You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Review criticizes Texas agency that regulates veterinarians


The Texas agency that regulates veterinarians — which aggressively pursued one high-profile case and was overwhelmed by complaints in another — hasn’t been keeping on top of basic responsibilities such as proper fiscal management, evenhanded enforcement and keeping tabs on controlled substances meant for animals, according to a state review.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners accepted the findings by the staff of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which periodically reviews state agencies.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin who is a commission member, says the veterinary board is “in a shambles.”

The agency, which faces a push for change in the coming legislative session, informed Watson’s office that its executive director tendered her resignation.

Interim executive director Rudy Calderon, who stepped into the top job when Nicole Oria resigned, says the veterinary board is “diligently working to implement changes that will address the commission’s concerns.”

“These changes may include changes in personnel and an agency reorganization,” Calderon said.

Oria, facing questioning by the sunset panel at a November meeting, cited in part the demands of dealing with about 750 complaints after a veterinarian posted a photo of herself holding up a cat’s body by an arrow speared through the animal’s head. The board ended up suspending the veterinarian’s license for a year.

In a separate case with implications for the no-kill shelter movement, the agency became involved in a legal fight by pursuing enforcement action against a shelter veterinarian over the death of a dog. The veterinarian successfully argued that shelter work wasn’t subject to the board’s purview in a case that went to the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin.

The Legislature is expected to take up the issue, among others, in its regular session, which begins in January.

The sunset report said the agency’s struggle with issues in the cases contributed to its problems. But it said the cases “do not fully account” for issues at the small agency with a $1.1 million annual budget and staff of 20.

Among problems, the report said the agency wasn’t able to provide basic enforcement data with a reasonable degree of confidence or reliably provide basic financial information. The report also said the agency hadn’t finished closing its books for fiscal year 2015 and hadn’t followed proper procedures in awarding a contract.

The report also said the agency’s enforcement couldn’t ensure fair treatment of licensees or people filing complaints. And with 6,300 veterinarians authorized to dispense controlled substances, the report said, the board has “an ineffective and inconsistent approach” to monitoring the substances’ theft and loss.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Texas cracks top 10 of most dangerous places to cross the street
Texas cracks top 10 of most dangerous places to cross the street

Crossing the street can seem like such a simple thing. But there was some logic behind Mom telling you to look both ways first — an average of 13 people are struck and killed by a car while walking every day, according to the fourth edition of the Dangerous by Design report.  That same report (issued by Smart Growth America’s...
Rove to Trump: Lose the pettiness, stop whining, think big
Rove to Trump: Lose the pettiness, stop whining, think big

GEORGETOWN — For a full hour Monday night, Karl Rove regaled some 450 people at the Williamson Country Republican Party Reagan Dinner at the Sheraton Georgetown with tales of William McKinley and his extraordinary but little-remembered success as a Republican candidate for president and occupant of the White House. And then Rove brought the lessons...
AFD makes quick work of apartment complex laundry fire in North Austin
AFD makes quick work of apartment complex laundry fire in North Austin

6:50 a.m. update: Austin fire crews made quick work of a fire that broke out in an apartment complex in North Austin on Tuesday morning. Firefighters were called out to the Highland Heights apartment complex in the 800 block of Tirado Street just after 6 a.m. They arrived within a few minutes and found flames shooting out of at least one unit...
Sunny skies expected in Austin through the rest of the week
Sunny skies expected in Austin through the rest of the week

Tuesday forecast for Austin: Forecasters are expecting sunny skies in Austin through the rest of the week after storms that battered the region on Monday cleared out of the area. According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in the Austin metro area was sitting at 55 degrees at 6 a.m., and no hazardous weather conditions that could affect...
Police search for teenagers after South Austin chase, crash

Austin Police said they are searching for teenagers who ran away after a car chase and a crash Monday night in South Austin. Police said the vehicle was stolen. Police on the scene could not give an exact time and location that the incident took place, but said it took place in the area of Southridge Drive and Bannister Lane. Police have established...
More Stories