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Dr. William Baber, Gallatin, Tennessee

Editorial

December 14, 2007

Veterinarian William Baber's license was suspended for four months by the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and placed on probation for five years.

Baber's License Suspended, Fined, mytennessean.com, December 14, 2007

So "Dr." Baber is out of commission for four whole months. I personally believe that this vet's license should have been revoked, but a vet can't practice without his license, and the goal of vet boards everywhere is to protect the livelihood of the vet, no matter how many statutes they violate. Let's hope the heat is kept up on this jerk.  Thankfully, he won't be permitted to work at an animal shelter during his five-year probationary period, but that means he'll still be inflicted on the public in the form of private practice. A vet doing whatever he wants behind closed doors is very bad news indeed, but at least this one won't be harming any animals for a few months. Maybe he can take some courses between now and then to learn the definitions of  "sedation" and "anesthesia" and "euthanasia" and "humane," in case he missed them first time around.  

Hopefully, when Mr. Baber goes back to work, savvy Tennessee pet guardians will do their homework before they entrust their pets to him, since he seems to be extremely deficient in keeping up with the laws of his own profession. He claims that he didn't know about the statute he violated, and says the board hadn't notified him that the laws for humane euthanasia had changed. Huh?  He also claims that other vets didn't know the law had been changed either. 

So the moral here, for us uneducated and ignorant "nonprofessionals," is 1) do whatever you want, and 2) if you get caught -- blame something or somebody else! And don't forget to throw in what other vets do or don't do, and know or don't know, to justify your own incompetence. Whine about how YOU are the "real victim." That's admirable, and certainly a sign of great integrity.

Which means, sadly for pet owners and guardians, that no matter how the offense is, some vets will still find a way to make endless excuses for themselves. A coward like Baber will probably spend the rest of his days claiming he did nothing wrong, he was only doing his job, someone was out to get him, blah blah blah. Those are the usual smokescreens used by those who don't have what it takes to  step up, be a man, and take responsibility for their actions. Let's hope the ongoing criminal investigation nails him too. Then we'll see what his next set of excuses will be. It's not his first run-in with the board, either, so it's not like they didn't know what they were dealing with.  He was also reprimanded by the shelter facility several months earlier for his methods, which obviously did a lot of good since Baber kept doing what he was doing (i.e., whatever he wanted). 

It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this creep turn around and sue someone for defamation/entrapment/harassment/emotional distress or whatever else his lawyer can dream up. But if he's been paying any attention to the track record of lawsuits being used to silence or punish their critics, maybe he's smart enough to recognize that that is a losing battle, too.  No vet will ever have the power to silence our statements about what we have every right and reason to believe is WRONG. As long as there are vets doing incorrect, inhumane, incompetent, negligent, and harmful things, there will ALWAYS be somebody out there to tell what they did, and to whom they did it. They can't silence EVERYBODY. But some vets might really believe that they have the power to control everyone. Can you say arrogant?  

At least the Tennessee board took some action, partly, I hope, in response to media coverage and public pressure, which is what it will ultimately take to shine the spotlight on vets who think the rules don't apply to them. The public has the right to know what these licensees of the state are REALLY doing, so that everyone can make informed choices for the care of their companion animals. -- J.C.

 

Related:

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

 

News

Jerry Truitt, DVM, Collierville, Tennessee

Couple says vet 'faked' dog's death, abcnews.go.com, November 11, 2005