Ohio Vet Board Has No Authority To Suspend Vets Suspected Of Mistreating Animals In Care

The Ohio Veterinary Board may not have as much power as it seems to have to discipline veterinarians that have mistreated animals while in their care.

Colleen Keszer brought in Duke, her chocolate Labrador, to veterinarian Lisa Hart. Keszer said that Hart “came outside and she grabbed him by his collar and he looked so scared.”

Keszer complained to the Ohio Veterinary Board last October, when she first brought her dog in. She said that Hart didn’t find anything wrong with Duke and released him to go home.

But Keszer said that four days later, Duke had to go back to the vet because he was extremely sick. He died within a week and Keszer blamed Hart for her dog’s death and filed a complaint.

Last November, when a news team was investigating Hart, they found out the Ohio vet was already on probation when another dog was burned by a heating pad.

Hart had been fined $1,000 by the state board, but she was still allowed to treat and see animals.

Denise Dziak’s dog, Maggie, was another patient of Hart. Dziak said that Maggie had been vomiting, and was not eating or drinking. Her dog did not get better after seeing Hart.

Dziak then took Maggie to see another vet who diagnosed her with a serious kidney disorder. She filed a complaint against Hart for her treatment of Maggie.

Four months has passed since both complaints were filed, and there has been nothing done by the Ohio Veterinary Board, and Hart is still able to practice. The agency’s investigation is still ongoing.

Theresa Stir with the Ohio Veterinary Board said, “We don’t have the ability to automatically suspend someone based on if someone is abusing an animal. We can’t automatically suspend them. We can’t stop their practice. We can only fine them up to a $1,000 fine.”

By law, veterinarians are alerted before investigators can go inside their office for routine compliance inspections.

A representative for the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association said, “We believe there are appropriate safeguards in place that the public receives the appropriate levels of veterinary medicine.”

Source: MSNBC

(Thanks Stefani)

19 Responses to “Ohio Vet Board Has No Authority To Suspend Vets Suspected Of Mistreating Animals In Care”

  1. G in INdiana says:

    By law they are alerted to an inspection? Sounds like the department that is supposed to monitor the vets is the same one who promotes them. Its the same thing as the FDA, USDA, and the FAA on the federal level.
    Too bad the victim’s owners cannot put this out to the general public without being sued for libel or slander. While I do agree sometimes a vet can’t find out what is wrong and another opinion is needed, I do not agree that animal abuse by anyone should be passed over. This vet sounds like she is just plain awful and I hope all her clients have watched seen this. I am sure she has already lawyered up…

  2. Donna says:

    Animal abuse at vet clinics is worse than the public knows. Vets know the “board” will do little to them. Avoid leaving your vet over night or alone for an appointment. Check around for vets with good reputations. This really is not a suprise to me . I have see it working in the vet industry. I lost a pet do to a neuter.Reason, he was left alone post sx.They did not want to tell me of their error.Problem was……..I was the kennel manager.Many friends saw and told me the truth.The vet ? His heart stopped. ……….No one was their to monitor his oxygen levels. To “make up ” for his death” No charge for sx.

  3. Robert Davis says:

    This is so sad….and looks like laws need to change.

  4. Denise says:

    This is really sad and I totally agree with everyone of you. They don’t take it serious when we loose our fur babies. they are everything to us. I don’t understand why a vet would treat a sick dog like this. the poor dog was already in trouble. I will say this when she grabed my dog like that I would have not let that go. there was no reason for it. my pup would have not known what that was about. I would have had snatched her up and then I would have been in trouble. I am thinking of trying to figure out who to write a letter too here about this. if anyone else wants to try I am going to try and write the ohio veterinary board about this.

  5. Matt says:

    Well, whoever does have authority, needs to get off of their behinds and do their job.

    Animal abuse will NOT BE TOLERATED

  6. Don Earl says:

    Isn’t the whole idea behind putting a collar on a dog to make it possible to make the dog go even when it has other ideas? That alone doesn’t strike me as abusive unless there was something unusual about the way it was done - lifting, choking, jerking, that sort of thing. The article doesn’t say. If it was a legitimate concern, I certainly wouldn’t go back to that vet ever again.

    The thing that really concerns me about medical professionals, and not just vets, is the huge incentive in not identifying problems. They make a ton of extra money by saying, “I don’t see anything wrong, that will be $XXX please.” and you’re out the door in 2 minutes. Or, “I don’t know what’s wrong, that will be $XXXX to run a bunch of tests please.”.

    Worse yet, way too many medical professionals refuse to listen when someone goes to them for help. They just can’t seem to get it through their heads that the person with the symptoms, or the person observing the symptoms in a pet, knows more about that part of it than the Dr. could possibly know if he went to school for a million years. It sure sounds like the lady in the article had identified a problem that if the vet had listened, might have been treated while treatment was still possible.

    If you or your pet has a problem that’s going to get worse without treatment, you’re in heap big trouble. And, of course, with the powerful lobby organizations to take the teeth out of laws that would prevent that sort of thing, you have no recourse.

    It’s sad to say, but if people want things to change, they better figure on doing more than just talking about it. Half the states in the US, and most big cities, use the initiative process. If the law you want on the books isn’t there, you write the law you want, and go to we the people to collect signatures. The right to assemble is still protected in this country. Form your action groups, put your pennies in the pot, and hire your own lobbyists and media managers.

    Ah, but it’s just ever so much easier to move one’s mouth than it is to move one’s feet, and if the feet ain’t moving, nothing changes.

  7. Barbara A. Albright says:

    Outrageous but not at all surprising! A governmental body has the authority to impose many types of restrictions. Granting license is a PRIVILEGE in any state, not an automatic —–with laws and guidelines to abide by. Sounds like the board is passing the buck with a slap on the wrist.
    It can get far worse—-and good luck with finding an attorney. Here in New Hampshire, a licensed veterinarian can get away with “murder” quite literally–right in the owner’s presence. Not too mention abuse, cruelty, and suffering of the animal and the human’s that care.

    Visit http://walnut-hill.bravehost.com for all the details including my pet’s “euthanasia” , and you only worry about “libel” if you are LYING— my name is REAL!!

  8. Jim says:

    Can you believe the representative’s statement from the “Ohio Veterinary Medical Association” !!!!!! Last sentence, we believe that safegaurds are in place. My butt!! If they were in place that vet in question would have been more seriously investigated after the FIRST issue. Now there are two issue’s of note. AND, the vet is only on probation. Probation does nothing to stop the abuse.

  9. purplecircle4pets.com says:

    Here Here Don!!!! How true it is that the vet association is equivalent to the medical profession. Just going through a misdiagnosis for my friend, and how they send you home from the hospital because they don’t know what is wrong with you is sooooooo true!. Get ready everybody for the ride. What is happening to our pets from everything that we discuss is also happening to us. Dr.’s are allowed to continue operating on people for up to 5 years in order to show that they really can operate. Similar to the Vet. Association
    they are protected. It is not easy to have someone removed. I live
    in Canada. There was a Dr. who was practicing and over 30 Woman sat in a room and said if they knew the true credentials of this Dr. they would have never have gone to him.
    Then there is the non diagnosis for my 21 year old kitty!!! Three trips to the vet plus an emergency vet to be told she is old, when in fact it was gas. Only diagnosed by an x-ray. I spent lots of money there for nothing.
    Let me tell you as soon as age enters the picture look out. Not only do you sit in a waiting room and get overlooked at emergency (and I understand of course that there are bigger emergencies than others) You are told that she has lost her mind. My suggestion like Don’s is that if you want to have a change you need to do it yourself and hope that a couple more people will jump on the train with you.
    Also, common sense seems to be missing in both fields so apply your own and you would be amazed at what one can do.
    Cheryl

  10. Don Earl says:

    Another thing that is sadly lacking is the equavalent of a better business bureau for medical professionals. People should be able to view complaints before deciding to trust themselves or their pets to the care of Doctors. Like most things, citizen oversight and action is the only way to keep any process honest and fair.

    It’s always something that happens to someone else, until it happens to you, but unfortunately, by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

  11. stefani says:

    The Ohio Veterinary Board is awful. Because of what happened to my cat at the vets (http://www.TheTooncesProject.com) veterinary malpractice has become an area of interest for me. I spend lots of time requesting and reviewing public disciplinary records of veterinarians. Most states — although they don’t discipline the vets well enough — at least include enough detail in their records that you can TELL what the vet did and what happened. Ohio does not do this for it’s citizens. The consent orders (negotiated agreements between the vets and board) and Findings of Fact do not include ANY details on the case at all, just cite the regulations that were broken. This leaves the public without important information.

    All over the country, many state veterinary boards DISMISS over 90% of consumer complaints with NO ACTION. While I realize that SOME of the complaints may not have merit there is NO WAY it is 90% — in fact, I know it’s not, because I have heard from people whose complaints have been dismissed.

    This is something we MUST do something about, because BUTCHERS are practising veterinary medicine ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY and their clients do not know about their histories. The comment of the OVMA is RIDICULOUS — appropriate safeguards are NOT in place. Our pets are becoming victims of malpractice at alarming rates.

    Please read these entries in my blog, The Bad Vet Daily, to see what I am talking about. Some BUTCHERS with records a mile long are allowed to still practice. Two of these stories show JUST HOW BAD IT HAS TO GET before a vet loses his license.

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....inary.html — Vet finally loses his license after YEARS of horrifying stories over years, across states. (MN, IN)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....nimal.html - New York Vet Convicted of Cruelty AGanst Grandaughter of Seattle Slew; Still Allowed to Practice (NY)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....ssues.html = “Vets with Anger Management Issues” (TX)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....et_22.html
    – “California Vet Allowed to Continue Practising
    In Spite of Being Charged with 13 Violations including Animal Cruelty” (CA)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....et_16.html
    “Indiana Lets Vet Keep Practising in Spite of Record Going Back 20 Years (IN)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....eedle.html
    - - A vet who has taken his euthanasia protocol directly from the Book of the now infamous Tennessee Vet William Baber (stabbing unanesthetized pets in the heart) (ND)

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.co.....scrib.html — “Horror On Wheels” — an example of HOW BAD IT HAS TO GET and how many animals have to be butchered before a vet loses his license (CA)

    And Finally

    tp://badvetdaily.blogspot.com/2008/02/t.html
    –”Who the heck knows what this guy did?”

    The Blog is called Who the Heck Knows What this Guy Did because this one is from Ohio — and Ohio DOESN’T RELEASE TO THE PUBLIC ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT THE VET DID, other than citing the regulations he broke. Therefore, it is

    a) very difficult to tell a story about it,
    b) impossible for a member of the public to evaluate the actions of the veterinarian to determine whether or not they think he is too dangerous to see their pets.

    The Ohio Veterinary Board and the OVMA are literally flipping the bird to their states pet owners, clients, and animal lovers.

    So, what can we do about that?

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

    Read about Bad Vets at The Bad Vet Daily
    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.com

  12. stefani says:

    Corrected URL:

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.com/2008/02/t.html

  13. Don Earl says:

    Thanks Stefani. For anyone who hasn’t looked at your site, I’d highly recommend they click on your name and check it out.

    There are so many things that are a serious threat to us and our pets, and much of it is happening day in and day out below the radar screens of even those who are trying to pay attention. My hat’s off to you and all those who devote their time, money and energy to issues that affect all of us.

    It is possible to fight city hall, just ask Patrick Henery.

  14. stefani says:

    Thanks, Don :)

  15. G in INdiana says:

    Here’s a site to check your human doctor, hospital, nursing home, etc.
    http://www.healthgrades.com/

  16. Furbabies says:

    My daughter worked as a vet tech and saw the vet get nipped by a dog. The vet got really mad and slapped the dog in the face hard! Remember this was a sick animal and probably the vet hurt or scared him. Needless to say, she no longer works there. We should question every thing that a vet does (just like our doctors). They are not gods, they are humans capable of making mistakes. Vigilance always.

  17. Cheryl says:

    Laws for the mistreatment of animals needs to change NOW
    Not only are the SCUM getting away with it but so is the Professionals, give me a break $1,000 fine for the death of a loved one. How heartless is that??? Open your eyes people, we need to get things changed and better sooner than later………………………………..

  18. Cat Allergy says:

    I’m in Florida. How would I go about checking a vet here?
    Scary stuff this is….
    Amazing how handicapped the authorities are when it comes to
    things as important as medical care.

    Most folks would not have the knowledge to judge whether a vet is good or not until in hind sight.

    Besides, when your animal is sick, that on it’s own is enough to deal with.

  19. Peach's Mom says:

    I just wanted to alert everyone that there is a wonderful website (and it is not mine, so I’m not promoting anything, just making all reading this aware of it) that you may want to participate in. On this site, after you register, you may rate any doctor, veterinarian, or healthcare clinic, facility, for the sake of helping others to avoid incompetent “professionals” and to help others choose wisely. I have posted far more positive comments than negative, but I have been very candid with the negative ones to help others to avoid the heartachs that we’ve been through. The website is: http://www.doctorscorecard.com/ You may fill out a “scorecard” on the veterinarian/doctor, and you may also leave a lengthy and detailed comment. Thanks to Stefani (Toonces’ Mom) for exposing those veterinarians who have done harm to our beloved family members. Her website is truly a labor of love. Since the veterinary boards do very little to rectify this situation, it is up to us to help each other and to try our best to get the laws changed that allow these things to happen.


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