State board moves to revoke Terrell vet's license

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on February 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 10:53 PM

AUSTIN — The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners moved to revoke the license of Terrell vet Dr. David Snyder on Tuesday as complaints began piling up against him following a News 8 report.

With his license and livelihood on the line, Dr. Snyder arrived 40 minutes late to the emergency board hearing at a state office building in Austin on Tuesday.

News 8 first reported on Snyder in November when a Chihuahua named Sugar disappeared from his Terrell clinic after she was supposed to get spayed.

Snyder said he thought the dog was stolen, but never called police.

The dog’s owner contacted authorities, but officers have not been able to locate the pet.

Since then, other News 8 viewers have lodged similar complaints with the state, and at least four of them — who had questions over how their dogs died — caused the board to take emergency action and temporarily suspend Snyder's license two weeks ago.

"I’m striving to do better," Snyder told the board in his soft-spoken and polite voice. "I’ve just been inundated with lots of stuff. It’s just been a tumultuous chain of events. It’s just been unbelievable."

In the filing to shut down Snyder’s practice, the state board said it thought he was an “imminent threat to the public.”

He faces nine violations in all, including poor record-keeping for clients and drugs.

Those are the charges that led to the rare hearing on Tuesday.

Snyder blamed his staff for many of the problems, and suggested his clinic has grown too big, too fast — from making $300 a day to more than $2,000 a day.

But despite advanced notice of the meeting, Snyder appeared unprepared as he presented no records to refute any charges against him.

In September 2010, the board said it ordered Snyder to take classes on improving record keeping at his clinic. During Tuesday’s hearing, more than a year later, he admitted he still had not completed that requirement.

Snyder has been in trouble before. During the mid-1990s, he went to prison for drugs. The state took away his license for five years then, but eventually reinstated it.

On Tuesday, the state board decided to shut Snyder down again by taking him to an administrative trial next month to revoke his license for a second time.

Separately, Snyder also faces two recent arrests by state troopers for drug possession.

He already surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration license to write prescriptions, but refused to hand in his veterinary license on Tuesday.

"I’ve come in here with no attorney each time,” Snyder said, upset with the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t even know what a lot of it means, but I don’t want to do anything hastily at this moment."

Still, the state is moving forward to revoke the long-time veterinarian’s license.

Board members blasted Snyder as the two-and-a-half hour hearing concluded.

“You’re not tending to the needs of your practice,” one said. “You have not taken on the responsibility of securing your controlled substances. You’ve had animals die and you have no substantiation as to why, other than just cardiac arrest. The clients' recollection of events are completely different than yours. It seems you really have problems with the details and following through with adhering to the law."

Snyder would not answer questions after Tuesday’s hearing and avoided a News 8 camera as he left.

Nicole Oria, the Executive Director of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, said staff had contacted Terrell police to notify the department that Snyder should not be practicing as a veterinarian at his clinic on Highway 34.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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