Dana Point Woman Accused of Practicing Veterinary Medicine Without a License

A Dana Point woman has been charged with six misdemeanor counts related to her operation of an unlicensed veterinary medical practice

Gabriele Gross, operator of Eqoulution, LLC in Ladera Ranch, has been charged with three counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and three counts of giving false or misleading advertising statements.

The charges against Gross stem from an investigation conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI), on behalf of the Veterinary Medical Board. DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit San Diego Field Office. Investigators learned during the investigation that Gross was allegedly referring to herself as a doctor, veterinarian, and DVM – or doctor of veterinary medicine – in advertisements and contacts with the public. She also allegedly ran an illegal practice where she examined and treated horses with Cushing’s disease.

During an undercover operation, Gross allegedly examined a horse with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and prescribed treatment that included stopping a medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

Gross is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court on June 8, 2018.

 


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 Galvin’s Veterinary Medicine License was revoked by the Veterinary Medical Board in 2009.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.


Canine Care, Inc. Ordered To Pay $150,000 In Restitution For The Unlicensed Practice Of Veterinary Medicine

doi logooo SACRAMENTO – Canine Care, Inc. has been ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution for the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine following a settlement agreement with law enforcement authorities.

An investigation into Canine Care, Inc. led by the Division of Investigation Sacramento Field Office revealed the company was illegally advertising and performing anesthesia-free pet teeth cleaning using scalers. Further investigation determined their operation was widespread throughout the state. Performing anesthesia-free teeth cleaning using any instrument, device, or scaler is illegal unless the individual is licensed by the California Veterinary Medical Board. Canine Care, Inc. did not possess the required California Veterinary Medical Board licenses to practice veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed the complaint against Canine Care, Inc. in coordination with District Attorney’s Offices from Fresno, Sacramento, and Ventura counties.

“Not only were the services Canine Care, Inc. performed in violation of the law, but it also put consumers’ pets at risk,” said DCA Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. “We thank the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for their hard work in coordinating the complaint and settlement agreement.”

In addition to restitution, Canine Care, Inc. and its associates are prohibited from conducting veterinary medicine activities or portraying themselves as veterinary medicine professionals, unless they have the necessary licenses. The $150,000 in restitution will be paid to consumers, the California Veterinary Medical Board, and to Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento and Ventura counties.

“The resolution to the case against Canine Care, Inc. is a long time coming and we are pleased with the outcome,” said Veterinary Medical Board Executive Officer Annemarie DelMugnaio. “Taking action against unlicensed activity protects consumers and their pets from unqualified individuals. The outcome in the Canine Care case should assist the Board and veterinarians in educating the public about the importance of seeking dental care from trained and licensed professionals who understand what it takes to keep our animals healthy.”

It is important for consumers to make sure the professionals they conduct business with have valid licenses. Consumers can verify a license by visiting www.dca.ca.gov or calling (800) 952-5210.

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 The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.