College of Veterinarians of Ontario permanently revoke Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi's license!
"Four former employees of a St. Catharines Veterinary Hospital are speaking out about their former employer, saying a veterinarian who choked and hit the animals in his care received a “slap on the wrist” for his actions.
Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi, who practices at Skyway Animal Hospital on Welland Avenue, has been suspended for ten months after being found guilty of professional misconduct by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) this summer.
The punishment springs from a series of videos that show Rekhi choking, punching and improperly restraining animals at his hospital.
Those videos were taken by four of his former employees who quietly documented the acts over the course of three years.
“You have to see it to believe it,” Jessica Hamilton, a former veterinarian technician at Skyway Animal said as she shakes her head. “I felt sick when I first saw it.”
In one video, Rekhi can be seen picking up a cat under anesthetic, swinging it around and letting its limp body slam up against the side of a cupboard.
In another, a puppy getting its nails clipped begins to struggle and Rekhi can be seen using the metal clippers to beat him over the snout.
“It’s been hard holding onto the videos because I’ve wanted to post them publicly but not knowing what was going on in the investigation, we couldn’t,” Larissa, another former Skyway Animal Hospital employee, said.
In 2014, a group of employees from the hospital rallied and reported Rekhi to the CVO with a file folder of video evidence against him.
Though the allegations were investigated and his license was suspended for 10 months on August 20,2016, Rekhi is eligible to reduce that suspension to four months if he completes a series of half-day “mentorship sessions,” and seminars pertaining to the proper handling of animals.
If he follows through, Rekhi could be treating animals again as early as December."
From an article at CTV News Toronto and the URL.
Employees speak out after vet handed 10-month suspension for choking, punching animals
Four former employees of a St. Catharines veterinary hospital are speaking out about their former employer, saying a veterinarian who choked and hit the animals in his care received a “slap on the wrist” for his actions.
That is not good enough .The video evidence is proof enough he is not fit to ever practice as a Veterinarian ever again.
It is also published that he was charged with DUI in 2014 which shows lack of regard for others.
Please sign and share this petition so we can speak up for all of the abused animals and for the 4 courageous employees who came forward with the evidence and ensure The CVO revokes his license permanently! Also he should be banned from ever owning an animal of any kind ever again!
Contact information for the College of Veterinarians of Ontario:
Phone: (519) 824-5600
Toll Free: 1 (800) 424-2856
Fax: (519) 824-6497
Toll Free Fax: 1 (888) 662-9479
If you are pet parent/lover you understand the love and care we have for our sentient furkids. Nobody especially a professional entrusted to care for our pets can be allowed to abuse them in any way. These professionals are held to a higher standard because they have trained to care for them!
Petitions are a great tool to get the support of people on an issue that can be presented to decision makers. Publicity and public pressure do help to get positive results to help parties that have been wronged-be they human or animal!
My name is Sharon McGuigan-Baki and I am an RN a pet owner and an Animal Welfare Advocate. I started this petition with now over 40 K signatures to date asking the CVO to permanently revoke Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi's license to practice veterinary medicine.
We are also petitioning that he be banned from ever owning an animal of any kind ever again.
The video evidence is proof enough (as it was taken from security camera in the Vet Clinic) that he is not fit to ever practice as a Veterinarian ever again.
The 4 Veterinary technicians who reported the issue should also be commended for their action or this may never have been brought forward.
The OSPCA who have laid criminal charges and the Animal Justice Group are now also involved plus MP Wayne Gates , Member of Provincial Parliament Niagara Falls Riding has written an open letter to Dr. Larry Caven President and Registrar of the CVO .
The CVO Code of Ethics on paper holds Veterinarians to a higher standard and he has breached his duty of care not unlike an RN or an MD who is found guilty of abusing patients- license to practice can be revoked.
The Veterinarian claiming he did not have an examination on how to use behavior modification or restraint is not taking responsibility as a professional working here in Canada. The Code of Ethics which he would have been given and he swore an oath does not excuse him from culpability. Giving him sensitivity training will not fix the issue.
He had a duty of care to ask how he should do something if he did not know or understand. Also the lawyer saying the video was taken out of context as there were clips of him gently clipping a dog’s nails and the like is similar to saying a wife beater can be excused because he only does it once in a while.
“Dr. Rekhi pleaded guilty to professional misconduct at a CVO hearing July 21, 2016 and received a 10-month license suspension, which may be reduced to six months if he completes sessions on “animal restraint and behavior modification techniques.” He must also pay the college $10,000 and will be subjected to three unannounced inspections each year for two years following the suspension.”
CVO registrar and CEO Jan Robinson said the penalty imposed on Rekhi is already very serious, pointing out that suspensions are typically two to three months long, the college usually charges just $2,000 to $2,500 and rarely imposes the unannounced inspections condition.
Revocations across any profession are also exceptionally rare,” she said, noting that only four members have had their licenses revoked in the past 20 years. One revocation was overturned. Of the other three, one veterinarian was found criminally negligent in the “area of sexual abuse” towards staff; another was under the “influence of a substance” while driving and got into an accident that killed someone, Robinson said.” The Toronto Star,September 15, 2016.
This is not a stiff enough sentence for such egregious abuse which is a breach of his fiduciary responsibility as a Veterinarian to uphold the duty of care. Colleges are self - regulating bodies and need to step up and walk the talk and not protect members who commit criminal acts.
This petition has been signed by thousands of concerned people and we have a moral obligation to speak up for all of the abused animals who deserve justice.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
"The College of Veterinarians of Ontario touts having the public interest at the core of all its efforts. We respectfully disagree that this is the case.
This week, we dropped off a petition with nearly 40,000 signatures calling for the permanent licence revocation of a veterinarian — Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi, owner of Skyway Animal Hospital in St. Catharines — caught on camera being violent with animals.
The college won’t budge. A 10-month suspension, shortened to six months if a training course is completed, is the penalty that stands.
This is someone caught on camera doing such gut-wrenching things to pets that his staff masterminded a plan to film and report it.
In our one-on-one meeting with the college’s president and registrar, we were told that revoking Rekhi’s licence is just not in the cards for legal reasons, unless there is new evidence brought forward.
They know that people are angry, and we reminded them why. Rekhi’s actions were egregious, unthinkable and wrong.
Yet the college prefers to stick to the letter of the law in this case. They stand by the decision not to issue a stiffer penalty than past penalties handed out in similar cases. The college has an obligation, they say, to be “fair and balanced.”
We don’t believe the public will accept this outcome. The college can and should have a stronger backbone when new evidence eventually comes forward — and should revoke his licence once and for all.
It would, we believe, be in the public interest to do so. In fact, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs should put the same pressure on the college.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg. Every year, there are 180 to 200 complaints filed with the college against veterinarians. A number of these are likely similar cases of animal abuse. The college should grow a backbone in these cases, too.
There is one action the college can take today to regain the public’s trust: Get the authority to issue interim suspensions in serious cases of alleged animal abuse while long investigations are underway. It’s unacceptable that veterinarians can still practise while they are under investigation for severe animal abuse.
This is something they want to fix, they say, but won’t send this recommendation to the government until late 2017 after months of consultations.
Hasn’t two weeks of public outrage been enough consultation?
The college needs to get the ball rolling now and, frankly, we don’t understand why they didn’t ask for a change in the law years ago.
Perhaps this is another opportunity for the Ontario government to show some leadership and step up to change the law.
It’s time to act, to restore some trust that the college has lost, and acknowledge that the public will not accept the status quo.
Sharon McGuigan-Baki and Rebecca Thompson are with Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare "
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