg, Lammers finally did one right thing -- he quit.
Lammers had previously been disciplined by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for allowing illegal practice. That public record information was supplied to local animal advocates by The Veterinary Abuse Network.
Roque Gonzales, DVM, was later let go by the city from his position at animal control and was the subject of an investigation by WOAI Troubleshooters . He also has a disciplinary record with the state board.
Animal Care Services Fires Head Veterinarian, San Antonio, KSAT-TV, ksat12.com
City Veterinarian Investigated by TroubleShooters, San Antonio, woai.com, November 20, 2006
Death by the Pound, San Antonio Express-News
"We speak of 'closure' in relation to grief as if it were the last dose of medicine that cures a horrible disease, or a door that can be shut to seal us from further sadness and loss. The word 'closure' has become a more polite form of suggesting that we 'get over our pain' and 'move on,' leaving the tragedy behind. However well intended, this term implies that there is a finite point when people finsih grieving and return to their 'old selves.' Boxes, books, and doors close; hearts do not. Life will go on. But life cannot be the same as before, and you are changed forever." -- Duke Community Bereavement Services
More on Suki the Cat
Suki Catalano (Texas)
Suki's Story - Her death
Suki Stories - Her life
WARNING TO SAN ANTONIO PET GUARDIANS/OWNERS:
A veterinarian's membership in a professional organization (American Association of Feline Practitioners, Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, etc.) does NOT necessarily constitute board certification in ANY SPECIALTY. If any vet states, implies, or fails to correct a client when referred to as a "specialist," that can be grounds for serious disciplinary action.
ASK YOUR VET SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS QUALIFICATIONS. A professional affiliation on a business card, advertisement, or brochure is NOT automatically a guarantee of certification. A vet can let an ignorant, trusting public believe what it wants and simply say nothing.
THE CASUAL USE OF "SPECIALTY" TERMS ARE NOT SIMPLY WORD GAMES. MISREPRESENTING YOURSELF OR ALLOWING OTHERS TO MISREPRESENT YOU, OR REMAINING SILENT WHEN REFERRED TO AS A VETERINARY SPECIALIST IS SUBJECT TO SERIOUS DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
Is your veterinarian referring you to another vet, specialist, or facility for surgery or specialized treatment?
BEFORE YOU BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET TO SEND YOU TO ANOTHER VET, DO YOUR HOMEWORK, OR YOUR PETS MAY PAY WITH THEIR LIVES
When your veterinarian makes a referral:
Ask for the full name and facility name of the veterinarian he is sending you to. He may be helping out a vet in trouble at YOUR expense.
The Southern California VMA, for example, continues to allow known violator of numerous Veterinary Practice Act statutes Robert L. Rooks, DVM, of VCA/All-Care Animal Referral Center in Fountain Valley, California, to speak at their meetings and buy dinner for their members. Some vets consistently and inexplicably STILL refer unsuspecting clients to Rooks who have NO IDEA that Rooks' license and premises permit were revoked (stayed) by the California board and how many pets died in his "care." He is still practicing and sees referrals every day. (See Breaking News for official release from the California board and IDA. See All-Care Lawsuits for victims' stories and media coverage of the Rooks case.)
Find out everything you can about a prospective veterinarian. Do not assume that if your vet doesn't say anything negative, that he or she is sending you to a good vet. A referring vet is not likely to reveal any history of professional problems (complaints, investigations, disciplinary actions, etc.). Check out all sources -- media, the Internet, public records, disciplinary actions -- to do a thorough check on the veterinarian you are being sent to.
If you have friends, business associates, or neighbors who do not have access to the Internet, offer to help them research a prospective vet. They may be relying on well-meaning but uninformed sources to send them to a veterinarian with a history of professional problems.
NEVER TRUST YOUR VETERINARIAN OR ANY PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY ORGANIZATION TO MAKE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS OR REFERRALS TO YOU WITHOUT DOING YOUR OWN RESEARCH. GET THE VET'S COMPLETE NAME AND NAME OF FACILITY TO DO A THOROUGH CHECK FOR A HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS, INVESTIGATIONS, DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS, AND ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL PROBLEMS BEFORE YOU TRUST YOUR PET WITH AN UNKNOWN VET.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site is intended to be legal or medical advice. The Veterinary Abuse Network assumes no responsibility for actions taken as a result of information provided here, or provided by any links from this site. We are not responsible for the accuracy or content on any linked sites, or in any form of online or offline media, resources, or any personal web pages or sites, nor does their inclusion here constitute an endorsement of those sites. If you have a problem with any of the links included here, please contact the owners of those sites. Media coverage in newspaper, radio, television, online news agencies is PUBLIC RECORD. Disciplinary action taken by state licensing boards against a veterinarian is PUBLIC RECORD and must be provided by the boards upon request. A vet's complaint and investigation history may or may not be public record depending on the state. For information on filing a civil lawsuit against a veterinarian, please consult an attorney. For more information please read Disclaimers and Guidelines.
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MORE TRIBUTE SITES...
Have you made a tribute site for your companion? To add your pet's site send link to
BadVets (Mattie's Story, Sylvania Veterinary Hospital)
Feline CRF Information Center If you have an elderly (geriatric) cat or one with kidney disease or CRF (Chronic Renal Failure), this site is a MUST. Only YOU are the rightful decision-maker for your cat. (See Suki's Story)
CRF Recordkeeping - Accurate records are a MUST to ensure the safety of your cat. BUYER BEWARE: If you have a vet who does not keep accurate or complete records on a CRF cat - consider finding a vet who does, and ALWAYS get copies of records after EVERY VISIT.
Read more about CRF here
For the Love of the Dog Pet Lovers' Tips, News, and more
Type in veterinarian, veterinary, veterinary clinic, veterinary hospitals, or the name of the individual vet at
www.ripoffreport.com to see consumer complaints
Jeff and Diane's Cathouse (Mr. Fluffy's Story)
Great site for holistic animal care (and their people too!):
Petgate - Pet Owners Beware
The Bella Moss Foundation - Fighting MRSA
*PLEASE NOTE: The Veterinary Abuse Network is not responsible for the accuracy or content of the above sites.