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.”