Filing a Complaint

Filing a Complaint

The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SBVME) is the unit of State government charged with regulating the practice of veterinary medicine in the State. Its mission is to protect the public and the health and welfare of animals in this State through: 1.) licensure of veterinarians, veterinary hospitals, and veterinary technicians; 2.) effective discipline of veterinarians, owners of veterinary hospitals, and veterinary technicians, when warranted; and 3.) adoption of reasonable standards governing the practice of veterinary medicine in this State.

Please use the attached form for filing a complaint against a licensed veterinarian, veterinary hospital owner, or registered veterinary technician in this State. Please type or write as legibly as possible and limit your written complaint to a maximum of three pages, to include the second page of the complaint form.  A complaint in excess of three pages will be returned to the sender with a request that it be reduced. You may attach copies of records you received from your veterinarian(s). After completing the attached form, please send it to:

State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Maryland Department of Agriculture
50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Suite 102
Annapolis, MD 21401
 

Shortly after receiving the complaint, the SBVME will notify the complainant whether the subject of the complaint falls within its regulatory authority (e.g., whereas a complaint alleging substandard care is within the SBVME's regulatory authority, a fee dispute is not). If the complaint falls within the SBVME's regulatory authority, the SBVME, when appropriate, may take the following steps:

  1. Request treatment records from the veterinarian who is the subject of the complaint and any other veterinarian who treated the animal;
  2. Send a copy of the complaint to the veterinarian, and request the veterinarian to provide a written response to it;
  3. After obtaining this information, determine whether there is sufficient evidence to believe that the veterinarian has violated the Practice Act and, if so, take appropriate action; and
  4. Subject to certain statutory limitations, notify the complainant of its action.

Decisions to charge licensees are limited by the applicable laws and regulations which outline specific offenses for which the SBVME may discipline a licensee. If conduct does not fit within a specific offense, disciplinary action cannot be filed against the licensee because the activity does not fall within the SBVME's jurisdiction.

Due to the large number of cases processed by the SBVME, its staff is unable to provide regular status reports of cases under investigation.  An investigation may take several months to complete, depending upon the complexity of the case.  When a matter is pending, the details of the SBVME's investigation, and the SBVME's deliberations, are not subject to public disclosure. Once rendered, the SBVME will release a copy of its final decision to a complainant, whether that decision results in the filing of formal charges against a licensee, or a dismissal of the complaint.

If you have any questions, please contact the SBVME at (410) 841-5862.


*NOTE: Your complaint is subject to the Maryland Public Informatoin Act. Ordinarily, it may not be inspected by the public; however, a copy is furnished to the veterinarian who is the subject of the complaint.

Once a complaint is submitted
to the Board, it may not be withdrawn.

The Board does not have jurisdiction over financial disputes. Consider contacting the Maryland Agricultural Conflict Resolution Service for help with your financial dispute.