April 26, 2016
Seventeen years of advocacy
26, 2016--Seventten years ago today, my life changed forever.
Like so many other victims of veterinary
neglect, incompetence, malpractice, and abuse, I always say that in some
ways, my life ended -- at least life as I knew it. Almost to a
person, fellow victims agree: My life will never be the same.
It happened because I trusted a vet--an unconscionable lowlife by the name
of Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, San Antonio, whose REAL history I
did not know. If I had done my homework on this soulless freak before he killed
Suki instead of after, obviously he wouldn't have been anywhere near her or
It happened because I learned things from
four second opinion vets too late
to help Suki--vets who knew, in the words of one, of the "poor
care" that Suki had received from Nichols, the things he did to her that
should have never been done, and the laundry list of things he should have done
and didn't. Suki's new primary vet was positive that the board would get
Nichols. All four vets knew there was no defense for what Nichols had
And most of all, it happened because we had the
terrible misfortune to land in the hands of a truly vile monster -- a
"doctor" who had absolutely NO respect for Suki's life or
for my decisions as her SOLE guardian.
This monster, this sick freak, performed unauthorized surgery
under dangerous anesthesia on her without my knowledge or consent--he put
her in an induction box and gassed her with halothane and nitrous oxide with no
presurgical labwork--did not administer
IV fluids to a dying, dehydrated body, and could not even be bothered to
keep accurate or complete records on her.
then left her in a cage alone, dying,
pumped full of dex, no IV fluids, no potassium, and not a single notification to
me of her true condition. He knew she was dying--he wrote the words
"multiple organ shutdown" on her chart that last day--and deliberately
kept that information from me as Suki's precious life ebbed away. When I went to
get her, trying to make sense of why or how my cat with a history of CNS
disorder had been put under anesthesia without my knowledge or consent, he
instructed me to "Take her home and be with her." Giving me the order
"Dont put her in a hostpial. It's cold and impersonal and you don't want it
to happen that way."
cat. Not his. Mine.
The deceitful and despicable Edward J. Nichols
belongs to a subset of veterinary brethren
every bit as arrogant, dishonest, incompetent and negligent as he is--posing,
preening, playing the victim, and rewriting history in a desperate attempt to
stem the tide of truth. Truth that will steamroll over Ed Nichols and his ilk
til the end of time, until they finally sink under the weight of their own toxic
arrogance, whining and blathering to the end about how everyone else--including
competent vets who tried to fix the hideous damage done to an innocent
animal--is either crazy, lying, stupid, or wrong.
to Suki and countless others, things are changing.
It's taken 17
years--16 of them online--but hundreds of consumer advocates and their
educational web sites are helping to promote awareness to an increasingly
savvy public that is learning not to blindly hand over their trust and
their pets to known BadVets. Vets who may have a hell of a "nice guy" act, but
whose atrocities have been exposed through documentation, facts, and proof
of what they did.
There are still
obstacles of course:
Veterinary board systems that are woefully inadequate in
stopping the worst of these monsters.
An archaic legal system that gives vets
the upper hand by classifying pets as mere property.
Worse, a BadVet's
cadre of sadistic groupies who never pass up an opportunity to go after a veterinary
victims in ways that range from cowardly to contemptible, relegating anguished
pet guardians to
mentally unstable, lying, crazy, "disgruntled" people with "grief
Every time I read yet another hateful snipe by anonymous, soulless
cowards mocking, slandering, threatening, and ridiculing victims and the animals
who suffered and died at the hands of their little vet "friends" whom
they adamantly defend, I smile and think, Good. Everyone has loved
ones--children, grandchildren, elderly, disabled, and yes, even their own
pets--all of whom at one time or will be helpless and trusting in the hands of people in positions of
trust. Good. Maybe they'll think of Suki and so many others like her.
bright spots, however, and that's what we need to focus on to overcome the cruelty, callousness, apathy and arrogance of
the worst of the veterinary profession and the state boards who protect them. In Texas, for example, fellow advocates
like Greg Munson have made
significant strides in reporting
the shenanigans at the state board level at the Texas Vet Board Watch
site, or posting public
disciplinary records online when the Texas board decided arbitrarily
to remove vital information that the public has the right to know.
Where I was alone in Texas
16 years ago, there are now other advocates
speaking up and speaking out about the shameful inadequacies in the
system, and helping to change it no matter how hard the vets and
their lawyers fight to keep the status quo.
It is an honor to stand beside these
advocates to effect real change in systems that may be designed to protect vets, but our
voices will always speak up to protect pets. In addition, thanks to diligent
First Amendment advocates, Texas now has significant antiSLAPP legislation
designed to stop rich, arrogant, whining, bully vets who use bully lawyers to
bully innocent victims into a legal hell only to run like cowards when it comes
time to face a judge or jury. No more.
boards and their abuse of political and economic power and privilege have
always been a focus of this site. The public has the right to know when systems fail so miserably, are so broken
and so flawed, that they demand to be fixed to save our pets' lives. We have the right to know exactly when, where, and how these systems are not
protecting our pets.
couldn't protect Suki from a monster with a good act. Everything I had
done to protect my companion from every harm, making every decision with her in
mind, getting her EVERY medical treatment she ever needed or was
ever recommended by ANY vet ANYwhere -- it all meant nothing when
this vile "doctor" did whatever he wanted, depriving her of treatments
and injecting her with steroids, and when it became apparent that she was
outsmarting him, stuffing her in a box and gassing her with anesthesia that the
experts confirmed sent her into an irrevocable decline. To this day, NO vet
anywhere has been able to explain Ed Nichols inexplicable and completely insane
mistreatment of my cat. NOT ONE.
when Suki's case never made it to the board, I had to watch vile Texas vet board
member Martin E. Garcia DVM--this case NEVER went to hearing--smirk, ignore evidence, and
give his sleazy little friend Nichols a free pass
on his countless lies because as Garcia said, "This is an old cat." A
smarmy, worthless "doctor" chose to protect another smarmy, worthless
"doctor" rather than enforce the professional standard of humane care.
There is no age limit beyond which the
professional standard of humane treatment does not apply--unless you're unlucky
enough to have a "doctor" who takes away your choices through
deception, dishonesty, and complete disregard for the laws of his own
That's why I do what I do -- what
all citizen advocates do -- to help prevent this type of unnecessary tragedy from
happening to others at the hands of arrogant, negligent, incompetent and
abusive vets who
think they can do whatever they want with no accountability.
Smart consumers are making smarter choices, which is driving control freak vets
like Ed Nichols crazier than they already are. Hopefully with time, the dinosaurs
in the profession will eventually vanish, unable or unwilling to accept the fact
that they are no longer in complete control of what people discover, read, and
learn on their own. MadVets--the exasperated grumblers who can no longer bully
or control an increasingly educated and interconnected public--will be every bit
as exposed as BadVets. Throughout it all, consumers will get smarter and
savvier at separating the quacks-with-an-act from competent, ethical
many, MANY thanks to so many who have contacted me and other advocates
with messages of hope and encouragement. Your friendship and support
have been beyond overwhelming, and I'm especially grateful to
veterinarians who get it, who know exactly what was done to Suki and who
have repeatedly corroborated the horror that was inflicted on her. Thank
you from the bottom of my heart.
Most of all, I thank Suki for being
the strongest, bravest, and most amazing companion a human could ever
have. I miss her every
day of my life. If you had known this extraordinary cat, then you would know why I
will never stop fighting, will never stop exposing the truth about lying
vets and the lying liars who support them, why I will never forget, and why I will never be
silenced. As I have said from the beginning:
I stand by all original material on
this site. It is protected under the freedom of speech, the First Amendment,
and the greatest protection of all -- the TRUTH.
"Here is what I
get to live with for the rest of my life: Edward J. Nichols, DVM,
putting Suki into an induction box where she had to inhale halothane and
nitrous oxide while I knew nothing about it. Ed Nichols extracting a
tooth without my permission or even having the simple human decency to
inform me of anything he was doing to her. Ed Nichols not giving Suki
IV fluids after recording “v. dehydrated” on her chart. The
unbearable and eternal agony of now knowing Suki lay dying, dehydrated in
a cage, at Crestway Animal Clinic, while I had no idea at the time. And
these horrifying events are only the tip of the iceberg.
finally, the most bone-chilling knowledge of all:
Had Suki not lived long enough to be seen by second opinion vets, I would
have never known what had been happening. I must repeat this so you
understand: Had Suki died at any time at Crestway Animal Clinic, at home
with me, or during the four weeks of March 22 and April 19, 1999, before I
got her to other vets – I
would have never known what really happened to Suki. As it is, I will
never really know how much she might have suffered, but I do know that my
grief and pain will never end.
Don’t ever lull yourself into thinking that
this can’t happen to you. I would have said the same thing before I was
forced to live through this nightmare.
My only hope is that
Suki’s Story helps somebody reading these words.
If only one pet guardian learns something from what happened here,
if only one animal is helped by any of this, if only one veterinarian
makes the ethical choice to treat our companions as the family members
that they are, then my brave and beautiful Suki did not die in vain."
"The time will come
when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look
on the murder of men." - Leonardo da Vinci
letter to Suki
August 5, 1979 - April