Only practicing veterinarians should own animal hospitals in DC

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Washington in the District of Columbia is a world-class city. We are honored to host over 1.3 million visitors to our city daily. Washington hosts some of the best and brightest people in the world, who love this city they call home.

However, the DC Department of Health does not adequately monitor or regulate veterinarians or their clinics which operate in our city. There has been no accountability on the part of veterinarians or owners of vet clinics.

The Humane Rescue Alliance is supposedly a non-profit organization which is charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints of animal abuse and/or neglect, obtains millions of dollars from our government to do its job. However, this organization has a conflict of interest with some of the for-profit animal clinics in the District, including but not limited to Friendship Hospital for Animals (which has a history of unlawfully hiring unlicensed personnel who falsely identify themselves as duly licensed vets) as a result of the corporate partnership between the nonprofit and the for-profit organizations.

Moreover, the Director for the Department of Health (Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt MD, MPH) has allegedly recently removed the regulatory mandate for veterinarians to have continuing education as part of the requirement of licensing, among other things.

In summary, if a veterinarian in DC wants to own and operate a vet clinic here, it only makes sense that he/she actually practice the profession. There are at least two older people, while licensed, do not actually practice veterinary medicine but only maintain the license in order to own and operate veterinary clinics in Washington, DC. 

The lack of oversight is seriously detrimental to Washingtonians and their beloved pets. The quality of care for our beloved animals is not monitored and the lack or government regulation and enforcement places our animals at risk of harm for negligence and abuse at the clinics.

Please sign the petition for Honorable Mayor Bowser to consider and change legislation.