Board Temporarily Suspends Tennessee Vet’s License Due To Illegal Euthanasia Method

SumnerThe Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has temporarily suspended veterinarian William Baber’s veterinary license for using illegal euthanasia methods.

An unedited video of Baber injecting sodium pentobarbital directly into animals’ hearts was shown to the board.

Baber was not present during the hearing. He has the right to an informal conference to plead his case with the board within seven days. If the suspension is left in place, Baber can seek a hearing to appeal the decision.

The Tennessee veterinarian has also been accused of leaving injected animals unattended until they died, neglecting to weigh them to make sure he was giving the correct dosage, and failing to make certain they were dead before he incinerated their bodies.

“We have seen not only a violation … but a pattern of violations,” said Maven Thompson, president of the four-member state board.

Ken Jones, a Health Department investigator, testified at the hearing that he interviewed Baber on November 1. Jones said that Baber admitted that he did not weighh animals to determine the correct dosage and that he only “occasionally” sedated animals before injecting them in the heart.

One resident that attended the hearing who saw the video said, “I almost broke down. I can’t believe any human being could be that cruel to animals.”

Source: Tennessean

Photo: WKRN

(Thanks Connie)

30 Responses to “Board Temporarily Suspends Tennessee Vet’s License Due To Illegal Euthanasia Method”

  1. Lynn says:

    This gets worse and worse as time goes on. Thank you Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for at least suspending his license. Now you must revoke it permanently.

    Bluntly stated, the internet is a powerful voice for animal guardians Be assured TBVME that any animal abuse will be brought to light. It is in your best interests to uphold your credibility by being proactive and thoroughly investigating any and all complaints of animal abuse allegedly inflicted by veterinariancs and taking appropriate action. Your mission is to ensure that incompetent veterinarians are not practicing medicine. There can be no more “protecting” the veterinarians. It’s time to protect the animals.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Tennessee veterinarian has also been accused of leaving injected animals unattended until they died, neglecting to weigh them to make sure he was giving the correct dosage, and failing to make certain they were dead before he incinerated their bodies.

    This reminds me of the human holocaust.

  3. catmom5 says:

    Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does. This man needs to lose his license to practice veterinary medicine ~ and I hope there’s a national registry so he can’t go practice somewhere else! Those poor animals didn’t deserve this and I hope that the humans who have the power to stop it do the right thing. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS!!!

  4. Jenny Bark says:

    Catmom5, boy would that be nice, a national registry open to the public. We can dream can’t we?

    Has anybody heard anything about R.J. “hank Thompson the county exective who let this go on at least 3 years? Imo he & the top management has to go too. They all need to face charges if the poor babies are ever going to have a chance in the furture.

    Imo the killer Barber will just go pratice some place else with or without his license. He needs not only to lose his license but to face charges, imo the babies deserve no less.

  5. shibadiva says:

    His name could always be added to the abuse database at www.pet-abuse.com.

    Not good for his reputation to be listed on there.

  6. Connie says:

    I agree with all of the above - Baber’s license should be permanently revoked. I also believe he should face criminal charges. I would like to see him face separate charges for each count of cruelty.

    If you wouldn’t mind taking the time to express your opinions about revocation of Baber’s license, you can write to the board at:

    State of Tennessee Department of Health
    Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
    227 French Landing
    Suite 300
    HeritagePlace MetroCenter
    Nashville, TN 37243

    Or if you prefer to call, their numbers are:

    (Toll Free In State) 1-800-778-4123 ext. 25090
    Local Nashville Area (615) 532-5090

    Please applaud them for a job well-done so far, and encourage them to make the decision for permanent revocation of Baber’s license.

    I haven’t heard anything about Hank yet. As far as I know, no one has called him into question. I’m trying to figure out who is the boss of Hank. ;)

  7. Connie says:

    Oh, if you’d like to watch the news coverage of yesterday’s meeting, here’s a link. It’s on the front page at the moment. You may have to do a search for it later.

    http://www.fox17.com/

    The board was obviously horrified. I feel pretty good that they will do whatever they can to bring justice to this clown.

  8. Lynne says:

    shibadiva thanks for that link. What a great site that is.

  9. Stefani says:

    Thank you, all of you, for your action on this. I am truly grateful for people like you in this world.

    There are many people all over the country organizing right now to raise awareness about bad vets. One of the things we would like to do is exactly what CatMom and Jenny suggest — a national database of disciplined veterinarians. Because just like human doctors, when their licenses are taken away in one state, they often just go to another state to practice. People should be able to look up their vet in a national database.

    Anyone here who is interested in being a part of this effort, please email me at:

    Info@TheTooncesProject.com

    We need volunteers to file public information requests to obtain records (sometimes there is a fee for copying) as well as people to help design and build a database and do QA.

    Frankly, what we really need most of all is people who are willing to focus on their own states — become monitors of veterinary quality issues and State Vet Boards in their OWN states.

    Anyone up for this?

    Write me if so!

    Stefani Olsen
    Info@TheTooncesProject.com
    www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  10. Furbabies says:

    This man deserves to be hung from his ankles and whipped until he bleeds. This also goes for the people ( and I use that term loosely) who tortured animals with him. Something must be done to stop this insane lack of caring for animals. If this man is that callous to animals , just think of what he would do to a human if given the chance.

  11. Connie says:

    Actually, the full story on the people who assisted him was many of them were inmates acting under his direction. This facility, like many others, has a program for selected inmates to spend a few hours each day helping with the animals.

    One inmate was quoted early on, when this story broke, as saying, “I would leave there and just wash my hands and ask God to please forgive me.”

    I feel terrible for them.

    It was a trustee who took the undercover video, and also testified about what was being done at the hearing. The inmates were instrumental in Baber’s demise.

  12. Sylvia says:

    This should be a permanent revocation - this “man” has clearly demonstrated he is unsuited to care for any living thing. If he is ever allowed to practice again the state of Tennessee should be ashamed.

  13. Jenny Bark says:

    Connie, I will write & call the vet board but I’m going to waite another week when some of the letters will be easing up. I’m hopping there will be another march when the board meets again. This time I will pray some of the county stars will be there too.

    Thonpson still has to go & I hope face charges because imo he is every bit as guilty. I am going to call & write all of the consul board again.

    Is there anything we can do to let the person or people who helped get the vedio & witnessed against him to let them know how great they are? I would really like to let them know how great & brave I think they are & how proud I am of them. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is take a stand against the powerful & if at least one is an inmate I for one am double proud of them.

  14. Jenny Bark says:

    Shibadiva, thanks for the link on abuse. I really like it & didn’t know about it. I found a lot around where I live that I knew about and a lot I didn’t know about. I didn’t find anything about Tenn. or on any vets or shelters but I didn’t have time to stay on it for long but will be going back a lot. Thanks again.

    Stefani, I would love to help you & your group but i’m just still pain too stupid on the computer. I am good at filing Freedon of Information, getting court records & talking to people I don’t know & getting answers. All of that is very easy for me so if I can help in any way just pm me & I think you will be pleased with my work. I will let you all down when it comes to the computer, I have to find more time so I can take some classes. I think what you are doing is really great.

  15. Connie says:

    Jenny, thank you!

    Talking to people I don’t know is my weak suit, so I admire you for that. I’m better at written communication than oral.

    I think it’s a great idea to wait to write until after the initial frenzy. Actually, I think it can already be considered “old news” at this point, sadly. :( Nothing more about it on the news today, as there will be nothing to report until the formal hearing. I do expect it will get a lot of coverage at that time.

    If there is any way I can, I would like to attend the next hearing. Perhaps I can rally a few people from my dog club or work to come with me.

    Peggy Olea is the woman who blew the whistle on this horrible excuse for a man. When I googled, I found her here:

    http://www.centericemagazine.com/aboutus.html

    peggy@centericemagazine.com
    pegolea@bellsouth.net

    I have no idea who the trustee is.

  16. Lynne says:

    –One inmate was quoted early on, when this story broke, as saying, “I would leave there and just wash my hands and ask God to please forgive me.”

    Sounds like the wrong man is in jail. At least this guy has a conscience.

  17. Connie says:

    Just learned something about Hank Thompson. He announced in early October that he is battling lung cancer. He is receiving chemotherapy treatments at Vanderbilt University.

    I also see that he is an elected official and his term is not up until 2010.

    He was quoted in October as saying he expects to complete the remaining three years of his term.

  18. Connie says:

    Hooo boy. Get a load of this, from www.sumnersheriff.com:

    Homeward Bound
    Sumner County Sheriff’s Office “Homeward Bound” Program

    “Building Futures One Step At A Time”

    · Sheriff Bob Barker and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office are committed to improving the community for the citizens of our county. With this goal in mind, the Sheriff’s Office has partnered with volunteers who share in this commitment.

    · There are people in our jail for a variety of reasons. Some never finished high school. Others never had the opportunity to learn any job skills. We have people in jail that have no idea how to open a checking account or to create a household budget. Together, we can help some of these people turn their lives around and they can become taxpayers instead of a tax burden.

    · Homeward Bound is a program which helps provide inmates the opportunities and contacts needed to function when they are eventually released back to their communities. A great number of those inmates in county jails have substance abuse problems, emotional and cognitive problems and educational deficiencies that hinder their ability to find employment and cope with everyday life. Both research and history tell us there is a significant link between a lack of life skills, education, employment and incarceration.

    · The purpose of the Homeward Bound program is to give prisoners the opportunity to engage in counseling, education and strategy to develop positive change in their lives and involve them in appropriate programming in order to make that change.

    [b]· While incarcerated, eligible inmates have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of programs. Because we have partnered with a variety of community agencies, continued opportunities are available for inmates who are released.[/b]

    · Staff and volunteers will be a support base for these inmates as they address the issues that keep bringing them back to jail. The staff and [b]sponsors will be there to provide a positive role model for the inmates, [/b]as well as insuring accountability as the inmate is prepared and ready for job placement while still incarcerated and working the program.

    · By supporting inmate programs that promote positive change, family values, education, life skills, job readiness and placement, we can reduce recidivism and break the cycle of failure for many offenders. What is invested in these individuals today may be gained in productive citizens tomorrow.

    One Step at a Time ….. To a Brighter Future

  19. Stefani says:

    Re:

    “Just learned something about Hank Thompson. He announced in early October that he is battling lung cancer. He is receiving chemotherapy treatments at Vanderbilt University.”

    You know, when I was young and naiive, I believed that trials and tribulations (such as, oh, fighting almost always-incurable-and-almost-always-fatal forms of cancer) made people more compassionate. This just goes to show how naiive that belief was.

    Stefani

  20. Stefani says:

    Re: the inmates.

    Shouldn’t we write to them care of Homeward Bound and thank them? Seems like they are more compassionate and ethical in this circumstance than many of those individuals and organizations they were sent to work for. We should give them some positive reinforcement for the good deed, and tell them how much we hope they don’t fall under hte influence of evil criminals like the vet at the shelter is.

    Certainly, that program is not doing a good job of providing “positive role models” as they say they are supposed to if they are putting them places where they participate in this kind of carnage. Thankfully, there is more humanity left in these inmates apparently than in those they were working with, and it is the INMATES who are providing the positive role model here!

    Stefani

  21. Connie says:

    One more and then I’ll be quiet. Some quotes from Baber and Thompson, from wsmv.com:

    Baber didn’t deny what is going on but said he’s doing nothing wrong.

    “There’s a difference between shelter medicine and veterinary medicine. It ain’t pretty,” he said. He referred all questions to Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson, who hired him.

    “You know you’ll have people saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening in our shelter,’” Finley told Thompson.

    “Oh I’m sure, but like I say, we’ve hired a licensed veterinarian to do that. What else are we supposed to do?” Thompson said.

    The county said it has gotten complaints before and told Baber to stop.

    “I know several months ago, we talked to him about the heart shots shouldn’t be used and need to do it another way,” Thompson said.

    “So you were very clear that the heart shot shouldn’t be used?” Finley said.

    “Well, we talked about it months ago, and that was the complaint that they had,” said Thompson.

    Baber wouldn’t talk about that but said that he did sedate some animals at the shelter.

    “I do a difficult job to the best of my ability,” Baber said.

  22. Connie says:

    Stefani, I wish we could thank them and encourage them.

    I know that could not have been easy for them. It is shameful, positively shameful, that these inmates were part of a program that was supposed to help rehabilitate them, and this is what they were exposed to.

    It really burned me up when I read about Homeward Bound this morning. I found it when I was searching for more info about Hank Thompson. Sumner County received an award for “Excellence in Government” for this program.

    Shameful.

  23. Jenny Bark says:

    Stefani, great idea. Do we write them in care of Sumner County Sheriff’s office?

    Connie don’t you dare be quiet, please. I bet there is a lot of us reading the post & want to know. Please keep posting anything you know. Thanks for everything you have posted. Thanks to everybody else too, some like me wouldn’t know without you all. I keep seeing those poor babies & the way they died & don’t want it to just stop for awhile then start again.

  24. Stefani says:

    Jenny and everyone,

    Well, the page for the program is:

    http://www.sumnersheriff.com/Homeward%20Bound.aspx

    So I’m guessing we would either write the inmates c/o the Sheriff OR the Jail administrator?

    Sheriff
    Bob Barker
    Postal Mail: 117 W. Smith Street Gallatin, TN 37066
    Telephone: (615) 452-2616
    Fax: (615) 230-5637
    E-mail: bobbarker@sumnersheriff.com

    Jail Administrator
    Sonya Troutt
    Postal Mail: 117 W. Smith Street Gallatin, TN 37066
    Telephone: (615) 442-1843
    E-mail: stroutt@sumnersheriff.com

  25. Stefani says:

    Jenny,

    HOW do I PM you to write you about the project to create a “bad vets” database? (filing FOIA requests)

    I am sorry I can’t figure out how to PM members of this board —

    stefani

  26. Jenny Bark says:

    Stefani, Catmom5 & another poster helped me. I still don’t know if I’m right but here goes. Go to form then at top of page on left side click My Messages, them Messages out or something to that effect, write just like an e-mail. They told me it was important to click save before sending. Hope i’m right.

    If anybody is reading this please help in case I’m wrong or did not state it right. Everybody does not understand the forms especially me. I have only posted on the forms a couple of times & then that got wiped out this week.

    Stefani my e-mail in case i’m wrong. jennyart@verizon.net

  27. Jenny Bark says:

    Stefani, on the forms i’m Jenny Barkley instead of jenny Bark, I need to figure out how to change that. I’m so dumb on the computer.

  28. Dawn Bechtold says:

    I just want to say thank you Peg for all of your hard work. You have stopped the future inhumane killings of thousands of animals.

    God bless you for all you do for the animals.

    Dawn Bechtold
    U.S. Animal Protection
    www.usanimalprotection.org
    www.animalshelterreform@yahoogroups.com

  29. nmk says:

    that is sad when are illigaly impersonating vets and niglecting them just because they don’t have a life

  30. meshil says:

    Veterinary Medical Examiners has done very good thing by suspending a license.My opinion is Baber should also be suspended from work,because he has done very bad thing by unwanted injection to animals.
    =======================================================================================================
    meshil

    Addiction Recovery Tennessee


Close
E-mail It