Veterinarian on probation for hurting animals, botching surgeries


File photo (The Associated Press)

FERNDALE, Wash. - A veterinarian was put on probation for three years for botching surgeries, taking painkillers meant for his patients and "using unnecessary force" on animals, the Bellingham Herald reports.

Peter Rule, who has been a licensed vet for more than a decade, will keep his license to practice.

Former workers at Glacierview Animal Hospital claimed that Rule slapped and punched dogs, pulled their tails and choked a Chihuahua to unconsciousness to subdue the dog.

Rule admitted that "at least three employees observed (Rule) using unnecessary force, excessive physical restraint and/or threatening conduct with patients."

He also confessed to taking the painkiller Tramadol without a prescription, pressuring an unlicensed assistant to perform surgery, letting an unlicensed assistant do other procedures she shouldn't have, leaving the clinic with an animal still recovering from sedation and failing to meet the state's standards of care during four separate procedures, according to the Bellingham Herald.

One dog, Daisy, died during a routine spay when Rule nicked her spleen. Another dog, Trooper, suffered permanent damage to his genitals during a neuter when Rule nicked his urethra.

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