Pet Owners Press Medical Board After Dogs Die, Lose Limbs At Hastings Vet

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a WCCO Investigation, tough questions were asked Wednesday to the board that decides who practices veterinary medicine in Minnesota.

Kia, who died from burns from a heat pad at Town & Country Vet (credit: CBS)

Kia, who died from burns from a heat pad at Town & Country Vet (credit: CBS)

Tom Dunlap and Mary Christensen’s Shih Tzu, named Kia, was burned so badly during a teeth cleaning that she died.

“How can a vet do that for tooth cleaning?” Dunlap said. “It just doesn’t make sense!”

They are one of several families to file formal complaints against Town and Country Veterinary Services in Hastings.

They told WCCO if the state would have acted sooner, more pets would have been protected.

After Kia’s horrific death, and the cover-up that followed at their vet clinic, Dunlap and Christensen came loaded with questions for the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine.

“How bad does something have to be before they’re revoked?” Christensen said.

Dr. Jon and Julie Woodman (credit: CBS)

Dr. Jon and Julie Woodman (credit: CBS)

It was two years ago when they first told the board what happened at Town and Country, at the hands of the husband and wife vet team of Dr. Jon and Julie Woodman.

After Kia’s death, the board issued a stayed suspension against the Woodmans, ordering them to complete a number of courses in ethics and wound care. But months later, more pet owners came forward to report problems.

“The bottom line is you let Woodman go on. He ended up destroying two legs on two different dogs – and that’s all we know about,” Dunlap said.

Bella, dog treated by Dr. Woodman (credit: Chris Wosika & Emily Hinzman)

Bella, dog treated by Dr. Woodman (credit: Chris Wosika & Emily Hinzman)

In those cases, complaints were filed after Jon Woodman struggled to fix Bella and Riley’s broken legs. Riley’s eventually had to be amputated.

Riley (credit: CBS)

Riley (credit: CBS)

The board told them it makes decisions on a case-by-case basis, and that state law prevents them from talking specifics. But they also said they make progress on complaints even if it is not made public.

“I would not want you to think just because something’s in a document, there isn’t stuff getting completed behind the scenes,” said board member Dr. Julia Wilson.

The board offered their sympathy for what they have been through, but they offered few answers after such a long wait.

“It’s bad enough what happened to our animals,” Christensen said. “I think the process is failing in many ways.”

Board Of Veterinary Medicine meeting about Town & Country Vet (credit: CBS)

Board Of Veterinary Medicine meeting about Town & Country Vet (credit: CBS)

Complaints to the board can only be submitted in writing. Pet owners also asked Wednesday for that to change, so people are able to provide more information as an investigation proceeds.

Dr. Jon Woodman is not allowed to practice until the end of the year, and then can petition to get his license back.

“Dr. Woodman continues to honor the terms of the amicable resolution he reached with the board,” said Attorney Bob Kuderer in a statement to WCCO. “A few individuals continue to make complaints to the board, regardless of merit. Dr. Woodman continues to be gratified by the support of the clinic’s clients.”

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