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Pet owners speak out against veterinary clinic

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 13. 2018 11:50PM

More than three dozen people attended a Board of Veterinary Medicine disciplinary hearing of Dr Deborah Kelloway, center. (MARK HAYWARD/UNION LEADER)

CONCORD — Supporters and detractors of the founder of the Advanced Veterinary Care emergency clinics crammed into a hearing room Tuesday to listen as several pet owners detailed their complaints against her clinic to the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

About three dozen filled the small hearing room. Some wore buttons in support of AVC, which operates clinics in Manchester and Concord. Others wore T-shirts or buttons with the images of pets they claim received questionable care.

Dr. Deborah Kelloway, the subject of the disciplinary hearing, was flanked by her two lawyers. Two assistant attorneys general from the Administrative Prosecutions Unit of the state Department of Justice brought the case against her.

The hearing concluded on Tuesday without a decision, Kelloway said. She called the proceeding a show trial.

“The vets that go in front of a board like this, their fate is already decided,” she said.

Julia Morris started the hearing, saying she had brought her bulldog mix to AVC on a Sunday night with what she suspected was a urinary tract obstruction. The veterinarian on duty was finishing his shift and was too tired to perform surgery, she said.

He deferred to the oncoming veterinarian, who was hesitant to do the surgery.

Morris eventually ended up at a Tufts University veterinary hospital. The dog suffered a ruptured bladder, which she attributed to the five hours she spent at AVC.

“When you run an emergency clinic, you should have experienced workers,” Morris said. One of the two veterinarians was working under an expired license at the time.

But Kelloway’s attorney, James Steiner, questioned how Kelloway should be held responsible for a veterinarian who did not renew her license.

“Does every veterinarian who hires another vet have to interrogate them occasionally to make sure their license is valid?” Steiner said.

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