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Veterinarian John Robb Challenges Banfield And Petsmart On Rabies Vaccination

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Dr John Robb Protests against large corporations influencing vaccination

The vaccination scandal has entered the veterinary world. Popular veterinarian Dr John Robb is facing loss of his license and legal action for using half doses of the rabies vaccine on his clients.

Dr Robb was a Banfield Pet Hospital franchise owner with a thriving practice is Stamford Connecticut. As an avid believer that vaccines carry a risk of adverse reactions, Dr Robb delivered half doses to his clients and advocated vaccinating every three years, the interval required by Connecticut state law. Dr Robb was also involved in the passing of a rabies exemption law in Connecticut.

While most states require veterinarians to give a full recommended dose of rabies vaccine, Dr Robb says that Connecticut law is murky on the matter, requiring only that a shot be given. Moreover, he said that a federal law called the federal Virus-Serum and Toxin Act of 1913 supersedes state law and allows the discretionary use of all vaccines.

“If you know that you are going to inject a vaccine into a pet that has the potential to kill him and you know the pet doesn’t even need it, then you can’t do it ethically and morally, no matter what the law is,” Robb said, adding that giving half doses of vaccine is an accepted practice of most veterinarians.

Vaccine researcher Dr Jean Dodds also asserts that vaccine doses can be safely reduced. She says she has been vaccinating toy breeds with half doses for years.

“Vaccinations are up to the discretion of the veterinarian. It is not required to follow the label direction as long as you have informed consent and discussed it with the owner,” said Dr Dodds.

When Banfield Pet Hospital, the corporation from which Dr Robb purchased his franchise, learned of is vaccine protocol, they sent letters to over 5,000 of his clients, telling them their pets had not been properly vaccinated and that they should be brought back to Banfield for boosters. They then officially took back ownership of Dr Robb’s practice, claiming he was not practicing veterinary medicine up to their standards.

So far, the company has revaccinated nearly 1,500 animals. “As I am directed by my CEO, we are going to do the right thing by our pets and our clients each and every time. We take that responsibility very seriously at Banfield Pet Hospitals. When that is not occurring, we are going to do something about it,” said Vincent Bradley, Banfield’s senior vice president of operations.

When Dr Robb heard of Banfield’s intention to revaccinate recently vaccinated animals, he showed up at the clinic and urged the pet owners to run a titer before revaccinating. Banfield had him arrested for trespassing and Dr Robb has now been banned from entering his former clinic and the Petsmart store that holds it. Petsmart owns 5% of Banfield Pet Hospitals.

Dr Robb says that the Banfield requirement to provide full doses of vaccines is hurting pets, and as someone who has taken an oath to do no harm it would not be ethical for him to continue with the practice. “They are practicing the old model. It has been proven now that vaccines are killing pets, over-vaccinations are killing pets at an unprecedented rate.”

Prior to having his clinic removed, Dr Robb created a Code of Ethics that was absent from the AAHA, enrolling 42 veterinarians as charter members. See his website for more details: protectthepets.com/veterinary_professionals/  He made an effort to educate the community about “holes” in the industry, such as inadequate vet tech certification and vaccinations and to nurture a veterinary community that places pets over profits.

Dr Robb intends to fight back against Banfield and reclaim his practice. He will not take settlement as he feels that large corporations like Mars shouldn’t manage and dictate veterinary protocol.Banfield, owned by Mars Company, advocates yearly vaccination. “Banfield says they treat you like family: since when are you being treated like family when your pets are lined up and injected with toxins” said Dr Robb.

Dr Robb is currently organizing protests against Petsmart in the Connecticut area. You can get up to date news or become involved at his website, Protect The Pets.



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18 Responses to Veterinarian John Robb Challenges Banfield And Petsmart On Rabies Vaccination

  1. madeline

    Dr ,Rob is great doctor . I receive the letter from banfield about re vacinnating my dog beause Rob ddint give the exact dose. So i took him to banfield and after this my dog has not been the same . He is not active , he always sleeping , doesnt want to walk , all he do is cry and has problems walking . i keep taking him back and all they keep telling me is the vaccination reaction and it would take a coupleas of week for him to be the same active dog he was . It has been 3 weeks now and my dog is not the same . Dr. Rob please continue to fihgt for our petrs . I can wait for you to have your office so I can cancel banfield and have my dog be seen by the best doctor in town. He is a wonderful person and very caring .

  2. Thank you! Finally! A vet willing to stand up publicly for what is true, ethical and moral! Doc, I have had zebras and horses together on my ranch in this location for 15 years. Twice over the years we have had contagious viruses (airborn) blow through and once a zebra came in with a deadly contagious illness (after being health cert’ed by the wildlife park’s vet where it came from) and died just six hours after it arrived. Even though it was quarantined, the wind doesn’t know any boundaries.The only zebras that EVER got the illnesses were ones that came from zoos or parks that had been vaccinated. The ones that have NEVER been vaccinated never got the disease. Our horses that had never been vaccinated never got the diseases, but almost all horses and zebras that we had record of being vaccinated in the past got the illnesses. The longer it has been from their last vaccinations, the less risk of them getting sick. LIGHT BULB! A friend of mine has a son with HIV. With holistic living and care his HIV became undetectable. His doctors insisted he have the flu shot. Right away he got sick with the flu and he has been ill ever since and his HIV is detectable again. Coincidence? LIGHT BULB!

  3. jessica smith

    I admire what he is doing and standing up for his rights and the pets he treats! I wish he would move up here. There is a holistic practice right down the street from me that are looking to replace the owner/vet currently. He passed away this past Dec. It’s a great practice or was. I hope they can find someone just as wonderful to continue it. http://drdandvm.com/ I’m sure Dr. Rob would be a perfect fit there.

  4. JoAnn

    What should be done is members need to put pressure on AKC and all the major dog clubs to put together new legislation on dog shots requirements. We have a voice and its time for all of us to speak up and not be led around on a leash of lawmakers and corporate greed,

  5. WOW its about time some catch up!! Been breeding Lhasa Apso’s for well over 35 years now. My own dogs including puppies, show dogs get 3 shots as puppies. The dogs who live here with me NEVER get anything else for the rest of their lives, other than a rabies shot. ( I also get a letter from my vet stating my guys over 10 will not get any more rabies shots) Funny I have dogs here as old as 15 and they are VERY healthy.

    I see the effect of all the time of over vaccination in my grooming shop. Not all vets are out to make a killing off of your pets. I believe its ONLY the big corporation vets who are robbing the public.

  6. Pauline

    Well if enough people boycott Petsmart perhaps they will see the light of day. Even though I live in Canada, I say thank you John Robb for taking a stand against this manipulation of people and our beloved pets! Good luck in your fight for all of us.

  7. Bill Harzia

    “So far, the company has revaccinated nearly 1,500 animals. “As I am directed by my CEO, we are going to do the right thing by our pets and our clients each and every time. We take that responsibility very seriously at Banfield Pet Hospitals. When that is not occurring, we are going to do something about it,” said Vincent Bradley, Banfield’s senior vice president of operations.”

    I didn’t see the letters “D.V.M.” after Mr. Bradley’s name. Sounds like a case might be made for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Better call the D.A.’s office and see what they think.

    • diane

      I bet you Banfield charged every single owner of those 1,500 a fee for the re vaccination.I hate Banfield and everything it stands for, it’s only purpose is to make money regardless of the situation

  8. Dianne Wilkinson

    Since when does big business know what is best for our animals. Vets go for years of training and are seeing the results from too much drugging. I personally believe they are better qualified to tell me what my animals need than some executive of a business.

  9. Leroy Brown

    The article left out the important part. Dr Robb apparently withheld from his clients the knowledge that they were only receiving the half dose.

    There is a more complete article in the Stamford Advocate. http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Stamford-vet-at-center-of-vaccination-debate-4284673.php

    • MM

      This is exactly my problem with Dr. Robb.

      He may be doing the right thing, but he never informed me about it. He took away my right to make my own informed decision for my dog.

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        MM, that’s a valid statement. But if failure to provide informed consent is grounds to have a practice removed, then Banfield should lose all of their clinics because they routinely vaccinate against veterinary college recommendations and don’t inform their clients that they are vaccinating your pet annually, despite the fact that research shows that the core vaccines last for at least 7 to 15 years and that the schedule recommended by the veterinary associations today is no more often than three years between vaccines. Given this, how is it fair for Banfield to single Dr Robb out for doing the same as they’ve been doing for years? Dr Robb should definitely have informed his clients that a half dose was being used but Banfield is certainly not in a position to call him out on it.

  10. My new hero. I have been talking about this subject for years. Finally, it is going public now. So many Vets write about this, however the general public doesn’t know about it. Dr. Dodds has been talking about this for as long as I can remember.
    Thank you Dr. Robb for speaking up for the animals.

  11. Sarah

    “…claiming he was not practicing veterinary medicine up to their standards.”

    Ummm….good. Banfield is the McDonald’s of the veterinary industry. Serving up substandard care and unhealthy practices just to make a buck. Good for Dr. Robb. Hope he gets a better job at a REAL vet hospital.

  12. Ian

    If it can happen in the pet medical business, you can bet your bottom dollar it can also happen with heath care for humans (and is happening).

    Good on Dr. Robb for standing up.. I mean it’s common sense.. Get a titer test before you vaccinate.. The prices of this should be brought down so they are more manageable for pet owners..

    But the last comment nailed it.. If you are educated.. well.. they don’t want that..

  13. Sunny

    It is about time someone stood up for our pets. Vaccines done correctly is all owners want but in today’s times it seems all AVMA wants is to get further in the pockets of drug companies and PFI. Vet offices like these are why I no longer use them. I use holistic care for my pets and titers. It is about time we take a stand against them and stop the money making business it has become instead of the caring for our pets and making them sick. Vaccines have been challenged and proven to last much longer then what they want you to believe. However they cannot make money if you are educated on this so they continue to over vaccinate year after year.

    • Boyo

      Thank goodness for vets like this! Our pets have been over-vaccinated for decades. In the past it seemed like the right thing to do but research has since proven it’s not necessary for annual boosters for any vaccine including rabies! Sadly vet hospitals and corporations are all about profits, not the pet’s well-being. My dogs are NEVER given any vaccines after they turn a year old, and titers prove they have immunity.

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