Following the six month suspension of vet, Dr Zahra Tahaneem Rafiq, who admitted serious professional misconduct in the case of removing two puppies from a litter belonging to a client, Vets Now, the national chain of veterinary practices has issued a statement clarifying their own position on the case.
Dr Laura Playforth, Head of Veterinary Standards at Vets Now said:
“In December 2017, a dog was brought into our out-of-hours vet clinic in Liverpool to have an emergency Caesarean section. The pet owner took home four puppies. It was subsequently brought to our attention by one of the members of staff on shift that a further two puppies from the litter were taken from the clinic by our staff. One of these puppies was later returned; the other sadly died.
“We are extremely sorry about what happened, especially to our client and their pets.
“As soon as we were made aware of the allegations, we acted immediately. We carried out a thorough investigation to establish the cause of the incident; all staff members directly involved were suspended pending investigation, and the two found responsible were subsequently dismissed. We also reported the matter to the police and referred the veterinary surgeons involved to our regulatory body, the RCVS.
“We have a duty of care to every animal we look after, and the most important thing to us is the welfare of the pets in our care. What I can guarantee is, we will do everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again.
“I want to reassure pet owners that this is an isolated incident. We have almost 600 vets and vet nurses working for us up and down the country, working tirelessly to help animals in their greatest time of need. In my 20 years as a vet, I’ve never seen anything like this case.”