The Veterinary Medical Board revoked the veterinary license for the operator of three local animal hospitals in a 137-page ruling issued Tuesday.
The revocation of the veterinary license for Bhalpal Sandhu had been on probation since a 2016 complaint was brought against him, but the probation and license are being revoked effective May 27, according to the board’s ruling. Sandhu’s license is associated with AV Veterinary Center, All Creatures Veterinary Center and Canyon Country Veterinary Hospital, according to the ruling.
The ruling issued by Ji-Lan Zang, a judge for the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings, fgollowed testimony regarding more than 40 separate causes of action involving dozens of separate animal owners, in a hearing that took place virtually over several weeks last year, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2, with additional testimony given Dec. 1-2. He was also ordered to pay a little over $47,000 in restitution.
The Veterinary Medical Board’s ruling noted:
“Complainant established a vast majority of the causes for discipline and all of the causes to revoke probation set forth in the Amended Accusation/Petition to Revoke Probation. The record established that, in his treatment of his animal patients, (Sandhu) committed numerous acts of negligence, incompetence, unprofessional conduct and inadequate recordkeeping. In his capacity as the managing licensee of AVVC, All Creatures and Canyon Country, (Sandhu) failed to comply with regulations concerning radiation safety, sterility of surgery rooms and accountability in controlled substance dispensation logs.”
The ruling also noted that the plaintiff provided sufficient evidence Sandhu had violated his probationary terms “by failing to obey all laws and to submit quarterly reports, proof of completion of community service and proof of completion of continuing education courses.”
It also noted that Sandhu’s testimony was “less than candid, and he presented little evidence of rehabilitation.
“Considering the number and the gravity of the violations, respondent’s prior disciplinary history, and the insufficiency of rehabilitation evidence, the only recourse for the protection of the public is the revocation of respondent’s veterinarian license and the premises registrations for AVVC, All Creatures and Canyon Country,” the ruling continued.
Deputy Attorney General Nancy Kaiser, who represented the complainants, and George Wallace, the attorney for Sandhu, both declined comment when reached Wednesday.
The order removes the offices’ licenses May 27 unless Sandhu is able to seek a stay of the order through the Los Angeles County Superior Court system, according to sources familiar with the process. He also has a possible appellate option for the decision through the county’s civil court system.
Edward Robert, one of the original complainants after his Chihuahua Fiona was attacked by German Shepherd in 2018 and failed to receive adequate treatment at AV Veterinary Center, expressed relief and gratitude at the news of Tuesday’s ruling.
“After three long years, I’m beyond grateful to Deputy Attorney General Nancy Kaiser, as well as the Veternairy Medical Board that this has come to a resolution,” he wrote in an email to The Signal. “Even though Fiona and the other pets named in the complaint couldn’t be saved, their lives weren’t lost in vain, as (Sandhu’s) license has been revoked. This is a huge victory, and should be a strong message to other veterinary professionals that you will be held accountable for your actions.”