In memory and honor of one very special cat.. how negligent and incompetent QUACK Edward J. Nichols, DVM, Crestway Animal Clinic, San Antonio, Texas, treated Suki. Read Suki's Story.

For details of the SLAPP lawsuit Nichols and Crestway Animal Clinic filed against me in an attempt to dismantle this web site, see What Happened to Suki and What Happened to Me. 

What Is the Veterinary Abuse Network?

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The Veterinary Abuse Network is a watchcat organization designed as a cyber-clearinghouse to disseminate consumer information, original articles, case studies, resources, and links to third-party media coverage on the very real, very serious problem of unethical, incompetent, and negligent vets. 

Mission Statement
To EDUCATE and SAVE—even if it means educating one companion animal guardian at a time, and helping them to save one companion animal at a time. In doing so, we hope to raise the level of national consciousness to make pet guardians aware of what they can do to avoid questionable vets or—if they choose to take their pets to vets with a history of investigation or disciplinary action—minimize the chances of harm coming to their animal companions. There are useful links to resources on how to hold incompetent, unethical, negligent vets accountable on various levels—filing complaints with state licensing boards, exploring options in civil or small claims courts, and pursuing criminal charges if applicable. 

This site is designed to help pet guardians in the following ways:

  • How to choose a competent and trustworthy vet based not only on friends’ recommendations or superficial aspects, but also on research, public records regarding disciplinary action taken by state licensing boards, public records on criminal activity, information from other pet guardians who have filed official complaints and/or lawsuits, media coverage, and information about vets who were or are under investigation by their licensing boards. 

  • How to monitor a vet’s practice using methods of screening, again based not on ambiguous factors such as how nice a vet seems or how cheap a vet is, but on tangible, reliable means of determining whether a particular vet is right for you and your pet. 

  • Links to existing media coverage regarding documented cases or allegations of animal abuse by veterinarians, historical data, and updates on ongoing cases. 

  • Links to other victims’ cases and other veterinary abuse websites. Until you lose a pet to an incompetent, negligent vet, there are no words to describe the unending pain that accompanies not only losing your companion to a person entrusted with their care, but also having to deal with a system designed to protect that person. 

  • Updates on criminal animal cruelty legislation that may be of use to victims in holding physically abusive vets accountable when their actions fall under the definition of animal cruelty—beating or battering; strangling, breaking bones, torturing, or otherwise causing suffering, pain, trauma, and death to an animal. 

  • How to deal with the frustration of going through the state licensing board complaint process, where vets are regularly protected by public servants who are supposed to be protecting us and our pets, but instead are frequently made up of vets who will protect a colleague no matter how much negligence, malpractice, or abuse of public trust is involved. Even when licensing boards do discipline a vet, the sanctions are often pitifully inadequate, sending a message to the public—and to other vets—that veterinarians can do whatever they want and know that even if they get caught, it rarely affects their lives or their businesses. 

  • Articles and editorials in the fields of animal law, legislation, consumer advocacy, and animal welfare. 
Many people have been fighting this frustrating and heartbreaking fight for years, and with every new victim, the picture of veterinary malpractice, negligence, and abuse becomes more focused and frightening. Goals include the following:
  • To be part of a hub of related links on this subject 
  • To encourage other victims to tell their stories, especially if they feel helpless or believe that they are powerless against veterinarians or any of the systems designed to protect vets.
  • To encourage veterinary technicians and staff to come forward with accounts of animal or people abuse, threats, bribes, intimidation, and assault. 
  • Most of all, to encourage veterinarians of conscience to officially and publicly speak out against the very real problem of veterinary abuse in order to preserve and maintain the reputation of dignity, compassion, skill, competence, and ethics that the very best in this profession carry out every day. 

Julie Catalano

Julie Catalano is a journalist and contributor to national magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and web sites for more than 30 years. Her articles have appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, the Dallas Morning News, Dance Magazine, (national site), DeSoto magazine, Vista the Hispanic Weekly with newspaper supplements in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more. She is the author of The Immigrant Experience: The Mexican Americans, and Earth at Risk: Animal Welfare (Chelsea House). Her latest book is The Women's Pharmacy: An Essential Guide to What Women Should Know About Prescription Drugs (Random House/Dell). She is a credentialed member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and The Authors Guild. For almost 20 years, she shared her life with Suki, a seal point Siamese in whose memory this site was founded. See Suki's Story and What Happened to Suki...and What Happened to Me.

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