On October 16, 2014, a California court approved a settlement ordering Canine Care, Inc. to pay $150,000 in restitution for the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine. An investigation led by the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs revealed that the company was illegally advertising and performing anesthesia-free pet teeth cleaning using scalers throughout California. State law provides that only licensed veterinarians may perform anesthesia-free teeth cleaning using any instrument, device, or scaler. The restitution will be paid to consumers, the California Veterinary Medical Board, and several county governments involved in the investigation and legal action. In addition, the company and its officers and employees are prohibited from conducting veterinary medicine activities or portraying themselves as veterinary medicine professionals, unless the cleanings are performed by licensed veterinarians.
“Not only were the services Canine Care, Inc. performed in violation of the law, but it also put consumers’ pets at risk,” said Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. Veterinary Medical Board Executive Officer Annemarie DelMugnaio added that “the resolution to the case against Canine Care, Inc. is a long time coming and we are pleased with the outcome. The outcome in the Canine Care case should assist the Board and veterinarians in educating the public about the importance of seeking dental care from trained and licensed professionals who understand what it takes to keep our animals healthy.”