How to File Complaints Against Bad Veterinarians in Each State and Territory
Take Action: File a Complaint With Your State's Veterinarian Board
You can file a complaint with your state's or territory's associated veterinarian board.
Only your state's licensing board (made up of roughly six to ten experts, depending on the size of your state) has total jurisdiction over a veterinarian’s license.
List of Websites for Filing Complaints Against Veterinarians by State and Territory
Alabama — Hawaii
- Alabama Complaint Form
- Alaska State Veterinary Medical Association Website
- American Samoa Website
- Arizona Complaint Form
- Arkansas Complaint Form Request
- California Complaint Form
- Colorado Complaint Process
- Connecticut Complaint Process
- Delaware Board of Veterinary Medicine
- District of Columbia Department of Health
- Florida's Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation
- Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services
- Hawaii Regulated Industries Complaints Office
Idaho — Missouri
- Idaho Complaint Form
- Illinois State Complaint Form
- Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
- The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Kansas Complaint Process
- Kentucky Complaint Form
- Maryland Complaint Process
- Massachusetts Complaint Form
- Michigan Complaint Process
- Minnesota Complaint Process
- Mississippi Complaint Form
- Missouri Complaint Form
Montana — Pennsylvania
- Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Nebraska Consumer Affairs Division Complaint Process
- Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Hampshire Board of Veterinary Medicine
- New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine Contact Form
- New York Veterinary: File a Complaint
- North Carolina Veterinary: File a Complaint
- North Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Complaint Process
- Northern Marianas Islands Complaint Form
- Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board - File a Complaint
- Oklahoma Complaint Process
- Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board OVMEB - How to File a Complaint
- Pennsylvania Department of State Complaint Process
Puerto Rico — Wyoming
- Puerto Rico Veterinary Medical Association
- Rhode Island's AG’s Consumer Protection Unit
- South Carolina Consumer Protection Code
- South Dakota Complaint Process
- Tennessee Complaint Form
- Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
- Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
- Vermont Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Virginia Department of Health Professions Complaint Process
- United States Virgin Islands - The Consumer Affairs Division
- Washington State Department of Health
- The West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Wisconsin Complaint Form
- Wyoming Complaint Form
I spent hours researching sites for this article to make sure you have the most up-to-date links for each U.S. state and U.S. territory. Unfortunately, some state websites don't provide complaint forms.
Each state has a different procedure for filing vet complaints. State vet complaints may be directed to or through any of the following:
- The appropriate department (e.g. Department of Health Services)
- The state agency
- Complaint submission process: Online, paper form, or by calling a complaint hotline.
Use Your Phone to Call
Each state has some type of consumer division or department that can take your complaint online, but you can also call to talk to a complaint specialist, complaint intake coordinator, or intake investigator. Their job is to help you through the process. You may also fill out a form and mail it in with your backup documentation, if that works better for you.
What Happens When a Complaint Is Filed Against a Vet
The Board, following a decision, can choose to do the following:
- The Board may institute a cease-and-desist order to the vet (not the practice). A cease-and-desist is a temporary injunction that suspends the vet's activity until a trial can be held to determine whether they can continue practicing veterinary medicine. After the trial, the court could decide to issue a permanent injunction.
- The vet may be fined.
- The vet's records may be reviewed for the subsequent year.
- The Board may encourage the vet to reimburse you (including travel expenses or expenses for corrective care or surgeries). Unfortunately, they cannot mandate the payment.
Signs of a Bad Veterinarian
If your pets are treated by a veterinarian, I am assuming you pay good money for preventative care, as well as medical and health appointments and surgery. If you have a bad experience, you may discuss the bad quality of service with your veterinarian in person, in writing, or on the phone. These bad experiences can include anything from realizing your dog or cat is in pain or having an allergic reaction to medicine to not healing properly after a surgery.
Here are some signs that a vet may need to be reported:
- They may become disgruntled or challenge your statements of concern.
- They don't ask how your pet is feeling after you complain about a complication. If this happens, you will instantly know that they are putting their own needs ahead of your pet's needs.
- They have poor bedside manner.
- They display unprofessional conduct.
- They provide substandard care.
If you have a complaint against your veterinarian, please do not wait. Each state has their own rule regarding the statute of limitations (a certain time limit after the vet appointment within you can file a complaint). I highly encourage you to call the (800), (866) or (888) number listed on the state government's website, fax in a complaint question, or email the appropriate department.
You are not only helping yourself and your pets, but you are helping protect your community members from being ripped off by unethical vets. You are also protecting other animals from injury, additional medical complications, being prescribed improper medications, defective surgeries, future health issues, and bad medical appointment experiences.
I hope this information proves helpful to you and your pet! You are now empowered to help others by sharing this information so you can protect your community from bad veterniarian practices.
Have you ever filed a complaint against a veterinarian?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
What about if you think your veterinarian is over charging you for medication and then he refuses to give you a written prescription to take to a pharmacy?
I would suggest stating that you need a written prescription because you can get the medication cheaper elsewhere, like an online Pet Pharmacy or your local pharmacy. (As an example, one of my local supermarkets has a pharmacy with a Pet Saver prescription program and it saves us lots of money on pet prescriptions.) Explain that is it your right to buy prescriptions elsewhere and you are requesting a written prescription. They should not refuse. Explain that you need to save this money so you can afford vet care.Helpful 5
I took my dog to the vet and he told me she had tetanus and there was nothing else we could do besides put her to sleep. I went to a different vet to get a second opinion and she told me that my dog did have tetanus, but she was going to put her on antibiotics to help her fight it because it wasn’t too advanced yet. The first vet didn’t even blood work on my dog he just took a look at her and at was it. Can I report the first vet for giving me wrong information?
First of all, I am so sorry that you almost had to put your dog down because of a vet's incompetence!
The short answer is: "Yes, you can and I hope you do."
I would suggest you dispute the first vet's charge on your credit card (if you charged by credit card) - if it is not too late.
Additionally, I would also file a complaint, and as part of the complaint, ask for your money back!
You don't want this veterinarian to potentially kill someone else's dog.Helpful 8