Sunday, February 23, 2014

Murder, By Internet

I apologize in advance for the length of this, but the story is a bit involved, and I believe illustrative.

Blood ran down my arm, across the back of my hand, and dripped onto the exam table. I stood there quietly taking the verbal abuse from an outraged pet owner, my hands resting on the metal surfaced table. It's better to let them rave themselves breathless rather than trying to interrupt. Ya learn this after a while. Once they've spewed their piece, they eventually stop to take a breath. Then they are not talking. No one can listen when they are talking. It's an A/B switch kinda thing.

I'm pretty thin skinned. Don't mean by this that I'm overly-sensitive. Far from it. Nah, I'm just old. Skin gets thinner when you get old, so when the dog rakes you with those front toenails little furrows appear, followed shortly by that red stuff. And when you follow the physician's advice and take those little aspirin daily, this inhibits platelet aggregation. Oh sorry. Big words, This means you bleed with enthusiasm from little furrows.

I learn from such encounters, even after all these decades of playing this game. I listened intently to the young man, occasionally glancing over at his embarrassed wife. I wanted to learn what he thought I'd done incorrectly. She was dumbfounded by his tirade. I was a mite taken aback myself, but I too stood there taking it in.

By the time he finished, it was completely obvious that I need not try to respond. Why waste the oxygen? This guy had it all figured out, and reality had nothing to do with our little predicament. The first words out of his mouth when he had entered the exam room with his dog, “We didn't like the last vet”, would be the first words out of his mouth at the next veterinary practice. Nothing I had to say was going to change that.

I shook my head and turned away, ignoring that little bit of his spittle hanging off his lower lip. I left him puffing in the exam room. Time to bandage the arm again.

“We should have listened to your internet reviews.”

Yeah, you should have. Thought it but didn't say it. I don't read my reviews, No point in that. But someone, (the mayor of our little city) had mentioned those reviews just the week before. Apparently next to all the good ones were two rather nasty ones. I figured I knew what those were about, and when I replied the mayor simply nodded.

One was a young woman who was incensed when I excused her dog before my exam could even begin. It had something to do with not being able to touch her vicious little dog. Her boyfriend had screamed into my face that I get paid to get bit, and I took some small exception to that bit of misinformation.

The second bad review concerned another client who announced as she entered the exam room, (yep, another who didn't like her last vet) that she was dissatisfied with the dose of the pain killing drug the last doctor had prescribed for her cat, so she had raised the dose without asking if this was appropriate.
The second sentence out of her mouth was to demand from me more of the drug, long before I had the opportunity to become familiar with the animal's condition, the history and the physical exam. I didn't jump at this opportunity for a fast sale, in as much as this was a controlled substance, and prudence suggests we not simply supply these to the public .

Numerous other demands poured from this woman's mouth with each new statement she made. And then the complaints as I began my exam. I was to do it the way she required and how dare I do it my way. I smiled and continued my exam. She continued to rail against every single thing I did. I smiled again.

Goodbye.

The mayor has been a client of mine for roughly thirty years, so I don't know why he consulted those on line reviews, but I'll get back to this thought later.

Anyway, the young couple and their dog entered my exam room. It was a busy Saturday morning and we were completely booked. We'd set aside the usual 15 minute slot for what should have been a routine visit. The chart hinted at an ear problem, and they needed a rabies vaccination. I greeted them in my usual ingratiating fashion. I'm a heck of a nice person after all. The dog was about 45 pounds of one and a half year old mix-breed.

Warning #1: “We didn't like the last vet.”

#2: Dog is wearing a harness rather than a collar. This is where self-preservation kicks in. It's kinda like how you feel when the guy walks into the convenience store wearing a ski mask. Maybe he just has bad acne, but ya still watch em closely.

#3: I get down into my squat that I use to greet every dog that comes into my exam room. This is diplomacy in the dog world. It invites the dog to come over and make friends. It often begins the process that defuses doggie anxiety in the vet's office. It makes the job easier. The friendly dogs just love it. The clients love it. And I really enjoy the dogs. This dog approaches to a four foot distance, stares at me, raises it's lip about a half inch, and then runs behind the man.

#4: “The last vet took a foxtail out of his ear.” When was this? “Last July.” OK, that's foxtail season. Seems reasonable. “But it didn't get better.” (Seemed he intimated that the other vet faked taking a foxtail out of the ear. Heard that nonsense before, too)

OK, how long has he had this ear infection? “I don't know.” Well, how old was he when you first noticed it? “He was about 7 months old.” So, about last February. And it's been infected ever since? “Yes. It didn't get better after the last vet treated it.”

Small wonder. Ears infected for a year, treated once, didn't get better. We gonna need more than 15 minutes for this.

Dog had erect ears, so from across the room I could see a bit of the inside of the ears. They were pigmented black. Bad sign. Usually takes years of neglect before the ears turn black. Turning black is scaring from chronic inflammation, and it portends other damage that is not only permanent but often requires what we call salvage surgery to keep the dog from suffering needlessly. Poor dog's owners clearly lacked the clue.

The young woman showed me the crinkled flattened tube of ear infection medicine. It contained plenty to treat the ears for the usual 10-14 day treatment. “We've been using this ever since, and he didn't get better.”

Sigh.

Without understanding the reasons for chronic or recurring ear infections in dogs, the poor owners who are treating these ears are unlikely to get it right. No knock on owners ( this time), but when not handled correctly such infections often turn into disasters, and even when handled correctly they are often not cured, but merely managed. The sun comes up in the east, and some dog ear infections are extremely challenging to treat. That's just how it is.

Educating pet owners is the single most important thing veterinarians do. This is how we best help the animals. It is critical. It prevents a lot of the preventable disasters. It is also the most challenging aspect of the job. (there he goes, picking on pet owners again) So I spent a half hour explaining the basics to this young couple. My receptionist stopped by to wag two fingers in my face. The next two clients were already waiting. But I was getting somewhere with these two and I didn't want to stop. They seemed to be learning.

Now you might wonder why I still hadn't examined this dog. Normally, this would precede the education part, but I like to give the fearful dogs time to become accustomed to the room and me, and it gives me time to defuse some of the anxiety or hostility residing in the owners, for they set these dogs off by how they react. So I laid on the whole lesson, going back over each concept in different ways when they didn't understand. I'm good at this. Done it for decades. Most clients thank me once they figure things out. I made my other clients wait while investing important time with this couple. It began to feel as if we might make this work.

The time arrived when I would try to examine the dog. Prospects for this hadn't improved much. The dog still would not come over to sniff me. It had sniffed the entire room, wandered out of the room when the owner didn't pull him back by the leash, but never once approached me. You don't simply reach for a dog behaving like this.

I got into my squat again, and it approached to that same 4 feet, and then headed for the other side of the room. The man holding the leash stood right beside me. His dog was over there, giving me the eye. Silly veterinarians often wonder why the owners don't simply use the leash to pull the dog to them so we can actually do our job. Rarely happens. So after a bit, I reached up and took the leash from his hand, and gently pulled the dog toward me. He stopped at that magic 4 foot distances. A bit more tug on the leash as I entreated the dog to come. Harness goes up and over head, landing limply on the floor. Dog hurries over to stand beside the woman, over there.

I held up the useless and turned to the man. “This is why you don't use a harness. They give you no control over your dog.”

Woman stands next to dog. Doesn't grab his collar. Doesn't try to bring the dog over to me. Man does nothing. Woman speaks, “Maybe I should leave the room. He gets real protective of me.”

Ah...warning #5. I shouldn't need to explain this one.

I turn to look at the man standing next to me. Why don't you go over there, take the dog by the collar, and bring him over here? A novel concept he had apparently not considered.

He squats next to me, dog cradled between his legs, biting part facing out. Perfectly wrong set up for dealing with an untrained fearful dog.

I take collar and pull dog in front of me. He lunges left, he lunges right, he lunges left again. I hold collar. He stops lunging and I turn him to face away and induce him to sit. Soft calming voice, praising him for a sit, petting and scratching his back. He settles a bit. I touch an ear.

Dog lunges left, dog lunges right. For expedience I will not repeat this part over and again. The dog did. Take my word for it. After some considerable time, I give up on examining ears. I turn to look at the man who is still squatting right next to me. No attempt whatsoever to control his own dog.

Your dog really needs a good obedience training course. Not only will it teach him to behave, but it will impart him with some badly needed confidence so he won't misbehave like this. Nothing.

OK, enough wasted time. I give the dog his rabies vaccine, and go to stand up. Dog launches one more time, spinning in a circle, which locks my hand in the collar. Not a good thing if he begins to nibble on my arm. Manage to untangle my hand without injury, but dog rears on his hind legs and rakes my arm with his claws. I know that feeling. I'm done with dog and turn him loose.

I'm washing the blood off my arm when the man launches on me. He doesn't like how I held his dog by the collar. Really? How else does one hold a dog by the collar? Silly me. Took me a bit before I realized that he didn't want the dog held at all. That thing where I always say that the use of a harness is the owner's concession that he has no desire to control the dog at all. That's this guy.

So I stood beside my exam table, bleeding, while he assailed me. And then I walked out of the room, bandaged my arm, and then put on my smile for the next client. Excuse me for trying to help. The day went on, as they have for all these decades.

Will this guy put up a bad review on line? Don't know. Don't care. I don't read reviews. I don't defend myself when a bad one shows up. Don't care. My practice has been growing for decades because satisfied clients send their friends to me, and people who don't like how I try to help their animals are welcome find someone who does it differently. Lot's of ways to skin a cat. (sorry cat lovers)

Does it hurt my feelings after all these years of dedicating my life to helping people and their pets to have someone scream at me like that. Yeah....a little. I got into this profession to help, and I've sacrificed a lot to continue doing this for a lifetime. Mostly it is rewarding. Sometimes it breaks my heart.

So why the longs story? Well, last week a few people killed a veterinarian I know.

Oh, they didn't poke her with a knife or shoot her with a gun. But they killed her.

Shirley was in practice for over thirty years, and although a bit unconventional at times, she was always compassionate, up to date, hard working. She finally got the chance to start her own little practice. On a shoestring, she opened a small place in the city of New York. As all start-ups do, it was a struggle. The economy still sucked. The weather sucked. The likely illegal collusion between landlord, banker, contractor and maybe even organized crime nearly bankrupted her. But it took crazy cat ladies to kill her.

A feeder of feral cat colonies in the city adopted a cat from a shelter and then turned it loose in a city park, in the snow and the 2014 winter, to struggle on its own. This lady thinks this is good for cats. Some friends of hers brought the sick cat to Shirley for a medical problem, but of course declined most everything necessary due to cost. So as she had done in the past, Shirley asked them to surrender their cat so she could care for it and then try to find it a nice home. Because they could not provide properly for the cat, they agreed. Later, the woman who had turned the cat loose in the park showed up to claim the cat, and Shirley refused. She didn't want to see the cat abandoned again. And she didn't at that point even know who owned the cat. For she had been duped into believing the first two people owned it.

That's when it started. Vicious evil people have the same voice on the internet as the rest. An organized assault on Shirley began on the net. An on-line blog that specializes in character assassination zeroed in on her. Protesters with signs lined the street in front of her hospital, and had to be removed from her clinic by the police. People who had no idea of the facts hopped on board with the mob because the evil rich veterinarian deserved it. They were vicious, conscienceless, and evil. But they got their wish.

Shirley killed herself the other night.

And the vermin on the blog celebrated, cheering her death in their posts. 

Ask any veterinarian out here. This hurts us. So I guess they win.








115 comments:

  1. I knew Shirley through an online DVM site. She was not perfect, but neither am I. She did not deserve the cyber bullying. Words are not adequate to express the disgust I have about the groups who assault others online the way they did her.

    RIP Shirley.

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  2. The whole situation with Shirley sucks. I never met her, but I'll miss her voice on the DVM site. I'm just way to chicken to confront the evil that did her in. I want to tell them how evil they are and what harm they have done - I really do - but I wouldn't make it either. We'll miss you, Shirley

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  3. My curiosity was peaked with this article. I unfortunately was plunged into the Veterinary Abuse Networks websites/blogs/facebook which were celebrating the fact that the cat is now safe... not caring about taking a human life. I am very sorry for your loss.

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  4. God that is beyond horrendous. I don't know how the author has survived decades in this field - I've managed one but sometimes I think I might have to leave with the tattered shreds of my sanity before I make another decade. People just have no idea what makes this job suck. Rest in Peace Shirley, it should NOT have been that way x

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  5. That is so horrible. People are so horribly mean. Something like this should never have happened. I have been a veterinarian for 8 years and have been trying to find a way out of the field into something else that sucks less, or to at least scale back. I'm so sorry to hear about Shirley. I didn't know her, but nobody deserves that.

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    Replies
    1. I graduated from vet school in 2005 and I too am trying to find a way out of the field. I hate feeling like all I do is cater to whiny, know-it-all owners that can't be bothered to train their dogs and then get mad when their dog has to be muzzled in order for me to get near it. I hate that they can't follow instructions and then come back to the clinic months later with the same problem and they are mad that the treatment I prescribed didn't work. I'm tired of telling 90% of my clients that their pets are overweight and have them look at me like I have two heads. I hate to say that I have contemplated the road that Shirley went down. If I don't get out of this profession I may very well go there. I am so sorry that she went through that horrible ordeal. People suck.

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    2. Unknown, I hear you. Please know you are not alone in this, and that there are many avenues to gaining help with the depression brought about by aspects of this career. I am asking you - no, begging you - to send us a message here at VBB and let us help. It hurts me to my soul to know another of my colleagues feels this way. So many of us want to help. Write to us and let us do just that. Please.

      Delete
    3. Unknown, Please do contact the blog administrators. They can help you find help.
      There are many stresses to our profession. It is pretty rare to find a vet that is not highly stressed in this age. Much of that stress is just that we care so much. That we seem to need to care more then some of the owners.
      But there are situations that can improve your outlook. It may take awhile to find that but you can.
      Having the strength to get into and then graduate from vet school makes you a very special person. Embrace your strengths.
      One thing that has helped me is to have been invited into a group of other vets on FB. It is a 'secret' group so we are allowed to post our thoughts and cases and ideas safely. We can post about the things that bother us and find camaraderie. We can post about our cases and get nearly instant response from our friends.
      We can post about our religion, sexuality, gardens, pets, bosses, associates, families, etc. It is very freeing.
      We are a group that varies in so many ways. Some work ER, some day, some just exotics, some for the US, Canada, and other places. We are about 50 in number and keeping the group somewhat smaller allows for a bit more intimacy.
      I would encourage you, and other vets to join together in a forum that is free to discuss issues and even challenge each other. You may find strength and friendship from where you'd never guessed you could.
      Please take care of yourself and know even if one leaves the profession that your life is so much more then just the profession and people will care about you.

      Delete
    4. Unknown I would also encourage you to build a life outside of practice. I was depressed when all I really had was "the job" that I had devoted over a decade to attain and it wasn't as rosy as I had dreamed. It took years to find the right "hobby" that gave me a way to de-stress and build friendships locally. I also leaned a LOT on the friends I made in vet school to do as Lisa describes her FB group does (Lisa I love this idea!) -- you are so not alone, but when you are isolated as happens with depression that is how it feels and really we all have been or are there. Our profession gets emotionally blackmailed on a daily basis by the people we have devoted our time and money to help all because we value the human-animal bond

      Delete
    5. Unknown, I must echo the call to contact the admins. A couple of points:

      1) I know many on here personally, there is a LOT of experience here. I sincerely doubt anything you could tell us would shock or surprise. Also (don't tell them I said this!), they are some of the finest people I have had the pleasure to know. They can get you to any help needed. And

      2) If you give in to bad thoughts, the Bastards win. Never, EVER give the Bastards the satisfaction of winning.

      I pray that you find the peace and strength we all need and deserve.

      Delete
    6. I can't figure out how to contact anyone. Someone please contact me and tell me how to joint the FB group Lisa Bennett described. I am burnt out and not far behind. Tired of being alone.

      Delete
    7. I would likewise love to a part of that Facebook group. I am by lonesome as a housecall vet and some days are very lonely indeed...

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    8. I am convinced with an education as a veterinarian that it is possible to make a decent living and not have to practice as a private practice veterinarian subjected to emotional drains daily. I just have to find it. I'm convinced others can too if they want to. There has to be a way. Suicide doesn't need to be an option. Veterinarians are so well educated and should be able to anything else in the world they want to if they put their minds to it..... at least that is what I tell myself. Unknown, feel free to contact me if you want to chat. I'm also a 2005 grad.

      Delete
    9. I left private practice a year ago. Last fall I was at a meeting with a good friend I hadn't seen in a while and she pointed out, You're so much better. You aren't angry or suicidal anymore.

      Veterinarians certainly aren't quitters. It took about five years for me to get from the point of realizing I had to get out of private practice, to figuring out what I wanted to do, to actually finding a new job. Now I don't hate going to work. Revelation.

      Delete
    10. GP isn't cut out for everyone or at least not forever depending on the number of bad experiences. Like some have already said, there are other ways to be a veterinarian and help animals, without the owner interference. But if you want to stay in GP - hire a new grad with the exuberance you once had - and be open to letting that excitement refresh you and change up your normal routines and set spiels. And of course, take time for mental health! Everyone needs to get a break from their worries and struggles - that could be scheduled weekly therapy (cognitive therapy is great to help change your outlook), or scheduled walks on the beach (or wherever,) or weekend trips away! But somehow you have to get yourself to remember what's important to you and how you can make yourself love what you do again.

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    11. Lisa Bennett - You were disciplined and received a citation on 07-16-2009 for an incident on 01/15/2009. Do you mind telling us what it was for, or should I find the documents and post them myself?https://www.myfloridalicense.com/viewcomplaint.asp?SID=&licid=2918841

      Delete
    12. That is the wrong Lisa Bennett - get your information straight before asking stupid questions.

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    13. There may be more then one Lisa Bennett. I am not licensed in Florida so I have no idea what you are talking about.
      You may want to get your documentation straight before libeling or slandering someone.

      Delete
    14. No apology for the false accusation, I see. Not surprising considering the source.

      Delete
    15. Regret A Vet. You owe me an apology.

      Delete
  6. This is terrible news. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  7. As a certified "Crazy cat lady" myself, I can say that there are more of us who are fighting the evil that caused this tragic death than there are monsters that drove her to it.

    I did not know Dr Koshi personally, but am a very outspoken proponent of NYC cat rescue and was directly involved in it for years. Heck, I even had to sue a vet once (I didn't follow through, but even he admitted that he had left material in my dog that led to his death....until it was "on the record). SO I'm not against taking professional misconduct to task.

    THis was nothing more than a crazy woman with a personal vendetta against a fin Dr who gave a lot to animals in need. And shrouding this nutjob was a hoard of angry, bitter people hiding behind keyboards and monitors to vent their fear and rage on a solitary woman with no resources left.

    I hope every one of the people involved in spreading the lies and involved in the bullying is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I have screenshots of some of the more egregious lies and character assassinations if and when anyone takes on this case.

    THis was a tragedy, and it never should have happened. And the cat in question? Back in the "arms" of his "rescuer". She's already stated that she's putting him back out on the streets in a couple of weeks. Poor cat was actually in a home, getting love. Now a good doctor is dead, and the cat is getting dumped in the snow. Its unbelievably wrong.

    Signed,
    A crazy Cat Lady (one of the sane ones :-) )

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    1. Tara, please do keep those screen shots. They may be very helpful.

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    2. Tara,

      Count me as one who appreciates the courage you've shown on this front. And let me suggest that you make those screenshots widely available so as much of the public as possible can see the hate. If the good folks behind VBB won't post them here, I'm sure you could find another good outlet.

      This whole ordeal makes me sad (if not fearful) for our future. Cyber-bullying under the guise of "loving animals" while victimizing the veterinarians who actually care about and for the animals is just plain evil.

      Delete
    3. Tara, if you're still around and the offer of screenshots is still open, please visit http://banvetabuse.blogspot.com/. The fight is not over.

      Delete
    4. Ugh, I thought I replied to this DAYS ago, but apparently missed the fact that I would have to hit submit more than once. Sorry.

      The best place to reach me isn't in these comments sections, but to PM me on my FB page.

      Delete
  8. RIP Dr. Shirley. I am a veterinarian and I have been through a similar experience. I know how much it hurts when the very own people you tried so hard to help curses you. I wish there is a system that protects innocent people from these review sites.

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  9. I have been working in this profession for 30 years and I fail to understand how it is that internet trolls like on the vet abuse network and others cannot be held accountable for their behavior. It is truly understandable how such sadness and despair can build up. In the end, remembering how we treat others truly affects their lives would be a good life lesson for us all. Even though some of the posts on this blog appear to be complaining about clients in a humorous or sarcastic way there is an element of truth in them all, unfortunately the just told tale is 100 percent true, in fact I feel sure some of the story is missing, nevertheless the end result is the same.

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about Dr. Shirley -- that is horrible!

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  11. Dear Mr. Veterinarian, As a rescuer of all critters in need no matter what the species and a certified kitty lady, well I can tell you we are not all crazy. We share the same compassion and empathy for animals as you do and try to keep our wits about us too. But these people who harassed your college are not animal lovers. They are mean, crude, evil, controlling monsters. Anyone who thinks a life outside for a cat is better than indoors definitely have a screw loose. I am so sorry for the loss of this vets life. I don't know how these people sleep at night. Hopefully God gave her a job guarding all the critters that live in the animal kingdom in heaven. RIP Shirley

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  12. As an aside, I am a dog trainer and this:

    "Your dog really needs a good obedience training course. Not only will it teach him to behave, but it will impart him with some badly needed confidence so he won't misbehave like this. Nothing."

    Made me smile. God bless you for trying - I know for the most part it might not help, but having vets that encourage training is a lovely thing.

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  13. Does anyone know if anything is being done about this? There has to be a case for cyber harassment.

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  14. This is the kind of thing they should be showing to perspective veterinary school applicants. I'm a recent graduate and I already find myself recommending something else as a career path when I hear people say they want to be a vet. In theory, we have one of the best jobs in the world (despite descpicable pay for our training), but in reality, people suck and it can make our daily lives miserable. I truly feel horrible for the Dr. mentioned in this article and wish I could speak to these people face to face to let them know they are the scum of the Earth. As for the ignoring of online reviews, I'm with you. As far as I know, I don't have any negative online reviews, but I don't care because my clients (my real clients, not people who come in for a free 1st exam and never plan on returning) love me and will continue to recommend me to other good people (for the most part). I do wish it were easier to win defamation suits though as looking at almost any clinic's Yelp reviews shows cause for multiple defamation/slander lawsuits.

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  15. I have long stated that the bullying we experienced in the school yard as kids has just been translated into the same abusive behavior seen in adults. And now they don't even have to do it to your face. Why people seemed surprised by the British study showing suicide in this profession to be 4 times higher than the general population and 2 times higher than other medical professions astounds me. The pressure starts before vet school (usually self-motivated), continues in vet school (where it seems to be expected for you to put up with more than you should), and continues into the workplace where there is little support, few resources, and a general daily grind of, at the least, unappreciative people. And this isn't me being jaded and not seeing the "bright" side. This is the way it is. It's a tough job where people will mouth the right terms for the opinion poll that puts the veterinary profession high in the yearly trustworthy scale but that does not relate to what happens in reality.

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    1. I'm in my second year now and stories like this poor Dr.'s scare the devil out of me. I'm 2 years in and too scared to leave now. Never once in my schooling, so far, has compassion fatigue or anything like this been broached in a formal setting. I hope for everyone's sake things change.

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  16. This is so unconscionable and the pinnacle of insanity that is the " Animal Rights" movement. They operate in a universe where a stray cat 's
    "well being" ( which of course the veterinarian was for more able to asses and provide than these nutbags) is more valuable than a human life. Good God. Please accept heartfelt condolences for the loss of your friend and know that those of us out here who really do care for animals and train, maintain and contain them tremendously appreciate the service and sacrifice of good caring veterinarians. I'm sorry I read this, but I am glad I read this. Thank you.

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    1. I hope you re-evaluate this assumption.

      I wrote a comment above that I hope clarifies my position on this. I also happen to be an animal rights advocate.

      While I understand that you are angry and looking for a direction to blame, your assertion is not accurate. Its a bit similar to the loons that assume all vets are just in it for the money and out for themselves: untrue, damaging and destroys an ability to work together for common goals.

      Delete
    2. Tara, I hope you mean you're an animal *welfare* advocate. FAR different from animal rights. Larjesnik's description of the animal rights movement is 100% correct. These people lie, bully, threaten(and often commit), violence in their attempt to further their agenda which is to end ALL animal use and ALL animal ownership. The HSUS, PeTA, ASPCA, Grey2k, NYClass, Animal Liberation Front(designated by the FBI as a terrorist group), among others - They make false claims against good people, and when AC, police officers and vets find NO reason for the claims, these people refuse to accept that and continue to harass and bully, both online and in real life.
      That Dr. Shirley was driven to take her life because of these vile people is beyond heartbreaking and horrific. This IS the animal rights movement ar work.

      Delete
  17. I just wanted to take this moment and thank you for the love & Compassion you show our animals & us. In 2013 I had to say goodbye to my 19 yr old mutt & 17 yr old shepard mix. For the send dog, my vet was on maternity leave so saw the partner for first time. She sat with me for 30 minute, asking questions about my Zoey. She cried with me as did the other
    I am sorry at what is happening to your profession. And my heart breaks for the Doc Shirleys out there.

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  18. I just had two pizzas delivered to my vet's office....They saw both of my kitties today and while I was there I listened to the two receptionists taking all sorts of crap over the phone because one of the doctors had called in sick and they were trying to rearrange her appointments for the day. How dare she be a human being who occasionally gets sick and misses a day of work! It made me sad for everyone there.

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  19. I am a dog groomer of 30 years (time grooming, not my age). I get so tired of wasting my time, my breath, and my ability on some of the owners who don't care, don't listen, and don't take responsibility for the well-being of their animals, that I TOTALLY understand burnout of veterinarians, and depression, etc. Awful. It is so much better to do what many groomers have actually learned to do, and that is to FIRE some of your obnoxious clients so that you can feel more appreciated. I refer clients to vets for many of the things that I see, and I spend time talking about nutrition, as I have taken an interest in that. Sometimes it is such a waste of time, and it can be heartbreaking seeing the dog suffer. One of my 'boundaries' is that I am not going to watch a client kill their dog slowly before my eyes for lack of getting care. They can get groomed elsewhere or get the proper vet care that their dog needs. Period.

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    1. I forgot to mention that I was a trainer before becoming a groomer, so I also advise people about behavior. If they cannot do what it takes so that grooming their dog is not a rodeo event, they must also go elsewhere. Animal lovers tend to extend themselves until - well, way too far. We MUST look after ourselves to remain healthy and happy.

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    2. I have to agree, Debtee. The best thing I did for my practice was to set some pretty strict boundaries. It made a few pain in the butt people mad and then after a year or two the number of noncompliant persons dropped off markedly. I have a great staff that has been with me now for many years in part because of the culture I work so hard to keep in our practice. I have fired a few here and there, but usually once they don't get to harrass people and learn rules are the same for everyone, they move on. BTW we are growing every year. And I am much happier.

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    3. as a groomer who also teaches dog training, I couldn't agree more. Life is too short and there are good dogs and good people out there who appreciate my help. I will no longer bash my head against the wall trying to work with abusive people. Politely send them on their way and live a happier life :)

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  20. You have shown me both sides of humans in your story. I am very grateful you are on the better half. I have great respect for Veterinarians and you sound like a really good one. I had entertained the thought of becoming one myself and found out that I was not cut for the job. Some, if not a lot of people don't deserve to be able to have a pet. You should have to go through some classes or something. It's really troubling how some treat their pets. This story saddens my heart, but it has hope in it. You are that hope. I know it must be hard and I don't even know you, but I appreciate you and your hard work.

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  21. as an emergency vet I am very familiar with above scenario as the clients I see are usualy stressed and upset which seems to bring on their worst behaviour but even back in daytime practice it was common to meet unpleasant people on a regular base
    I usualy try to ignore nasty clients and let them rant till the run out of steam but sometimes they get to me and I wish I would be allowed to tell them what I really think instead I have to suck it up and take a bite off the table once they have left.
    never ever would I consider to kill myself because of shit bags like this,it saddens me deeply that a colleague has taken her life and I truly urge anybody who has suicide thoughts to seek professional help! I love my job but there are many different ways to go,do not stay in a job if it makes you ill !
    take care

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  22. Is it my imagination or is this getting steadily worse? In the UK when I was younger and living in the country vets were on a par with the GP and the vicar - or probably above them. They are appreciated here in rural Italy too. This entire "entitlement" culture stinks when it leads to people who are trying to do the job they trained for end up being persecuted in any way.
    It isn't often I have tears in my eyes when reading a blog. I can't even try to make up for the rubbish by being nice and responsible. My being responsible means I don't have any pets - but I do love animals and admire vets.

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  23. I am not a veterinarian and I have only respect and admiration for the avian vets that I have had the privilege of working with...as in bringing my parrots to them for help. I have found them to be informative, helpful and caring. What more can I ask for? I greatly appreciate their expertise and I follow their advice. On occasion, I do ask questions or provide extra information. One thing I don't do is talk while they are examining the bird in question. That is so they can concentrate on the bird fully, and not miss something due to my interjections. I talk before and after the exam and or treatment. IMO one should respect a professional doing his or her job and that is how I instruct my clients also...be respectful and act appropriately as a client when in the vet's office. This just makes it easier for the veterinarian to do their job and provide the best of care to your animal, whether dog, cat, bird or other. Those haters who destroyed the fine doctor in New York, they are evil and cowardly as well as judgmental without knowledge. Hard to believe such people exist!

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  24. They mentioned a veterinary abuse network on the blog, so I went and found it on FB. Then, since they still have their posts up harassing the doctor, I reported the page. I would suggest that everyone who is horrified about the treatment of this vet take a few minutes to find the page and report it. With some luck FB will shut it down.

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  25. I just want to say that on the other side of this are owners, like myself, who really do appreciate good veterinarians when we find them. Thank you.

    I hope Shirley has found peace.

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  27. Yes, if you are able please report this "organization"'s accounts on twitter and Facebook. These sites serve no purpose other than character defamation and bullying. The individuals involved, I am sure, tend to be hurt and angry about loss of a pet and are lashing out. However, this behavior is inexcusable and should not be tolerated. If they have a problem with the care provided, they are welcome to file a malpractice suit or make a board complaint. Most do not because they know deep down that they would be laughed out of the courtroom. Instead, they would rather undermine people's professional credibility by making these libelous claims. I couldn't tolerate reading through all of their disgusting posts but Shirley Koshi was not the only one targeted.

    May Dr. Koshi rest in peace. If there is a heaven I am sure she is there, greeted by all the departed pets that she loved and cared for in life.

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  28. Purrdoc, I don't know how to get ahold of you. The admins for the site posted an email that you (or anyone) can email to and someone can respond. Like another commenter mentioned... some of us have made more than one trip to the depression rodeo, and some of us have taken some hard falls.
    Please post back when you have contacted the email. Thanks.

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  29. Yes Purrdoc, please contact us, we are here to help and we are waiting for you! Please write to us ASAP!!

    Anyone else that needs help or just needs to vent or talk or whatever, send us an email. There are avenues for help and we can point any of you in the right direction.

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  30. Condolences to anyone who knew the doctor in question. While I've only been in practice 5 years, I feel the burnout and frustration from time to time. Admittedly never to the level of considering suicide, but it's there. Every high school or college student who's asked me about the field has been told "run the other way, it's not worth it"... and to think, this is all I wanted to do with my life since I was 8 or so. Hah.

    I would say to anyone feeling close to the edge like a couple posters above, reach out to just the local community. I've been friends with some of the vets in my area (Baltimore) since I was in high school, and now that I'm working at home and seeing them in CE meetings and such it's even easier to get ahold of them. I'm sure there will be understanding ears to help you out! (In Baltimore, anyone going to the CE next Monday night? Say hi!)

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  31. This story has touched me deeply. I created this memorial website for Dr. Koshi. I would like to create a place with resources and support for veterinarians who might find themselves overwhelmed by the everyday abuse of practicing veterinary medicine.

    http://veterinaryabusenetwork.com/

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  32. My condolences on the loss of Dr Koshi. She didn't deserve that. No one does.
    In a former life, I earned a degree in counseling and spent 4+ years working a crisis hotline (and got rather burnt out myself). Along the way, I found some books with useful ideas on dealing with difficult people, so that doesn't take you down for the count. In case these might have some ideas you could find useful, here are a few:
    "Tongue Fu" by Sam Horn
    "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense" by Suzette Haden Elgin
    "Coping With Verbal Abuse" by Patricia Evans
    "When I Say 'No', I Feel Guilty by Manual Smith

    They're tools, only, yet may improve your odds of surviving this cr*p without losing yourself in the process.

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  33. I may not have gone through the vigorous routine of a 4 year degree, and survived through the years of Vet School, but I want to send a message to the many doctors who are reading this blog.

    I have worked in a few different clinics throughout the last 3+ years completing the tasks of a veterinary technician. I am finishing my degree to become certified and continue in an amazing career providing assistance to the wonderful Doctors I have worked with and come to know and love. Don't let what happened to Shirley happen to you. Please know that I, and other technicians can only do so much without you. Our own 4 legged children need you, and so do so many others. And WE need you. Please know that as many clients may pound you down and make you feel worthless, we still need you to go on.

    If you feel burn out, or near the stress and horrible feelings that Shirley felt, please seek help. Just because us technicians aren't doctors, doesn't mean that we don't feel the same burnout and share the same feelings you do. If you need to talk, let us know. We can be there if you need us, for far more than reading samples under a microscope or from a piece of laboratory machinery.

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    1. Thank you very much, Breckyn. You bring up a good point - our technicians, receptionists, assistants, kennel help - you all experience some of the same things that we doctors experience and go through the same burnout. I was just telling my own technicians the other day that they should stand up too, because they get abused by the same people who abuse the rest of us, and it's completely unacceptable. Instead you guys come to work, do your jobs, stay quiet and go home. You have a voice. We love you and thank you for all of your hard work and help in our attempts to provide the best care we can for our patients. I didn't want your comments to go by without an expression of gratitude, so thank you.

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  34. Hey seppaku, your site looks sketchy. It's name is very close to the name used by the group referred to in the column above, and it uses similar language, It would help a lot if you identified yourself, or provided resources on the landing page rather than requiring people to give their name and email. Generally when offering help to troubled people, you reveal your identity and allow them to remain anonymous, not the other way around. Feel free to contact me or the blog admins if you'd like help directing troubled veterinarians to existing sources of assistance.

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  35. I set up that site last night as a placeholder. I plan to develop it further, but I have 4 second year vet student exams in the next 9 days. I would appreciate any suggestions or guidance from someone with more experience. I thought it would be good for everyone if there was a positive and supportive counterpoint to this madness.

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    1. You can contact me at seppaku@yahoo.com

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    2. Might be a good idea to change the name of the site- Veterinaryabusenetwork.com is way too close to the horrible Vetabusenetwork.com blog that is cyberbullying veterinarians.

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    3. Wouldn't it be nice if a tribute to Dr. Koshi was among the google search results for veterinary abuse network?

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    4. True. I just wouldn't want anyone to think they are affiliated with each other.

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    5. seppaku, it seems that the creation of your website has royally ticked off Julie Castawhatever at the Veterinary Abuse Network facebook page. I mean this sincerely, well done!!!

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    6. Hey, seems like the author of Veterinary Abuse Network is quite upset you are using her name to make a memorial website. Looks like someone else had the same idea and there is a new facebook site called Vet Abuse Network that is dedicated to Dr. Shirley as well. Was that you too?

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    7. I did not start the facebook site, but I applaud their efforts!

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  36. Thanks, Seppaku. Sent an email. Good luck with exams!

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  37. To those of you who are support staff, I, and we, hear you. One of my personal pet peeves are those clients who feel it is acceptable to treat my people like shit, the be all sweetness and light in front of me.

    You want to be a dick to me, fine. I'm a big boy, and a grumpy old fart. No problem. But DO NOT fuck with my people!!!

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    1. The only clients I have ever fired or called the cops on have been on behalf of staff. You all take twice the crap for half the pay, the least we can do is toss the clients that give you grief.

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  38. "By the way, I was wondering if you have the balls to say to my face what you were screaming at my receptionist over the phone all yesterday afternoon?"
    "Ah, I'm sorry."
    "You're not sorry, you're an asshole. You are a subhuman primate."
    I was young and callow, and absolutely unrepentant when I ran this guy out. But nobody screams at my staff that way.

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  39. That's just disgusting. As a balanced trainer watching and defending other balanced trainers who are being assaulted, I find myself always trying to prepare for that one person who's going to start an assault against me. Why am I even forced to think that way when I know how much I love and care for dogs and would not even do a single thing to hurt one? This is horrendous and it sickens me that anyone would celebrate the loss of a human life, especially one that they were involved in ending. That's terribly sick but I do applaud you for writing about it.

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  40. Jennifer Toplitz The Organization I worked for for over 20 years had a word for these types. We called them Humaniacs. For the Animal Rescue individuals, & Organizations who work with the Veterinary Community in an atmosphere of Respect & Financial Responsibility, I have nothing but respect. Many spend every spare cent and every spare moment towards the rescue of all creatures, Great & Small. I've seen them work tirelessly, give endlessly, to the animals they rescue. I have never worked in any veterinary practice where strays, or abandoned pets were not part of the life of the practice. With few exceptions, there is no Vet, tech, or staff person who hasn't donated time, supplies, or whatever $ they could cough up towards care and new home finding to the fuzzy foundlings that are part & parcel of the job. I am a licensed Veterinary Technician, a former licensed Wildlife Rehabilitater, and have had multi-pet households for the last 40 years. Every animal was a rescue, I paid their medical bills, fed them properly, and not one spent their lives out in a yard, or a park, or in a cage & carrier crowded apartment that stunk of urine & feces, & rotting food. The Humaniacs, who vilify anyone who does not buy into their world view, who actually feel a loving home is acceptable only if THEY supplied it, who think life under the most miserable circumstances is better than no life at all, demand services for free, and bad-mouth any practice that can no longer work with them, they are our worst nightmare. Most Vets start their careers with crushing school debt, they make less than Human Drs, and starting a veterinary practice can run from $250,000.00 to over $1,000,000.00, depending on the size and services. The cost of medical supplies, medications, kennel supplies, is not cheaper than the supplies for human practices, or hospitals, you need a staff, you need to pay rent, or mortgage, utility bills, insurance on everything, pay your school debt, for the loan you got to build your practice, and rent, & groceries for you ( & a family if you had any time to start one) Many small practices have a profit margin of less than 10% of the gross, some are happy if they break even. No Vet goes into this business to get rich (We Vet-Techs don't expect to either), they go into it because they, we love animals! A Really Good Person Died because a woman without honor wanted her own way, Carl the Cat would have died without Dr. Koshi , if he lives, it will be despite of the Humaniac who Murdered her.

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  41. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-veterinarian-driven-suicide-cat-custody-fight-article-1.1701820

    First actual news link I have seen on this (found it in the related VIN thread). Which, by the way, is a great thread to check in on (In The Trenches, title is Shirley Koshi) to monitor what VIN's lawyer folk are checking into about the hate-filled FB page and such.

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  42. This is tragic. I am so sad to hear this. It amazes me how mean people can be.

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  43. I was a vet tech for 34 years, in NYC. If you need a sympathetic ear, a pep talk, some coping techniques for the insane pressure of this Profession, or just some-one to say There,There; send me an e-mail at crippled13cat@gmail.com. when I added up the total hours I had spent as a vet tech, animal foster mom, & wildlife re-haber it came out to almost 50 years of 40hr work weeks (allowing for a few vacations, sick days, & 1 or 2 Holidays)Probably why my Health is a mess. I'm retired now, & I check my gmail 1-2xs a day, If you would like some morale boosting, reach out, I'll get back to you ASAP.

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  44. Please help this petition go viral! If you are outraged by the harassment and inhumane treatment Dr. Koshi received, please sign and share!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-state-division-of-criminal-justice-services-hold-those-accountable-for-the-successful-suicide-of-dr-shirley-koshi

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Jacqueline - can you drop us an email @ vetsbehavingbadly@gmail.com with your Facebook info? Seems either your privacy settings don't allow you to be found on a FB search, or you aren't on there...? Anyway, we'd like to hook you into a group of like-minded colleagues either through FB or email... drop us a line.

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  47. Dear Vets Behaving Badly,

    I'm not a vet, but I've been practically shaking with outrage over this story since it broke at the Daily News several days ago. Thank you so much for posting this entry, and thanks for being part of a growing number of people who are doing their best to expose all the cyber bullies who played a hand in this tragic suicide.

    I have just posted a blog called "Ban Veteran Abuse Network" (http://banvetabuse.blogspot.com/), which describes in full detail who was involved in this harassment and how it got started, complete with screenshots of everything that they posted, in case they start deleting the evidence. I don't intend this to be a longterm blog; it's just another voice I'm trying to add to everyone else's. We simply cannot let yet another group of animals on the internet smugly sit back with a sense of accomplishment for driving an innocent person to death with their animalistic behavior. Julie Catalano and her "wolf pack" of followers need to be charged with some kind of crime, especially NOW that so many of them seem to be reveling in Dr. Koshi's death, seeing it as some kind of major "triumph."

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    1. R.C. I don't know who you are but THANK YOU. We all must stand up for each other against crimes like this. Knowing that someone who isn't even a vet is doing this gives me so much hope and restores my faith in the kindness of others. Shoot us a message here at VBB and stay in touch. Many of us are sharing your URL and are following closely. You rock. :)

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    2. Amazing. Thank you, R.C.!

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    3. Screenshot for libel by Ruth Cherubin (R.C) and her nonstop harassing blog making false accusations of crimes committed. Screenshot of this blog written by anonymous cowards similarly libeling individuals by name. Screenshot of anonymous Doctor (Coward) Sarcasm encouraging more libel by Ruth Cherubin. How much bullying, libel, stalking and harassment do you think licensees of the state can post before someone holds you accountable?

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  48. I cannot imagine what you must go through each day. My own vet,Dr.Tracey Duerkson at PetsVet of Arvada in Co. is wonderful. Every Christmas I bring presents and baked goods to her and her staff. After reading here what the veterinary profession endures on a daily basis I might have to be more generous at Christmastime.

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  49. Perhaps I have a simplistic view of how these things work, but it seems to me that veterinarians spend LOTS of money and time learning how to care for animals because they care about their well-being. Furthermore, I pay for veterinarian services for my animals, because I have need of their expertise, because *I* care about my animals. Therefore, if a veterinarian thinks I need to know something about my animal, I generally listen closely, ask questions to ensure that I understand the advice and instructions I have received, and before I depart, I often ask a question like this... "When should I bring [pet's name here] back to see you again, if I don't see improvement?" Because I know that most treatments don't work instantly. I don't want to waste my money or the veterinarian's time coming back before the treatment has had time to work, but I don't want to delay too long and let the animal suffer if the treatment isn't working.
    Like I said, I'm kind of simplistic about this. I just don't see any point in paying an expert and then disregarding the expert's advice. And in any case, I don't see any point in going into someone else's workplace and being rude.
    But that's just me. I'm weird like that.

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  50. Hey all. Seems like there are several facebook sites that are popping up to help spread the word and as Julie(the creator of the horrible Veterinary Abuse Network) said "dilute her brand". The memorial site Veterinaryabusenetwork.com, also Vet Abuse Network on facebook, and Veterinary Outreach Center. Everyone please support these groups!

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  51. Wow. I had no idea vets had to deal with this much ... abuse. I guess I assumed most pet owners fell into one of two categories: the ones who think animals are expendable and not worth spending money on OR the ones who do what they can. I guess there's a third category: go to the vet when it gets really awful and then take out your misery and guilt on the staff.

    I've always appreciated the dedication and hard work of my vets—especially when it comes time for that last trip to the vet, which is difficult and heartbreaking, no matter how much you know that you've done everything you can and that it's time to end your pet's suffering—but from now on I will make sure they know that.

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    1. >>I guess there's a third category: go to the vet when it gets really awful and then take out your misery and guilt on the staff.>>

      This is why it is wise for the veterinarian to detail in the medical records whatever tests, procedures or re-checks the veterinarian offered and the client declined. Legally, it's even better when the client signs an estimate including tests and procedures recommended but declined. Looking at some of the stories (and medical records) posted by bitter, veterinarian-hating people, it's not hard to read between the lines and realize what the "bad" veterinarian did wrong was fail to document communication with the client. Combined with an owner with unreasonable expectations, this is a formula for disaster.

      Most veterinarians want to fix the animal. We also don't want to make the client feel bad for not having unlimited funds. Trusting clients to understand we are trying to help without breaking the bank can be our undoing, especially if the client already feels guilty or does not recognize or accept that their animal is critically ill.

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  52. I know mine will be a lone voice here and while I deplore the type of conduct that led to the vet taking her own life, I can understand the frustration many pet guardians experience when dealing with vets. These roads go both ways. For far too long, doctors of all persuasions have felt that they must never be questioned and that they know everything about everything. Many vets tend to feel superior and huffily indicate that they know our animals better than we know them and we must be fools to think differently.

    Over the past five decades of cat rescue and having adored many of my own over these years, I have encountered more than a few arrogant vets who believe they "know it all" when their procedures scream of old techniques, out of date teaching and just plain ignorance of certain conditions -- or even disinterest. While that is not criminal nor worthy of getting violently angry, sometimes the frustration boils over when vets fail to communicate or even listen to their clients not to mention neglect to adequately address all questions and concerns. Once, when my husband and I took a street kitty rescue to our then-vet who diagnosed diabetes, he handed us several syringes and a partial vial of insulin and said, "Here, you probably know more about this than I do," then he left the room. What are people to think when a vet literally abandons his or her duty?

    There is no excuse for online assaults to be sure, and making a public spectacle of oneself by screaming in anger is unthinkable, but in light of widespread dissatisfaction and discord among vets and their clients, perhaps there needs to be some soul-searching on both sides. Many of us love our animals so dearly and want only the best for them. When we feel we are being short-changed by those charged with the health and welfare of our beloved little ones, we do need an outlet for our concerns. Online mob mentality notwithstanding, there needs to be sites to calmly and intelligently discuss problems so others may be warned and aware of what they may encounter if these professionals are chosen for care.

    An aside: The term "crazy cat lady" is archaic, offensive and should be disposed of along with other ugly "descriptive" terms that target specific groups. Just because some of us ladies love cats doesn't qualify us as "crazy." The blanket word "crazy" is offensive to mentally challenged people, is stereotypical, bigoted and discloses a mindset that allows for other discriminatory biases. Many men love cats, too. Would they be called "crazy cat men" in your world?

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  53. EditorSue: I have not read all the comments, but I suspect you are in the minority here. But such is your right to opinion, just as we all share this. I commented on the FB page and started reading thru, I was shocked at the personal attacks , some really low ball, hysteria, and just plain juyvenile behavior. A lot of these comments have been removed by the ones that wrote/posted them. The very people accused of "cyber-bullying", which BTW, I ndo not agree with that description, have been attacked , threatened, bullied, called names, for years!! I know, I have been one that has also. I am saddened that such an awful situation has been capitalized upon.

    I do have more to say, let's see if this post becomes public

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  54. @"Pocket's Story" There is no ambiguity regarding VAN and Regret A Vet's cyber-bullying; it was exactly that. A nasty, no-barred attack on a Vet who was trying to do the best for a cat. The comments you claim were removed by the people who flocked to VAN to express their disgust were actually removed by Julia Catalano, owner of the site. Being called names is one thing (sticks and stones and all that), but being targeted relentlessly for months with hateful, inaccurate, slanderous, and foul lies that led to the ruination of a business is quite another. Van supporters were given a vanilla version of what they subjected Dr. Koshi to. They deserve jail time.

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    1. Sorry: those rude name calling comments were not removed by the host

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    2. I know that my comments were removed by the host, all of them, though I did not engage in any rude name calling (aside from calling a hypocrite a hypocrite). Many posters commented on their own posts being removed as well, before those posts too were removed. Of course, you know that, but maybe you're hoping to obscure the truth by telling a big fat lie?

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    3. As an aside; the rude, name calling posts by the angry mob that descended on VAN were minimal. There were a bevy of comments by outraged (but non-vulgar) posters whose posts were removed, including mine. The fact that Julie Catalano left the few, vulgar posts intact is rather telling, don't you think? She wants to give the illusion that only a few people were actually disgusted with her actions, thereby under-representing the true backlash that occurred, and to paint herself as the victim of cyber-bullying and name-calling by an angry mob. I'm sorry you don't see her post-backlash antics for what they are: manipulation and mitigation.

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    4. Screenshot for repeated, vicious, malicious attacks by Nancy
      McNevin (Inde Belasera), false accusations of crimes that would require "jail time," relentless and numerous encouragement to libel specific individuals by name, a Google+ page that contains explicit and violent threats of detailed evisceration using a hook, false claims of ".ruination of a business" attributed to an individual with no evidence of financial records before and after to support such libelous claims.

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  55. Ok, Vet community: Before I delve into my opinion and comment, please do allow me to bore you with a bit of background. You see, I'm one of those "crazy clients" that has gone public, filed a complaint, a subsequent lawsuit in Superior Court (and was counter-sued for "defamation"), called all sorts of names, threatened, etc. and paid a darn HUGE price: financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally, All this at the ripe age of 50 years old as a law-abiding, steady worker, with ZERO history of any mental or physical illness. Why you ask?? OK-here it is:

    Some of you old timers may recall the numerous month after month ads in the AVMA journal, DVM 360, and other mags. Well the AVMA wasa pretty clean: "come to NH between the White Mountains and ocean--blah, blah..." However in the other Vet mags: ""we run a MOCK , DRY clinic...." ....hmmm, too bad that wasn't run in the LOCAL NH papers, nor ever disclosed to the unsuspecting sucker-client referred there by their wonderful upstanding VET, Huh???

    Real nice to bring my beloved pet dog of 11 1/2 years to this nice place that has NO narcotics, a NON DEA licensed VET that NEVER discloses those facts. MY dog is DYING and declining by the day, she receives NO PAIN RELIEF, starves, languishes, we get the run-around, and then....are YOU ALL READY???

    SHE IS PUT TO DEATH IN MY ARMS VIA POTASSIUM CHLORIDE OVERDOSE

    How stinking SICK AND CRUEL is that?? And if any of you want to call me names, attack me, and suggest stupid things ..."like I should have knbown better or done something else"...well then you just answered what is so damn wrong with your entire "profession"

    Does anyone need clarification of the above? Read between the lines: substance abuse, mental illness, teaching tools, insurance (huge) funding, easy obtained labor...

    Want to hear how I paid? Just ask, I'm not ashamed, but sure know many who should be

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  56. Thank you blog host for not removing the above 2 comments (so far at least). Now I will attempt to express my opinion regarding the terrible tragedy of Ms, Koshi, DVM.

    I do not believe any cyber-bullying took place or contributed to her death. I'm sorry, that is what I believe. most of the commenters on this blog and elewhere have admitted to "not knowing this person, and I state the same."

    I truly believe and hold no malice, that Dr. Koshi was riddled with many disturbances LONG before "Karl, the cat" and I draw those conclusions based on media articles, comments, work history, recent history, behavior surrounding "Karl" and just wonder why her sad demise is being so capitalized and used in such a negative way. Let's face it, the profession does very little to do something about the "bad apples" and also does not want the public to know about them either.

    Every time I reads about a BAD USPS employee, I say GOOD---get them outta here, prosecute, fire, take their benefits, pay retribution...one AH gone for good---do you claim it happens in your profession?? Name some examples--you don't police at all ----years and years of abuse. Did anyone question and stop DOVER VETERINARY ANIMAL HOSPITAL, NH from inhumanely killing clients pets for years? NOPE---and how many hundreds and thousands? I strongly suggest you all think about yourselves as a whole, and ask yourselves---do I really know all the story?

    And BTW, I can personally name more professional Vets that are truly a shining example over the scumbags that bring SHAME to your chosen employment----

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    1. You don't want to believe you cyber-bullied and ruined a woman who was doing what was best for an animal in her charge, but that's exactly what you and your group did. In fact, if she did have some underlying mental disease, your campaign of hate could be seen as exacerbating her condition. So, calling her mental status into question as a way of mitigating your role in her suicide is actually having the opposite effect.

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    2. What "group" are you referring to? There are many reasons people click "like" on a facebook page. It doesn't mean they are part of a group. It means they are facebook users who have clicked "like" on a facebook page. It could be they like the page or the topic,or they dislike the page and topic and want their posts to show up in their newsfeed. I know of no instance where "pocket's story" has cyberbullied anyone. Can you specifically post prrof that "pocket's story" cyberbullied someone?

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    3. @lisataylorausti Pocket's Story claimed that posts on VAN were not removed by the host, implying she is associated with THAT group. In her next post she claims "Dr. Koshi was riddled with many disturbances LONG before "Karl, the cat" and I draw those conclusions based on media articles, comments, work history, recent history, behavior surrounding "Karl"; parroting the same comments VAN used to malign Dr. Koshi. The fact that she's here trying defend their actions while citing their rhetoric suggests she is part of that (VAN) group.

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    4. Inde: In myopinion VAN is not a "group." It is a facebook page. Anyone can read it, like it and follow it for any number of reasons. I have not and do not see any evidence that "Pocket's Story" cyber bullied anyone. People act as individuals. A group requires membership. VAN is a facebook page - no membership requirements - no joining - and anyone can read the page. I believe many people reading this blog have read VAN and commented on it. That doesn't make them a member of a group or of VAN. This blog has deleted my posts regarding cyberbulying of me. Very convenient. Lumping inidividuals into a "group" when there isnot such "group" and no membership requirements and no group bylaws, etc is not right.

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    5. @Lisataylorausti So in your mind, the term "group" can only be used in contexts where formal membership, bylaws, voting privileges, etc. apply? That's a very limited view. But whatever. Group, in the context I used it, referred to anyone of a certain mindset who banded together, even if only temporarily, to hound someone to death. In the future, I'll simply refer to VAN-fans as a "loose group" to avoid confusion.

      I don't know anything about your deleted posts since this is not my blog, I have no editorial privileges, I'm not even a Vet....but I do consider myself part of this "loose group" of temporarily banded individuals who would like to see some justice meted out to that other "loose group" of individuals who cyber-bullied and harassed Dr. Koshi.

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    6. Sorry Inde, You need to brush up on the facts.My comment similar to the above opinion, was not posted until Dr.Koshi's death appeared in the media, and the FB page was absolutely loaded with personal attacks. And then when I received a "notification" saying "Barbara" who are you and what pseudonym do you use----I said forget it--too many nutty people. I never use a pseudonym, I'm an upfront individual and use my real name. I take it yours is too---some here do not, but that is their choice also---notice the deafening silence regarding my shared history/experience. That just tells me what I already know---this isn't a band wagon about a sad death of a colleague, but to attempt to stifle free speech, opinions, truth, media intimidation.

      I thank the host of this blog for allowing free speech and opinion without censorship. Inde, we can agree to disagree.

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    7. You're missing the point; it doesn't matter WHEN you made the comments assailing Dr. Koshi's mental status. It almost seems worse that you did so after the fact, when she can't defend herself. Be that as it may, you made the same accusations Julie Catalano and others made about her, without ever questioning whether any of it was true. Rather than simply stating "shucks, that's a damn shame Dr. Koshi killed herself". You came to this Blog, one adamantly opposed to what Julie Catalano did, and continued with the character assassination. I don't know how it can be any clearer. My suspicion is that it wouldn't matter.

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  57. Many people hit the like button on Facebook pages. It does not mean that they have band together. Some people like the page because they like the content. Some like the page because they dislike the content and want to keep an eye on what the page owners are writing. Other people make their own individual comments on a page but that does not mean that they have banded together. Often times on Facebook people will post on various pages and they don't even know each other. You have deleted two of my posts.

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  58. @Inde: You and I are posting on a public blog (BBB). We are replying to one another. We are not emembers of a group. It is irrelevant if you call it loosely structured or formally structured - it is not a group - it is a blog; a public blog. Anyone can post here. Same with FB pages. Anyone can post on them. It doesn't mean they have met, are aligned, have a formal or informal agreement. It means it is a public forum in which people can speak (post). That's it. When people start to "lump people together" because they have hit the like button on a FB page, or assume they have some common goal because they have posted on the same page, that is incorrect and it is targeting. In addition, just because someone may post using a name similar to mine, or even my name for that matter, it doesn't mean the post was made by me. When people sign up in public forums they can post under any name they select. Someone could actually post using your own name.You and I have both posted here and Ican assure you were not of a certain mindset. For the record, I am not a VAN "fan." I am not a "fan" of anything. I am my own person with my own opinions who makes my own statements. Period. As I said earlier, someone clicking "like" on FB doesn't make them a "fan." It makes them a person who clicked the like button: it could be b/c they liked the page, want to "follow" (read posts) made by the page, comment(positively or negatively) on the page, etc. Many assumptions are being made incorrectly about people. You know what they say about assumptions.

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  59. Hmmm....yes, assumptions. You're assuming I don't know what "group" means and have taken it upon yourself to lecture me on its meaning, as defined by you. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition of "group" and the one that I will go with (please pay particular attention to the second definition - it's the one I'm especially keen on):

    noun, often attributive \ˈgrüp\

    : a number of people or things that are together or in the same place

    [b]: a number of people who are connected by some shared activity, interest, or quality[/b]

    : a number of things that are related in some way

    Now, I would never mistake you as being part of this particular group, since you obviously don't share the "shared interest" expressed by the blogger or the vast majority of respondents. Perhaps you belong to that other "group'? I don't know; that would depend on whether you share their common interest. You certainly seemed on board with them when, posting under the name "JusticeforSimba", you joined them (perhaps temporarily?) on the Riverdale Press comment section to express your concern over whether Dr. Koshi killed "Karl". In fact, you said you wouldn't be surprised if she did because, you know, Vets are tricksey that way.

    Truthfully, I don't know what point (points?) you're trying to make. Debating over the meaning of the word "group", when I clearly used it in a perfectly acceptable way seems a bit pedantic. Gosh, I hope I used that term correctly.

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  60. You are assuming I made a post under a heading of "JusticeforSimba" on a news article. You are then posting this assumption on the internet. This is libel. You are also selectively deciding which posts to leave up and which to delete. Due to this, I'll have my private investigator monitor your blog.

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    Replies
    1. So you're saying someone other than yourself, with the name JusticeforSimba, wrote the comment about Koshi on the Riverdale Press, then continuing to pose as you, recommended the reader to visit your FB page to read about what happened to your cat? Well then, I stand corrected! Perhaps your investigator should track that person down for impersonation.

      As to the accusation that I'm selectively deleting your posts; you do realize that I am not the author of this blog? I couldn't delete your posts even if I wanted to.

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    2. @lisataylorausti: She's not assuming anything about what you posted. It's right there in black and white. This is the problem with you people-- you think you can state bold-faced lies about what you did and didn't do, because you don't think the evidence is out there. But there's plenty of evidence of what you did.

      Here is EXACTLY what you wrote, registered under the name "JusticeforSimba:"

      ----
      JusticeforSimba
      I would not be at all surprised to learn that this "vet" killed the cat and is covering the evidence. The next thing this vet will do is point the finger at the victim (owner) and say the owner was unfit, to shift the focus off of themselves. Unfortunately bad vets are all too common! They love to play both sides of the coin: a pet is merely property and then also a pet is a family member. Really? Pick one. It can't be both ways when it is convenient for the vet. This owner needs to hire a good attorney and I hope she does just that!

      I did and you can read about my cat being held at a vet for 14 days here www.justiceforsimba.com

      -THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013

      URL: http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Alleged-cat-napping-draws-protest,53316?search_filter=&order_sort=
      ----

      An assumption, huh?

      "Due to this, I'll have my private investigator monitor your blog."

      Here, I'll help your brilliant private investigator. It's not Inde's blog. It's MY blog! Can't you "crusaders" EVER get any one of your accusations against anyone straight? Not even once? Well? First, I had one person screaming that I had started the Ban Veterinary Abuse Network Facebook page when it wasn't me. Now here you come falsely accusing someone else of having written a blog she didn't write. Is this the type of critical thinking you applied towards Koshi as well? It really looks it!

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    3. Screenshot of verifiably libelous blogger Ruth Cherubin's continued attacks.

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  61. Inde: You are the only responder here, so I will address comments you made, post my opinion for the benefit of other readers here, then give it up.

    There was a couple of media sources to this story. First you accused or assumed I engaged in comments, on either site, stated that if Dr. Koshi had a "mental condition, it was made "worse" (you reminded me of workmen's compensation with that comment), then you stated it was terrible to hold my opinion and draw my conclusion because she is not here to "defend" herself. Well, I suggest that lots of people feel likewise.

    Without wanting to, I have become "acutely aware" of many thing post October 2006. One awareness is mental illness, rampant substance abuse, and general illegal, unethical, and immoral activity that slips by unaccountable , across many professions,social status, for various reasons, be it money, power, political, etc.

    I still view this as trumping up on free speech, a litmus test prior to publication, an action designed to silence opinions of the public. And just as it wasn't successful with me, it isn't going to be successful in the future.

    If one behaves in an ethical, honest manner, I truly believe there is nothing to worry about---even MISTAKES ---

    A lot of mistakes were made in this case, as far as we know to this point, maybe we will find out why, maybe we won't. "Karl" the cat was in the midst of being reclaimed "property" , every Veterinarian in this country can appreciate that legal status---even though some of you and many of us hold a different view.

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