Investigation Leads to Convictions for Illegal Practice of Veterinary Medicine

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Former Novato Veterinarian Charles Galvin pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and conspiracy to commit a crime last month in Marin County Superior Court. Galvin’s assistant, Gail Ann Caughie, of Sepastopol, also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

In December 2013, the Veterinary Medical Board requested that the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation conduct an investigation of Galvin after receiving complaints that he was practicing veterinary medicine, with the assistance of Caughie, at Veterinary Hospital of Ignacio in Novato. Galvin’s Veterinary Medicine License was revoked by the Veterinary Medical Board in 2009.

In May 2015, Galvin and Caughie were each charged with felony conspiracy to operate an unlicensed veterinary practice after an undercover investigation found the two were maintaining a veterinary office and were performing examinations, diagnosing and treating animals, performing surgery on animals, possessing drugs for the purpose of performing procedures on animals, maintaining medical records on animals, taking money from animal owners for compensation of treatment, and providing medication for animals.

Galvin and Caughie were also each charged with a felony for unlawful disposal of medical waste, for their improper disposal of used suture needles, and a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance, Ketamine.

As part of a plea deal with the Marin County District Attorney, Galvin was ordered to complete fifty hours of community service.  Caughie was ordered to complete one hundred hours of community service.  Galvin and Caughie were both ordered to pay restitution to the Veterinary Medical Board for the cost of the investigation and they will each be on probation for three years.

Galvin and Caughie were investigated by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit’s Sacramento Field Office.

Documents related to Galvin’s revocation can be read here.


Undercover Operation Nets Man Practicing Veterinary Medicine without a License

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A Southern Californian man was charged with a criminal misdemeanor last month for allegedly posing as a veterinarian.

After receiving a consumer complaint alleging negligence, the Veterinary Medical Board commissioned the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) to conduct an investigation of the activities of Hector Menjivar. An undercover operation conducted by the DOI’s Chatsworth Field Office revealed that Menjivar was practicing veterinary medicine, including performing surgeries, without a license.  Menjivar, who identified himself as “Doctor Hector,” was seeing patients after-hours at his veterinary clinic in North Hollywood. Menjivar is the owner of Holiday Humane Society Veterinary Clinic, but is not a licensed veterinarian.

Following the undercover operation, DOI investigators issued a misdemeanor citation to Menjivar for the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.  The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office subsequently charged Menjivar with one misdemeanor count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Menjivar could face up to one year in jail, if convicted.

The Veterinary Medical Board will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against any licensee involved in the unlicensed practice of Menjivar.