Pet owners – you must fight for your pets


If your pet is injured by a veterinarian, do you know what to do? Surprisingly, most people don’t. You have two options: file a lawsuit and/or file a complaint with the Washington State Veterinary Board, the only disciplining authority for veterinarians in our state. Most people don’t opt for a lawsuit because of the expense and the fact that even if successful it does not affect a vet’s disciplinary record.

It leaves one option – to file a complaint with the vet board. How would you like to know that 97 percent of all complaints filed with this board are either dismissed or closed with no action taken? Why is this do you ask? Could it be because five out of six board members are veterinarians? You bet! It is called leaving the fox to guard the chicken house.

Moreover, if you don’t agree with the board’s decision to close or dismiss your complaint – tough; guess what? There is no appeal process built into the system for you, but there is an appeal process for veterinarians. Isn’t it interesting? The fox and the chickens again.

There is so much more to tell why this board has developed into a protection agency for veterinarians and neglects its duty to protect Washington state pets and pet owners.

What can we do about it? We can fight for our pets and our rights as pet owners. How can we do that? By supporting the upcoming Washington State Veterinary Board reform bill. This bill will be introduced into Legislature this winter by State Rep. Dave Upthegrove; State Sen. Karen Keiser will be sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate. If you want accountability and transparency from this board, show your support for this bill by contacting your district legislators and urging them to pass it.

Ken Newman

Des Moines

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