Local News

Embattled Dunn veterinarian agrees to surrender license

Posted August 7, 2012 5:35 a.m. EDT
Updated August 7, 2012 7:20 p.m. EDT

— An embattled Dunn veterinarian who was fighting a state board's ruling to surrender his license over allegations of incompetence has agreed to do so, officials said Tuesday.

Dr. Guy Beretich, who runs the Vets for Pets Animal Hospital, was scheduled to appear Tuesday before the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board to appeal the ruling.

But hours before an administrative hearing was set to begin, board officials said they reached a settlement with Beretich for him to give up his license and stop practicing by Dec. 1.

Under the agreement, Beretich will be allowed a limited license until June 1, 2013, in order to keep the clinic open and sell it. But he will not be able to treat any animals.

Beretich, who estimates that he treated more than 13,000 animals during his career, said Tuesday that he believes the complaints were one-sided and unfair but that he decided to resolve them because he was running out of money to fight the allegations and because of the toll it had taken on his family.

"I'm laughing on the outside and crying on the inside," he said.

His main goal now, he said, is to make sure his clients continue to get care.

The settlement brings an end to a dispute dating back to 2009, when complaints against the doctor prompted investigators to look into the care he was providing at his clinic.

The board ordered Beretich to surrender his license in 2010 after investigators found "evidence of incompetence" in three complaints in which non-certified veterinary employees diagnosed and treated animals and Beretich failed to maintain proper medical records.

In one case, the board found he chose an inappropriate eye surgery on a boxer-bulldog mix named Sadie and then did the procedure on the wrong eye, according to an agreement between Beretich and the veterinary board{/a}}.

In another case, he let a non-licensed employee diagnose a miniature pinscher named Davidson and prescribe a treatment plan. Another vet had to euthanize the dog four days later after diagnosing him with kidney failure.

A third complaint stemmed from allegations that Beretich allowed non-licensed and untrained employees to diagnose and treat patients and dispense medication, administer rabies vaccines and euthanize animals between 2007 and 2009.

The doctor denies the third allegation, according to the consent order.
previously said he would not give up his practice.

The veterinary board's ruling had been handed down before the latest complaint against Beretich, which happened last month.

Kim Croonquist, of Smithfield, claimed the clinic lost her 7-year-old Labrador-German shepherd mix while she and her family was out of town last month. Staff members found the dog last week behind the clinic.