"Common practices all over the United States..."

A former veterinary technician's story:

I was licensed as a veterinary technician in 1988 in [state] after graduating a two-year college program in Animal Health Technology summa cum laude and passing my licensing exam.

I can tell you that every incident described in your publication were common practices all over the United States. The "vet" in the Suki abuse case has what I'd call an "old school" philosophy taught by veterinary schools before animals were considered (by old school veterinary professors) to have true emotions and when animals were considered little more than objects for our use or entertainment.

I am glad some philosophies and attitudes have changed, but it will require constant effort by organizations like yours before the "good old boys" networks will be broken up and their power structures dismantled.

Not only do the animals and guardians suffer, but many innocent and naive veterinary nurses become hardened and/or traumatized out of fear of losing their jobs by standing by and assisting these old school veterinarians practice "veterinary medicine," either quietly or with great frustration (from improper knowledge of animal behavior) and malice in their hearts and tongues.

Many people with great love and sympathy for animals entered the career of veterinary nursing wanting to truly help animals, but found that most of the time it was all about making the most money by spending the least amount on patient care.

While humans can see and complain about the quality of care they get, the animals know no better nor can they speak for themselves while this low quality of care is done to them, out of the sight of the ones who really love them.

Human nurses have unions that give them power (for good or bad) but there has never been the ability for veterinary nurses to form unions because it was feared that the veterinarian would hire some unskilled person off the street because there are no laws requiring that people who play the role of nurses be licensed before they work in that field. Hence, no unions, no power, and no ability to complain and really make a difference in the lives of animals that have gone through the lowest standards of care and comfort for most of history.

I am glad you are changing that. I am glad that I am no longer in this profession. My psyche could no longer take the stress of the unethical things I saw going on around me.

--Former veterinary technician