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.