Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Veterinary Medicine
Regulations Governing the Practice of Veterinary Medicine [18 VAC 150 ‑ 20]
Action Drug destruction requirements
Stage Fast-Track
Comment Period Ends 12/7/2011


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11/25/11  9:52 am
Commenter: Concerned Citizen

Veterinary Board

Sadly, for the pet owners and citizens of Virginia, this Board fails in its primary mandate which is to protect the citizens of VA and their pets from veterinarians who practice below what one would reasonable consider a reasonable standard of care.  Instead, this Board only focuses on little, harmless errors and ommissions that do not impact the quality of care that pets received.  This Board would serve the public better if its focus was on safety and requiring that vets in VA practice a high level of care instead of allowing verts to practice who fail to meet even an minimal standard of care or even common sense.  But for someone who has had experience with this Board, including a certain former Board member whom himself had been cited by the Board twice, this Board is primarly concerned with covering up the poor care that vets give to our pets.  Thank you. 


CommentID: 21165

12/5/11  11:34 am
Commenter: Molly's Mom

Part 1 of 2


Concerned citizen is correct in his/her assessment of this board’s work.

The following is my personal opinion.


If you look at the last action taken by this board on Oct14, 2011 you will notice that all of the violations were related to such issue as “non” clinical violation, non clinical in the sense that no animal appeared to have been harmed.  Not that expired drugs and poor lighting and thermometer in the refrigerator do not matter, but again no animal appeared to have been harmed.


I like Concerned Citizen do not believe that this Board is capable of doing meaningful Peer Review and in my opinion the board is much more likely to cover up sub-standard of care to protect a vet that is not practicing a reasonable standard of care.  Or alternately, the Board in my opinion has set the bar so low for what is a reasonable standard of care that effectively for vets in Virginia there is not reasonable standard of care requirement.  


Without going into too many details, I filed a complaint with this board, which purports to serve the citizens of VA.

My healthy kitten, Molly Mittens, went in for a routine spay.

Her surgery ended at 1145 AM.

At 2:30 PM, we were told her “surgery went fine and she was waking up well.”

AT 4:40 PM, the vet notes “Molly is non responsive in her cage.”  The clinic closed at 5 PM and the vets left Molly.  No one called us to tell us that Molly had a problem.

In the morning Molly was dead.


We filed a complaint: many issues with the process

Prior to filing a complaint, we obtained a second opinion from an impartial vet, who said that the owners should have been called and given the option of transferring the kitten to an overnight clinic.


The process is flawed in my opinion for many reasons

  1. We filed the complaint
  2. The vets are allowed to see our complaint.
  3. The vets respond but we were not allowed to see their response.
  4. The investigation was completed; we were not allowed to see the investigation report.  The investigation contained 2 pieces of faulty information.  The investigator said that I had told her she could not contact our second opinion.  When in truth, the only reason we had a second opinion was so the board could check with that impartial vet.  There was another mistake in the investigation.

We were then told that the vets did not violate any standard of care, thus in VA this Board had determined that it is a reasonable standard of care for vets in VA to leave a nonresponsive kitten all alone for the night without informing the owners of the status.

Our Governor states that the ideal for our state government is to be open and transparent.  I believe that the board fails in this mandate.


CommentID: 21178

12/5/11  11:41 am
Commenter: Molly's mom

Part 2 of 2


I traveled to the Board Meeting and requested that one of the vets on the board review Molly’s record with me and show me where I am wrong.  Show me why it is reasonable to leave a non responsive kitten with no one to watch her and not to call the owners.  I can assure you, our decision would not have been to leave Molly unattended knowing she was non responsive.

The assistant Attorney General advised his client, the board, not to speak with me. In my opinion, the Board was afraid to review Molly’s record because the care she was given is not defensible.   Unfortunately, I thought the Attorney General also owed a duty to citizens.

I actually went to the Board twice and made a public comment; neither time would the Board post verbatim my comments, even when provided with an electronic copy.  Not the open and transparent government that our Governor calls for at least in my view.  I am not sure why the Board refused to look at Molly's record and tell me why I am wrong.  (I am also aware that there was a Board member who had been sanctioned, my question is did he review Molly's record and does he not want to sanctioned vets?? Just my question.)


Then, they said that the record was “confidential”.  It was my kitten’s record, if there was anything confidential in the record, it was my confidential information to waive.


I contacted both Secretary of Health and Human Services in VA who never responded to my letter.

I contacted both the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office; neither of which would speak with a citizen of VA.  Mr. AG I will not be voting for you in your bid for governor.  I think if I was a large donor, the governor or AG may have been more inclined to speak with me.

My state delegate did attempt to help me.


If anyone reads this, most unlikely, I am more than willing to share Molly’s record and my experience with the Board with you.

If you are a vet who is being investigated for failing to give a pet a reasonable standard of care, please contact me and I will share all of my information with you.  As is evidenced and in my opinion, the Commonwealth of VA has effectively no standard of care that vets must follow.  If you fail to follow regulations to  destroy a drug or violate some otherv regulation that does not impact the safety of our pets, this Board will most likely find against you. 



Molly Mittens Mom


CommentID: 21179

12/5/11  11:57 am
Commenter: Molly's mom

1 final word

Please note, our complaint was not that Molly died.

Our complaint was that the vet knew Molly was non responisve at 4:40 PM

The vet knew that the vet's office closed at 5 PM.  The vet knew no one would be watching Molly.  The vet failed to call the owner and give us the one chance to save Molly's life by taking her or transferring her to an overnight clinic where a vet would be available to monitor Molly all night.  Had Molly still died, we would not have filed a complaint, because we would have known that everything that could have been done was done.

Instead Molly Mittens died all alone and in the dark and was probably frightened but this Board says that is a reasonable standard of care for vets in VA and they found that the vets did not violate a reasonable standard of care.

When I prepared my complaint for the Board, I included several cases where vets had been found to violate a reasonable standard of care (other Board members not the current Members) that were less negligent than Molly's case.

Thank you so mucyh.

CommentID: 21180