How to file a complaint against a bad veterinarian (for all 50 U.S. States and U.S. Territories)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
- State agency
- Complaint form name, and/or
- 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!
Alabama - Hawaii
- Alabama Alabama Vet Complaint Form Instructions: Click on “Complaint Form”
- Alaska Alaska State Vet Complaint Form
- American Samoa http://americansamoa.gov/
- Arizona Arizona Vet Board Complaint Form - Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board
- Arkansas Arkansas Vet Complaint Form Instructions: Click on “Complaints"
- California California Vet Complaint Form
- Colorado Colorado Vet Complaint Form
- Connecticut Connecticut Vet Complaint Form
- Delaware -->Broken link
- District of ColumbiaBroken link
- Florida Florida's Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation
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
- Georgia Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Guam Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services
- Hawaii Hawaii Licensing Area: Veterinary — Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs Instructions: Click on “File a complaint on a licensee”
High quality items for healthy pets
Idaho - Missouri
- Idaho Idaho Vet Complaint Form
- Illinois Illinois Vet Complaint Form
- Indiana Indiana Vet Complaint Form
- Iowa Iowa Vet Complaint Form - The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Kansas Kansas Vet Complaint Form
- Kentucky -->Broken link
- Louisiana Louisiana File a Vet Complaint - Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine Instructions: Click on "Complaint Form"
- Maine Maine Vet Complaint Form - Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Maryland Maryland Vet Complaint Form - The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SBVME)
- Massachusetts -->Broken link
- Michigan Michigan Vet Complaint Form - The Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Minnesota Minnesota Vet Complaint Form - Minnesota Board Of Veterinary Medicine
- Mississippi Mississippi Vet Complaint Form - Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Missouri Missouri Vet Complaint Form
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Montana - Pennsylvania
- Montana File a Vet Complaint Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Nebraska File a Complaint against Nebraska Veterinarian
- Nevada File a Vet Complaint Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Hampshire File a Vet Complaint New Hampshire Board of Veterinary Medicine
- New Jersey File a Complaint New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Mexico New Mexico Veterinary File a Complaint Division Consumer Protection Division
- New York New York Veterinary File a Complaint Instructions to file a complaint against a licensee:
- North Carolina North Carolina Veterinary File a Complaint
- North Dakota North Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners - File a Complaint
- Northern Marianas Islands Northern Marianas Islands Vet Complaint Form
- Ohio Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board Licensing - File a Complaint
- Oklahoma Complaint Process – OK State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- Oregon Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board OVMEB - How to file a complaint
- Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of State Complaint process
Puerto Rico - Wyoming
- Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Animal Abuse Petition
- Rhode Island Rhode Island's AG’s Consumer Protection Unit
- South Carolina South Carolina Consumer Protection Code
- South Dakota South Dakota Attorney General's website
- Tennessee Tennessee Filing Complaints and Researching Disciplinary Actions
- Texas Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- Utah Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
- Vermont Vermont Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Virginia Virginia Department of Health Professions Complaint Process
- Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands - The Consumer Affairs Division
- Washington Veterinarian - Washington State Dept of Health
- West Virginia The West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Wisconsin Wisconsin Vet Complaint Form
- Wyoming Wyoming Vet Complaint Form
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.
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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