Dr. Margaret Ferrell, lead veterinarian at Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic, a high-volume spay/neuter clinic in Irondale, Alabama, was found not guilty by Administrative Law Judge James Jerry Wood. The Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) had charged Dr. Ferrell with 30 charges, and of the three witnesses who testified against Dr. Ferrell, none had ever observed Ferrell perform examinations or surgeries. Judge Wood found that none of the charges brought against Dr. Ferrell were credible, and he recommended that the ASBVME drop all charges. Ultimately, the ASBVME found Dr. Ferrell not guilty on 26 of 29 charges.
Although none of the witnesses who testified against Dr. Ferrell ever observed her work, Dr. Phillip Bushby, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who specializes in spay/neuter procedures, performed an unannounced observation of Dr. Ferrell and her staff in April 2014. After hours of observation covering 17 cases, Dr. Bushby testified that Dr. Ferrell is one of the best surgeons he has seen in 42 years.
This case is a victory for high-volume spay/neuter clinics which provide quality care and an essential service to communities across the country. It is also a testament to the sacrifices that hardworking veterinarians make to save lives and make their communities a better place for people and animals.