According to a local newspaper,
[a] veterinarian to some of the county's largest breeding kennels has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly mutilating a puppy's tail....
...A police affidavit states that an undercover humane police officer watched Stevenson treat the puppy's already-mutilated and bleeding tail by "soaking it in scalding water and cutting it with a pair of tin snips (shears) without sedation or prior numbing of the tail.
Read more in this LancasterOnline article by writer Susan E. Lindt.
Two news items about veterinary misconduct in a week. Sad sad sad. Although I will take this opportunity to say - again - that I have nothing against veterinarians and most really do care about the animals in their care.
But - also again - I handle a lot of veterinary malpractice cases. To the best of my knowledge, I've been handling more vet malpractice, on a more regular basis, than anyone else in Illinois, possibly the entire Midwest, and by all accounts apparently as often as anyone else in the country, for the better part of a decade now. Not to mention those occasional instances where the vet's conduct falls so outside the pale of veterinary medicine that the vet skips right over the potential malpractice liability and into the realm of an animal cruelty charge.
I had one veterinary defendant once who told his clients that he was going to perform a particular, patented procedure on their dog but performed his own procedure instead. Things went sour and he ended up performing three surgeries on one leg and six on the other - with the six-surgeried leg becoming so gimped that, about a year later, when the clients moved out of state and took their dog to a different surgeon, he said there was nothing left to do but amputate. Or the dog that had twelve bladderstones and the vet removed three. Then there was a woman whose vet left a hole in the skin over her dog's abdomen following surgery and the dog's insides were kinda falling out. Really. I saw the photos. No one should ever have to look at such photos, never mind live through them. I had a case once where I brought (civil) cruelty charges against an entire veterinary school on behalf of a greyhound who went in for an undiagnosed condition and died about two weeks later of severe internal hemmoraghing... because while he was there he apparently needed to be "subdued" by the staff... which turned out to involve about six vet techs jumping on top of this ill greyhound, cracking its ribs, and then not telling the owners who could not figure out why their dog was taking such a turn for the worse.
Some of these cases I settled. Some the client gave up along the way. Many times, aggrieved animal owners don't even try to pursue claims against veterinarians, due to the time and expense involved in veterinary malpractice lawsuits and the fact that veterinary insurance carriers generally will spend any sum of money needed to defend a claim rather than pay a penny to settle - even without any admission of liability.
Which is precisely why it is soooooo important for states, like Pennsylvania (above) and Georgia (see post from a few days ago) to take administrative disciplinary complaints and criminal cruelty charges against vets seriously. Owners can't prosecute these matters personally. States need to be the voice for the owners, and, of course, the animals.