Trouble vet clinic remains closed

Created: 02/14/2014 6:55 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

KOB Eyewitness News 4 went back to check on an Albuquerque veterinarian who said she would reopen today even though her license has been revoked.   

The Executive Director of the Veterinary Medicine Board of New Mexico says Doctor Gretchen Chapman-Steininger told the state she only closed to avoid KOB's camera crew.

The state revoked the vet's license last week, but she didn't close her clinic until Thursday.

“She is not helping animals she is hurting them,” said a volunteer with an animal rescue group. She didn’t want to show her face on camera, but says she came to Gretchen Chapman-Stieninger's clinic, VetStat, with four dehydrated kittens.

“Three to four times a week for several weeks,” she said that’s how long the volunteer says Chapman-Steininger treated the kittens. She says the vet used one needle on all of the kittens and didn't think that was right but says Chapman-Steininger says it was ok because the kittens were part of the same litter.

“By using the same needle over it dulls the needle and by using it on the last kitty he was screaming and screaming because when you inject that needle into their back it was quite painful for him,” she said.

The volunteer says she went to another vet who told her sharing a needle could cause infection. A kitten named Ellis eventually died from dehydration.

This complaint is just one of many against Chapman-Steininger.  

An investigation by the state found the vet used expired medication that was up to 16-years- old. An inspector found dirty surgical tools and a vet tech reported the doctor left surgical gauze in a dog's eye socket. 

The state is working on an injunction that would shut down the vet’s clinic immediately. 

They hope to have it filed as soon as Monday.

“I’m more relieved knowing that hopefully she is not going to be out there endangering anymore people's animals' lives,” the volunteer said.

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