If your pet has been wronged – or they lost their life – you can file a vet complaint with your States’s veterinarian board.
You can file a complaint against a bad or unethical veterinarian in the US. If a vet has wronged you and your cat, your dog, your horse, or any other pet you love, then please keep reading.
The only department in your state or territory that can help process vet complaints is the State’s Licensing Board in the U.S. That state’s department has total jurisdiction over a veterinarian’s license. Relative to territories, and as of 2020, the United States (U.S.) has five major U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each such territory, to some extent, is (1) self-governing, (2) exists under the authority of the U.S. government, and (3) will have a department to handle vet complaints.
For our extensive research, we contacted a state with a large population, a state that processes a lot of vet complaints per year. The NYS Office of the Professions oversees Veterinary Professionals and their services.
Per the NYS Office of the Professions, the practice of veterinary medicine includes the diagnosis and treatment (including prescriptions and surgery) of all animal disease. “Animal” includes every living creature except humans. Animals we love and care about unconditionally.
Further, the practice of veterinary technology also includes the performance of services within the field of veterinary medicine by a person (called a veterinary technician) who carries out medical orders prescribed by the supervising veterinarian.
What college degrees do veterinarians have?
Per the NYS Office of the Professions, A New York licensed veterinarian has a doctoral degree (D.V.M., V.M.D., or equivalent) in veterinary medicine. Most practitioners also have an extensive undergraduate degree program with an concentration in life sciences. Moreover, all New York veterinarians have passed comprehensive written and clinical national examinations.
A New York licensed veterinary technician has completed a program approved by the New York State Education Department and has passed a national written examination as well.
Only your state’s licensing board (a group of veterinarians) has total jurisdiction over hearing a case concerning a veterinarian’s license.
Signs of a bad vet
Here are some signs that a vet may need to be reported:
If your pets are treated by a veterinarian, I am assuming you pay a lot of money for well visits, specific medical appointments, and possibly surgery. 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. These bad experiences can include anything from (1) Realizing your dog or cat is in pain, (2) Having an allergic reaction to medicine, (3) To not healing properly after a surgery, and (4) To receiving vaccinations for something your older pet no longer needs – i.e. the 3 year doggie shot. After a certain age in an older dog’s life, they have built up enough immunizations and shots are not necessary.
- They may become disgruntled or challenge your statements of concern.
- They won’t refund you if they have injured your pet through their negligence.
- They don’t ask how your pet is feeling after you complain about a complication. If this happens, you will instantly know that they are putting their own needs ahead of your pet’s needs.
- They have poor bedside manner.
- They display unprofessional conduct.
- They provide substandard care.
Without further ado, here is the list.
List of the websites for filing complaints against veterinarians by State and Territory.
Alabama — Hawaii
- Alabama Complaint Form
- Alaska State Veterinary Medical Association Website
- American Samoa Website
- Arizona Complaint Form
- Arkansas Complaint Form Request
- California Complaint Form
- Colorado Complaint Process
- Connecticut Complaint Process
- Delaware Board of Veterinary Medicine
- District of Columbia Department of Health
- Florida’s Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation
- Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services
- Hawaii Regulated Industries Complaints Office
Idaho — Missouri
- Idaho Complaint Form
- Illinois State Complaint Form
- Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
- The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Kansas Complaint Process
- Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners
- Maryland Complaint Process
- Massachusetts Complaint Form
- Michigan Complaint Process
- Minnesota Complaint Process
- Mississippi Complaint Form
- Missouri Complaint Form
Montana — Pennsylvania
- Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Nebraska Consumer Affairs Division Complaint Process
- Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Hampshire Board of Veterinary Medicine
- New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine Contact Form
- New York Veterinary: File a Complaint
- North Carolina Veterinary: File a Complaint
- North Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Complaint Process
- Northern Marianas Islands Complaint Form
- Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board – File a Complaint
- Oklahoma Complaint Process
- Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board OVMEB – How to File a Complaint
- Pennsylvania Department of State Complaint Process
Puerto Rico — Wyoming
- Rhode Island’s AG’s Consumer Protection Unit
- South Carolina Consumer Protection Code
- South Dakota Complaint Process
- Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
- Vermont Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Virginia Department of Health Professions Complaint Process
- United States Virgin Islands – The Consumer Affairs Division
- Washington State Department of Health
- The West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Wisconsin Complaint Form
- Wyoming Complaint Form
Use your phone to call
The team at beasaveaholic.com has spent hours researching websites for this article to make sure you have the most up-to-date links for each U.S. state and U.S. territory. Some State websites don’t provide complaint forms or their links may be broken. The websites do change occasionally, so if a link seems broken or does not work, please leave a comment so we can research the issue and get back to you via email or phone.
To recap, each U.S. State and U.S. Territory has a different procedure for filing vet complaints. State vet complaints may be submitted through any of the following:
- The appropriate state or territory department
- The state or territory agency
- Complaint or grievance submission process: Online, paper form, or by phoning a complaint hotline.
To recap, each state has some type of Consumer Division or Department that can handle the following:
(1) Take your complaint online, but you can also…(2) Call to talk to a Complaint Specialist, Complaint Intake Coordinator, or Intake Investigator.
Their job is to help you through the process. You may also fill out a form and mail it in with your backup documentation, if that works better for you.
What happens when a complaint is filed against a Veterinarian?
Following a decision, the Board can choose to do the following:
- The Board may institute a cease-and-desist order to the vet (not the practice). A cease-and-desist is a temporary injunction that suspends the vet’s activity until a trial can be held to determine whether they can continue practicing veterinary medicine. After the trial, the court could decide to issue a permanent injunction.
- The vet may be fined.
- The vet’s records may be reviewed for the next year.
- The Board may encourage the vet to reimburse you (including travel expenses or expenses for corrective care or surgeries). Unfortunately, they cannot mandate the payment.
If you have a complaint against your veterinarian, please do not wait. Each state has their own rule regarding the statute of limitations (a certain time limit after the vet appointment in which you can file a complaint). I highly encourage you to call the (800), (866) or (888) number listed on the state government’s website, 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 unethical vets. You are also protecting other animals from (1) injury, (2) additional medical complications, (3) being prescribed improper medications, (4) defective surgeries, (5) future health issues, and (6) bad medical appointment experiences. And more!
I hope this information proves helpful for you and your pet! You are now empowered to help others by sharing this information so you can protect yourselves and your community from bad veterinarian practices.
Please leave your contact info in the comments. At beasaveaholic.com, we will not publish your private information, just the name you left in the comments section. We will never publish your email.
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