Port Hawkesbury vet to give up licence after accidentally putting dog down

·1 min read
The Highland Animal Hospital in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., is shown. Its owner, Dr. Sietse Van Zwol, must sell the practice because of a decision by the provincial licensing body. (Google Maps - image credit)
The Highland Animal Hospital in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., is shown. Its owner, Dr. Sietse Van Zwol, must sell the practice because of a decision by the provincial licensing body. (Google Maps - image credit)

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association says a Port Hawkesbury vet has agreed to give up his licence to practice after accidentally euthanizing a dog last year.

The regulatory body received a complaint about Dr. Sietse Van Zwol of the Highland Animal Hospital last August, said association registrar Dr. Frank Richardson.

After an investigation, the complaints committee and Van Zwol agreed the vet should forfeit his licence and agree not to reapply in Nova Scotia or anywhere else, Richardson said.

"I've been the registrar in Nova Scotia for the regulatory body for 32 years ... and to my recollection, this is probably the first time that this has occurred," he said. "It is serious."

Richardson said Van Zwol maintained the incident was an accident, but the committee also took into account Van Zwol's history of disciplinary problems.

Previous complaints

Richardson said his licence was suspended for two months after a 2016 complaint in which a dog died in his care. The findings of that investigation noted Van Zwol was "reprimanded on six separate occasions between 1992 and 2009."

Van Zwol was prohibited from putting animals down over the last year during the current investigation and could only practice under the direct supervision of association-approved veterinarians.

The Highland Animal Hospital is based in Port Hawkesbury and has offices in Inverness and Chéticamp.

Richardson said according to provincial rules, the owner of a practice must be a licensed vet, so Van Zwol has one year to sell the practice.

MORE TOP STORIES

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting