One really needs to wonder about the ability of the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board to investigate cases that are referred. I mean... We did receive a couple of calls from a veterinarian by the name of Dr. David Spahn of the Down Maine Veterinary Clinic in regards to my complaint. Of course, I was also informed how little he was paid (around $30.00 was it) and that the Governor of Maine appointed him to his position.
Essentially I was rudely treated by a veterinarian in Aroostook County State of Maine and our feline was given prescription medications by a clinic in Caribou Maine for months without actually being seen by a veterinarian (in fact for over a year without being seen by any veterinarian)
A different veterinarian in the clinic saw our cat once in over 18 months -. After my complaint I received written notice that my feline had been receiving drugs and medications from Caribou based on consultations with her former veterinarian. When I asked our cat's former (now present) veterinarian if he had ever had contact with that clinic in late 2000 or early 2001 he stated no and that there was no record of it.
(You need to keep in mind that these statements were made in writing by the veterinarian in Caribou regards to a formal complaint filed with the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board .)Did the Veterinary Licensing Board for the State of Maine actually ask the former veterinarian if any of this was true? Who knows? After all, I guess they only pay them something like $30.00 a year (or something like that) to do this job.
We also found it rather odd that the veterinarian in Caribou had our cat's records start several months AFTER we received a prescription medication from this veterinary clinic. Did the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board have these records? Of course!
I think it is important that I reference some important points that have been provided by an attorney licensed to practice in the US Federal Courts. Perhaps the most import reference is in regards to giving out prescription medications without what is known (in legal terms) as a veterinarian-client-patent relationship.
Is a veterinarian in the State of Maine allowed by federal law to hand out prescription medications without having actually seen your pet? (Remember the veterinarian in Caribou Maine noted in the complaint could not be acting as a "pharmacy" since there ware no records or memory of contact with the pet's previous veterinarian or clinic...) The answer to this question is found here:
Clearly this is not allowed, nor is it allowed according to the standards set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Is the practice of allowing a veterinarian to prescribe prescription drugs without having any contact with your pet allowed by law in the State of Maine?
It must be allowed by statute in Maine since the Professional Licensing Board for the state of Maine dismissed the complaint against the veterinarian in spite of records that showed the distribution of a prescription medication without seeing a veterinarian, without having contact with the prior veterinarian to act as pharmacy and records that showed our pet had received prescription medications over 13 months after having seen any veterinarian (I was informed by the attorney that a legal test under any circumstances is a pet is required to be seen within one year).
All records related to this complaint were also provided to the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maine.
One interesting note: After the attorney in California spoke with me on the phone I again spoke with "investigator" - He stated that he doubted that the government (Food and Drug Administration - FDA) would be interested in taking action in these cases. (Note he did not say that what occurred was not a violation of federal law - he said that he doubted they would be interested in investigating a veterinarian who prescribed prescription medications under these circumstances).
Again, we need to go back to the statutes: Was there or was there not a Maine statue violated in regards to prescription medications? Apparently not according to the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board.
In Maine, apparently, it is OK to give your pet medications for months without seeing your pet. In Maine it is OK to give your pet medications for over 13 months after seeing ANY veterinarian. Did the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board contact our pet's prior veterinarian? Who knows?
Do we, as pet owners, have options after having the State of Maine Veterinary Licensing Board dismiss our complaint stating there was no violation of law or regulation committed by a veterinarian licensed in Maine? Sure - We can have the lawyers in California and in Portland, Maine proceed with complaints with the FDA and under civil law. In other words, private legal staff will need to pick up what the State of Maine Professional Licensing Board has an inability (or lack of desire) to do.
Is this sad? You bet! But then again, after doing some research we have also found it interesting that the Maine Veterinary Licensing Board have some of the weakest regulations in the United States.
In many states what happened to our pets and us would have never been allowed to occur in the first place. For example, the State of Texas has very strict criteria and licensing staff visit clinics on a regularly and sometimes by surprise. You won't find the smelly clinics with dry urine on the floor or dogs coughing-up Decon in the waiting room in states like Texas. It is simply not allowed.
In Maine, at least as far as veterinary services are concerned, it is "buyer beware". It is our opinion that the quality veterinarians in Maine will be found south of a line drawn at Bangor, Maine. If you are considering a relocation to the State of Maine, especially if you love and care about your pets, consider this: Check out the links for veterinarians on the State of Maine website and check to see how many veterinarians are actually disciplined in Maine and their regulations and control over veterinary practices. Next, do the same thing with states like Texas, California, Oklahoma, etc. Big difference? You bet!
The other factors you really need to consider in looking at are: Maine has the highest "brain drain" of educated individuals in New England. Maine is the poorest state according to US Census data - highest unemployment, lowest income, etc. This is what you and your pet will be dealing with if you move to Maine. You need to double you concern if you are thinking of moving north of Bangor.
We will be soon be out of the State of Maine, thank God!