Vet penalized for allowing aides to
anesthetize pets // A state board has fined Dr. Robert L. Rooks
$5,000. The group says he let unregistered techs do medical work.
August 30, 2003
Fountain Valley veterinarian whose nationally recognized hospital
treats more than 30,000 animals a year has been disciplined by the
state veterinary medical board.
Dr. Robert L. Rooks allowed an unregistered technician to
perform medical procedures on animals and misrepresented
veterinarians as medical specialists, such as a neurologist or an
internist, to the public, authorities said.
The California Veterinary Medical Board adopted a proposed
judgment by Administrative Law Judge Alan S. Meth, who concluded
that Rooks should be placed on three years' probation and pay
$83,300 for investigative and prosecuting costs, as well as a
Meth ruled after a 5 1/2-week hearing in San Diego that an
unlicensed technician at Rooks' All-Care Animal Hospital was
performing medical procedures such as anesthetizing animals and
inserting a feeding tube, and that All-Care misrepresented its
veterinarians as specialists.
More than 60 witnesses testified.
Rooks was exonerated of seven other charges, including that he
allowed a former heavy-equipment operator to perform surgery on an
animal, falsified medical records and recommended unnecessary
procedures. Rooks was out of the country Friday and could not be
reached to comment.
One of his attorneys, Clifford W. Roberts, said he will appeal
Roberts said that many veterinarians allow nonregistered
technicians to administer anesthesia, but that no one else has
been disciplined in 20 years for the practice.
Hundreds of California veterinarians wrote letters of support
Sue Geranen, executive officer of the California Veterinary
Medical Board, said the decision in the Rooks case should compel
all veterinarians in the future to make sure that the
administering of anesthesia is delegated to appropriate registered
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