The article further describes Havranek as "horrified by his pained reaction." Not only are "heartsticks" without sedation considered inhumane, they are also against the law in Ohio. And Bobbie was not the only victim.
Honey Pot, a Pomeranian, was also given this particularly cruel method of death by Turk according to board documents.
The Ohio Veterinary Medical Board website now lists Turk as retired. In reality, Dr. Turk entered into a consent agreement to surrender her license. But how long was Turk permitted to perpetrate horrors upon patients?
Prior to these charges Turk had racked up a long record of violations -- particularly concerning since the Ohio Veterinary Board isn't exactly famous for its disciplinary zeal. These included violations dating back to 2010 according to the article, as follows:
- ". . .dirty medical equipment, packages and shelves throughout the clinic and not having a sink in the surgery area" resulting in a $1,500 fine (December 2011);
- " . . . 13 bottles of expired drugs, damaged X-ray protection gloves, dirt on the X-ray machine and dirty equipment in the pharmacy and laboratory areas" (May 2012)
- improper suturing of a Yorkshire Terrier's bladder, and releasing the animal to its owner before it had recovered from the anesthesia, resulting in $1,000 in fines and over $1,000 in investigation costs (February 2010)
- ". . . Turk was fined $500 and reprimanded for over-anesthetizing Cleopatra the cat to spay her. Cleopatra was sent home still not awake and died the next day." (May 2007)
- Unsanitary conditions and failure to keep proper anesthesia and medical records resulting in fines in 2001 and 2002.
The answer seems clear: None of the actions taken by the veterinary board were effective. But what would have been effective, and what would have saved lives, would have been yanking her license years ago when a clear pattern had emerged. While it is good that the Ohio Veterinary Board finally acted strongly, the fact remains that all those years she was permitted to continue her perpetration of suffering and substandard care. Citizens of Ohio are waking up and fighting back, and the veterinary board must listen. In the words of a commenter on one of the articles, "It is amazing that this woman was allowed to continue to practice for so long, given all the issues brought up during her career."
Change.org Petition: Who's Watching Ohio's Pet Vets? started by fierce and fabulous Ohio Consumer Advocate Marybeth Sheehan