By Dr. Andrew Jones
A recent veterinary college charge once again questions the real intent of veterinary governing bodies who state that part of their mandate is to work in the best interest of the pet owning public.
Here’s the specifics.
Low cost/High volume spay and neuter clinic in Alabama. The Alabama Spay/Neuter clinic in Irondale.
Seen as ‘undercutting’ regular veterinary practices.
Veterinarians complain, urge the Alabama State Board Medical examiners to investigate this ‘ low quality’, high volume, clearly ‘unsafe’, and ‘unethical’ practice.
In the most recent update, a judge ruled that all 29 charges against Dr. Margaret Ferrell be dropped.
In his ruling, the judge had this to say,
…find Dr. Ferrell not guilty on all 29 remaining charges in this complaint because none of the charges has been established by the preponderance of the credible unbiased evidence presented in the hearing.”
‘One of the Best Surgeons in 42 Years’
A respected board certified veterinary surgeon, Phillip Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS, Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, Department of Clinical Sciences at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, visited the practice, and reported this.
While the ASBVME’s expert witnesses have not viewed Ferrell’s work at the clinic, Bushby observed her and her staff for five or six hours and witnessed Ferrell handle 17 cases. The ruling document, under the testimony of Bushby says, “One needs to observe the surgery in order to properly comment on it. Other expert witnesses in this case are inconsistent in testifying about something they have not observed.”
Bushby testified that, Ferrell is one of the best surgeons he has seen in 42 years. He contradicted the accusations of the board and its expert witnesses, saying Ferrell is well within the standard of care in the time she spends on a surgery, physical exams and post-operative care. “What Dr. Ferrell does is extremely high quality and exceeds national standards,” he said, adding, “Dr. Ferrell’s methods are very safe and used all over the country. Dr. Ferrell is not dangerous.”
Dr Jones Comments
The Alabama State Board Medical examiners (ABSBME), still found her ‘guilty’ on 3 of the 29 charges, in spite of the judge’s decision that she should not be guilty of anything.
Joey Kennedy of www.al.com published a news story on the investigation.
Members of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners have made it clear they don’t support nonprofit spay/neuter clinics.
First, the board went after Dr. William Weber, the supervising veterinarian of record at the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic in Irondale.
After several months of questionable administrative hearings that were, at best, highly biased from the outset against Weber, the longtime veterinarian was found guilty on five charges, fined $5,000 and had his license suspended for a year. Weber, who owns Eastwood Animal Clinic, is appealing that finding and continues his practice during the appeal, which could last for years.
Now, the ASBVME has filed complaints against Dr. Margaret Ferrell, the veterinarian who does most of the spay/neuter surgeries at the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic.
One of the complaints the ASBVME has against Ferrell is that she “rejected the surgical training that she received” at Auburn University by learning an updated spay/neuter technique that allows, experts say, faster and safer surgeries.
Ferrell likely could have avoided the complaint had she quit the spay/neuter clinic, but she said she wouldn’t take the easy way out.
“Too many lives are at stake,” Ferrell said. “We’re talking about the lives of thousands of animals. That’s my driving force. I love what I do. I’m very passionate about spay/neuter and shelter medicine. I believe in it, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Are there caring, compassionate, trustworthy veterinarians that are working in the best interest of animals and animal welfare?
Look at Dr Ferrell
But are there others who are less caring, less compassionate, and clearly more driven by their pocketbook?
James Herriot wouldn’t be proud.
Unfortunately just another tarnish on the once stellar reputation of the veterinary profession.
I applaud Dr Ferrell, and all of those who stand up for what’s right.
Dr Andrew Jones
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