How to file a complaint against a bad veterinarian (for all 50 U.S. States and U.S. Territories)

Vet road trip *Original photo taken by MarloByDesign.com*
Vet road trip *Original photo taken by MarloByDesign.com* | Source

Loving and protecting our pets

Do you have pets that are treated by a veterinarian? I am assuming you may -- and assuming you pay good money for preventative care -- as well as medical and health appointments and surgery -- for your pets.

Doctor disaster

If you have a bad experience, you may discuss the bad quality of service with your veterinarian - in person, in writing, or on the phone (after you arrive home and realize your dog or cat is suffering, having an allergic reaction to medicine, or not healing properly after a surgery). Your pet's veterinarian may become disgruntled or challenge your statements of concern. Additionally, if he or she does not ask how your pet is feeling or doing – you will instantly know that they are putting their own needs -- and wallets -- ahead of those of your family.

What else can you do if your pet's veterinarian is not receptive to your complaints regarding the vet's:

  • poor bedside manner,
  • unprofessional conduct, or
  • substandard care?

You are frustrated - and have little answers.

What should you do?

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Take action: File a Complaint with your State's Veterinarian Board.

You can file a complaint with your State's (in the United States) or U.S. Territories and associated states Veterinarian Board.

Only your state's Licensing Board (made up of roughly 6 to 10 experts, depending on the size of your State) has all jurisdiction over a veterinarian’s license.

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Use your phone to call, not just limited to online form submittal

Each State has some type of Consumer Division or Department that can take your complaint online, or please feel free to call them and talk to a Complaint Specialist/Complaint Intake Coordinator/Intake Investigator. Their job is to help you through the process. You may also fill out a form, mail it in with your backup documentation, if that works better for you.

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List of U.S State websites for filing complaints against Veterinarians

I spend hours researching sites for this Hub to make sure you have the most up-to-date links for each U.S. State and U.S. Territory. Unfortunately, some State websites timed out, and some had "bad" links; therefore, I replaced the "proper" website (URL) with an alternative web address.

When I first started this Hub, I used a generic term next to each state, i.e. "StateXYZ Vet Complaint Form" - until I realized that each state has a different approach how consumers are requested to file vet complaints. State vet complaints may by the following:

  1. Department
  2. State agency
  3. Complaint form name, and/or
  4. Complaint submittal process - Online, paper form, or by calling a complaint Hotline.

That being said, I felt the need to change "StateXYZ Vet Complaint Form" to reflect the actual online link name for enhanced clarity for you, the consumer.

For your convenience, each state vet complaint website link will open in a new window. I hope this information proves helpful to you and your pet!

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Alabama - Hawaii

Source

Please note: The State of Florida's link on their website is broken (above), but you need to somehow find Florida's Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation / Alternative website: http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=57

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NYS Office of the Professions graphic by MarloByDesign.com
NYS Office of the Professions graphic by MarloByDesign.com | Source

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Have you ever filed a complaint against a veterinarian?

  • Yes, and the Vet Board took action against the vet
  • Yes, and the Vet Board did *not* take action against the vet
  • No
  • No, but I will now after reading this Hub
See results without voting
Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

What this means for the vet

The Board, following a decision, can choose to do the following:

  • The Board may institute a cease and desist order for the vet (not the practice) to practice Veterinary Medicine.
  • The vet may be fined.
  • The vet's records may be reviewed for the subsequent year.
  • The Board may encourage the vet to reimburse you (including travel expenses or expenses for corrective care or surgeries), but unfortunately, they cannot mandate the payment or financial side.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you have a complaint against your veterinarian, please do not wait. Regarding statute of limitations (the limit on the timeframe after the vet appointment you can file a complaint against the veterinarian) -- as each state has their own requirements -- please go to your state's government website above and find their number. I highly encourage you to call the (800) or (866) or (888) number listed on the state government websites, fax in a complaint question, or email the appropriate department.

You are not only helping yourself and your pets, but you are helping protect your community members from being ripped off by bad - or unethical - vet practices. You are also protecting the animals we love from (1) injury, (2) additional medical complications, (3) being prescribed improper medications, (4) defective surgeries, and (5) future medical appointments and health issues.

I hope this information proves useful to you. You are now empowered to help others by sharing this information and protecting your community from bad vet practices.

If you have had a bad experience at your vet, make an attempt to get your hard-earned money back in your pocket ... and out of the pocket of some unethical vet.

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23 comments

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

This is such a good hub page! I have worked for veterinarians and used them throughout my life and I have to say they are, as a group the most money grubbing, deceitful gang of "professionals" I have ever encountered. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but I can honestly say I have only met one in 50 years and 5 different states. I have encountered everything from blatant disregard for laws (like regularly throwing euthanized dogs in the garbage instead of incinerating) to charging clients for autopsy of an animal they killed! I could do a long hub page on what I have encountered! Chances are if you are happy with your vet it is because you don't know enough about what they are doing to know they are taking advantage of you! Like charging $50 for a puppy shot (that of course includes $25 just for the office visit) when you can buy and administer it yourself for $4.00.


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

tsadjatko I truly appreciate your comments - I read them twice and they confirmed why I wrote this Hub in the first place (based on my personal experience with a really, really bad vet who almost killed my dog). Please feel free to stop back anytime and add your experiences or thoughts...I am thinking of adding a section in my Hub entitled "Real life horrible experiences with vets". Again, ty for your feedback and I am glad to know I am not alone here.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

"Real life horrible experiences with vets" GREAT IDEA! If I had thought of it I'd create a hub just for that! I'll send you some of my experiences in email - maybe you can use them. My pleasure!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

Sounds like a great idea and I thank you. I do not even want to think about the pictures that could be associated with those horrible experiences, may leave that part out.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

I have bookmarked this for future use. Thanks for posting a hub about the abuse of vets. I, myself, haven't had too many issues with our local vet, but I do know of a few people that have. Great hub! Very useful! I gave this one a vote up!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

tlpoague, thank you for your comments and yes, please share this Hub with anyone you know who has had vet issues. Hopefully, they will thank you later!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, this is an amazing, helpful guide! I'll have to share this with my pet-owning friends.


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

Thank you Simone. Yes, please share this information!


Multiman 5 years ago

Great hub, good information for people who have had pets mistreated and bad medicine from a Vet. Voted Up.


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Multiman, that means a lot!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

This is very informative. I had no idea each state had online vet complaint forms. I am about to take my dog to the vet this week, hopefully I won't need to follow your good tips, but if I ever I needed them I know where to turn. Thanks!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States Author

ktrapp, yes, I agree that as pet owners we hope to find great vets for their care. If not, at least we have options and do not have to feel at the mercy of "bad medicine". Have a safe experience!


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

This is great information. I have always had good experiences when taking my cats to the vet. Many people don't have good experiences. I never tough of reporting them. Great hub!


Wilkie 4 years ago

I would like for someone to contact me about a complaint and what to do - my e-mail is sorawilkie@mail.com or I would rather be contacted at my address:

3305 Savannahs Trail - Merritt Island, Florida 32953 OR

Phone (321) 454-9980


JusticeFor Charlotte 3 years ago

Your information was so helpful....I am fighting to get justice for my cat who was diagnosed with cancer and had her leg amputated. After the amputation, the vet found out the mass was benign. I was misadvised to go forward with an UNNECESSARY AMPUTATION. Please read my story: www.justiceforcharlotte.blogspot.com


SukiStory 2 years ago

MarlobyDesign, excellent info. I have been writing online about the subject of BadVets and how to file a board complaint for 14 years. The more info people have, the better. Thank you for adding your voice to this very important subject. For more info vetabusenetwork.com/filecomplaint.htm


Melissa 18 months ago

Im in Colorado. Who do i speak to concerning an invasive eye exam on my horse?


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 18 months ago from United States Author

Melissa, I just updated the link to 'File a Complaint' to the State Board of Veterinary Medicine in Colorado!


Kelli 18 months ago

Thank you for putting this page together. . Too many vets are taking advantage of people and treating their pets poorly, I thank you so very much for making it easy to understand and to file a complaint so we can all sleep more soundly at night knowing that bad vets are being reported.


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 17 months ago from United States Author

Kelli, you are welcome and I appreciate the kind words. There are a lot of great vets out there, but too many bad vets too!


brenda moye 15 months ago

a vet killed my dog im a mess in missouri, have to get justice for tiger dont know what to do.... heart is forever broken


doggielover2 14 months ago

Im so glad I found your page, I just got done sending off my letter to the BBB and your page helped my find my state complaint form. My dog is gravely ill this week. I had to go to another vet mine was out of state this week. She diagnoised my dog with Gastric Ulcers after 2 hours and $230.00 later. An yet wanted me to spend another $185.00 for more tests. Next day my dog was worse, she said " I can make her better but you cant afford it" (explained to her, I just couldn't afford anymore) walking away feeling guilty. My vet got back the next day and I rushed her in 5 minutes in his office he feels masses in her tummy, sure enough with no tests needed and one xray, he did surgery and removed an enormous life threatening6lbs of infected uterous. ( a private rescue dog we thought was fixed and never went into heat)..surgery was cheaper then what I spent on tests I didn't need...and he has set me up on doable payment arrangements. The bad Vet refused to help me out in anyway. She was bout filling her pockets not my animal. Not only did I get bad Vet, bad heartless comment, bad diagnosis, wrong medication, un-needed costs, my vet said My dog was within hours of death. She is recovering tonite at my Vets and even though she is in grave condition he is optimistic she has a chance of surviving. We pray her other organs have not suffered to much...So I have my state complaint form in from of me that will go out this week, and my BBB is already submitted. Thank you for helping me learn what I needed to do.


Maria 12 months ago

Hi - thank you for the thorough list, however, I live in the state of Ohio and the website states they have no jurisdiction over bedside manner or business conduct. Can you recommend another agency? Thanks for your help.

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