|The Veterinary Abuse Network
is a watchcat organization
designed as a cyber-clearinghouse to disseminate consumer information, original
studies, resources, and links to third-party media coverage on the very
real, very serious problem of unethical, incompetent, and negligent vets.
To EDUCATE and SAVE—even
if it means educating one companion animal guardian at a time, and helping them
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
This site is designed to help pet
guardians in the following ways:
How to choose a competent
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
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
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 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, foxnews.com (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
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