State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Sacramento, CA
October 29, 2014
CANINE CARE, INC. ORDERED TO PAY $150,000 IN RESTITUTION FOR THE UNLICENSED PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
SACRAMENTO – Canine Care, Inc. has been ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution for the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine following a settlement agreement with law enforcement authorities.
An investigation into Canine Care, Inc. led by the Division of Investigation Sacramento Field Office revealed the company was illegally advertising and performing anesthesia-free pet teeth cleaning using scalers. Further investigation determined their operation was widespread throughout the state. Performing anesthesia-free teeth cleaning using any instrument, device, or scaler is illegal unless the individual is licensed by the California Veterinary Medical Board. Canine Care, Inc. did not possess the required California Veterinary Medical Board licenses to practice veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry.
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed the complaint against Canine Care, Inc. in coordination with District Attorney’s Offices from Fresno, Sacramento, and Ventura counties.
“Not only were the services Canine Care, Inc. performed in violation of the law, but it also put consumers’ pets at risk,” said DCA Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. “We thank the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for their hard work in coordinating the complaint and settlement agreement.
In addition to restitution, Canine Care, Inc. and its associates are prohibited from conducting veterinary medicine activities or portraying themselves as veterinary medicine professionals, unless they have the necessary licenses. The $150,000 in restitution will be paid to consumers, the California Veterinary Medical Board, and to Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento and Ventura counties.
“The resolution to the case against Canine Care, Inc. is a long time coming and we are pleased with the outcome,” said Veterinary Medical Board Executive Officer Annemarie DelMugnaio. “Taking action against unlicensed activity protects consumers and their pets from unqualified individuals. The outcome in the Canine Care case should assist the Board and veterinarians in educating the public about the importance of seeking dental care from trained and licensed professionals who understand what it takes to keep our animals healthy.”
It is important for consumers to make sure the professionals they conduct business with have valid licenses. Consumers can verify a license by visiting www.dca.ca.gov or calling (800) 952- 5210.