Veterinary Medicine

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    Latest Victims of Timbergrove Cat Killer Speak Out

    Chris and Kimberly Elliott woke up last Friday morning to a nightmare: the front quarter of their beloved cat Moe, placed conspicuously on their yard, so it would be the first thing they'd see when they opened the front door. A blood trail was visible from a pool under a streetlight to the remains ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2014

    Red Collar Dog Rescue Calls Out a Pair of Owners For Alleged Douchebaggery

    Hell hath no fury like an animal rescue scorned. Such groups are unfortunately used to dealing with dogs mistreated by a-hole owners, but Red Collar Rescue recently took the unusual step of Facebook-shaming a Houston couple it says abandoned a dog they adopted seven years ago. The couple, Gustaf an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2014

    UPDATED Officials: Spindletop Owner Tortured, Drowned Injured Dog

    See the end of this post for more from the chief animal control investigator's affidavit. Former Spindletop dog refuge owner Leah Purcell poured water down a pit bull's nose while its mouth was held shut, "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" torturing it to death in December 2011, according to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Feel Like Cracking Down on A-Holes Who Torture Show Horses?

    The Texas chapter of the Humane Society of the United States is joining in the push to pass federal legislation that would help enforce the ban against "soring" -- hurting show horses to exaggerate a high-stepping gait. The barbaric practice, which we'll describe in a moment, was barred by legisla ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    Galveston County Animal Shelter Won't Answer Questions About Bloodied Dog

    A Great Dane at the center of a custody dispute in Galveston County is now evidence in a criminal investigation, but Galveston officials are mum on who is being investigated, and for what. A photo of the dog -- her face covered in blood -- taken from within the Galveston County animal shelter went ... More >>

  • News

    September 12, 2013

    Animal Magnetism

    You Have 51 animals in your home, claim to run a no-kill shelter and you write notes to your dead veterinarian? Sounds fine.

  • News

    September 12, 2013

    The Cruelest Cut: How Cat Declawing Became the Next Battleground for Animal Rights

    Critics say the common cat surgery is painful and can lead to other problems.

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2013

    Declawing Cats, Banned in Many Countries, Is Thriving in the United States

    So your cat just slashed your prized Australian aborigine drum set. Or maybe that cute as a button kitten you got just a few weeks ago took out the wall paper in your den. No problem: just have your cat declawed and all that goes away. You'll never have to worry about home destruction or battling wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2013

    So You Have 51 Animals in Your Rented Home, Claim to Run a No-Kill Shelter, and You Write Notes to Your Dead Veterinarian? Nah, No Reason to Think Those Animals Aren't OK!

    Last month, Almita Flores of Houston found a gorgeous yellow lab. She says she posted flyers in her neighborhood, as well as a notice on Craigslist, but never heard from anyone claiming to be the owner. After two weeks, she says, the dog -- who she decided to call Max -- got out of her gate, only to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2013

    A Sick, Twisted Tale: A Dog-Napped Yorkie Named Gizmo and an (Allegedly) Wicked Stepmother -- Disney, Eat Your Heart Out.

    It was the note seen 'round the world -- er, well, at least 'round Texas, anyway: The owners of a Yorkie named Gizmo, who had been missing for two weeks, received a note purporting to be from a woman who said she had found the dog (sans tag) at a gas station and decided to give him to her 14-year-ol ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    Some Veterinarians Just Shouldn't Use Meth...

    There are a few crucial qualities that pet owners might seek in a veterinarian: experience, bedside manner, a natural love of animals. "Crippling meth addiction" would probably rank toward the bottom of the list. But that's just what former Dallas-area vet David Snyder had, and it led to his 44-yea ... More >>

  • News

    October 4, 2012

    Retired Lab Chimps Pressed Back Into Service

    A San Antonio lab says primate research is necessary for curing diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. But what progress has really been made.

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2011

    Controversial Ex-BARC Vet Accused Of Botching Surgeries (With Graphic Photos)

    Sad kitten is sad​A veterinarian who left the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care after he was caught dispensing controlled substances without proper registration is now accused of botching routine surgeries on four kittens last week at his new job at a low-cost clinic. Marie Melancon told H ... More >>

  • News

    May 12, 2011

    Pet Sounds

    Animal psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick hears voices - the dog and cat kind.

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2011

    Cover Story: Pet Psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick (Including Exclusive Video)

    ​Sonya Fitzpatrick, as documented in this week's cover story, knows what your dog, cat, bird or frog is thinking. If you happen to have a bear or tiger as a pet, the famous animal communicator could let you know what those beasts are feeling, too. Before the world's most celebrated pet psych ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2011

    Underground Footage From a Texas Dairy Farm (Not for the Weak of Stomach)

    Undercover footage from a dairy farm southwest of Amarillo shows workers crushing sick and injured calves' skulls with pickaxes and hammers, and tossing dying calves on a pile of dead ones in the back of a truck -- acts that one animal welfare group says violates state cruelty laws. Gathered by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2010

    NFL -- James Harrison And A Funny Sex Story

    They misspelled "Harrison"​According to a March 2009 study, the average veterinarian in the United States makes $93,398 per year. According to, James Harrison is set to make $13,357,280 for playing football in 2010. Harrison might want to make note of these statistics if he's serio ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2010

    Texas Veterinarians: Horse Teeth Floaters Are Breaking the Law

    Takes on a whole new meaning with horse teeth floaters​Who knew that in one week Hair Balls would write not one, but TWO stories about horse teeth floaters and live to tell about it.As we discussed on Thursday, Libertarians rallied in Austin on Friday to protest changes to rules that could negativ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2010

    Libertarians Rally for Horse Teeth Floaters

    Damnit, Wilbur, fix my ugly ass grill!In what is apparently the worst government over-regulation since monkeys were banned from grinding organs for a living (damn you, Organ Grinders Local 182!!!), the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is meeting to decide whether the important job of hors ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2010

    BARC Sued By Another Whistleblower; Still Stonewalling On Releasing Information

    You said you would change, BARC​A former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care employee filed a whistleblower suit against the City of Houston Tuesday, claiming she was fired after she notified investigators of animal cruelty and record-tampering. Hope Bennett's complaint states that she  ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2010

    Gil Costas: Fired BARC Whistleblower Gets $70K From The City

    Photo by blue_sharpieThis guy's got questions​Houston City Council members Wednesday approved a $70,000 settlement with a former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian who filed a whistleblower suit against the city in 2009.Gil Costas was fired in February 2009 for what a BARC spokesper ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2010

    BARC Vet Who Helped In Controversial Case Has A Reprimand On Her Record

    ​The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's chief vet, who was instrumental in the decision to operate in-house on a severely injured dog -- who did not survive surgery -- was reprimanded by Virginia's veterinary board in 2007.According to documents filed with the Virgina's Department of Health Pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2010

    A Dog With Horrible Eye Injuries Creates BARC Controversy

    ​With a history of mismanagement, reckless disregard and outright abuse under its belt, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has its work cut out for it when it comes to righting wrongs.Houston's devoted and vocal animal rescue community has been integral in instituting a change in command -- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2010

    BARC Fires a Vet, But Hey It's All Good

    Photo by Squid​Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care fired a veterinarian Thursday, but Interim Bureau Chief Gerry Fusco said two part-time vets will cover those hours so there will be no lag in services. Fusco and Janice Evans, communications director for Mayor Annise Parker, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2009

    City Is Trying To Scare Up BARC Funds By Hassling Veterinarians, One Says

    Photo by riquard​In a move to raise revenue for a new adoption center, the City of Houston is ordering veterinarians to provide clients' names and their pets' licensing information. According to a September 28 letter from Administrative and Regulatory Affairs Director Alfred Moran to&nbs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2009

    Former BARC Vet Sues City Over His Firing

    ​Veterinarian Gil Costas, fired from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care last February for an alleged registration violation, has sued the City under the Texas Whistleblower Act.Filed today, the suit accuses the city of "trying to hurriedly squelch Dr. Costas and discredit him" after Costa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    A Shake-Up At BARC, For Better Or Worse

    ​BARC went through some housecleaning yesterday -- in a big way.In addition to the firing of veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, other BARC personnel issues Wednesday included the resignation of Administrative Supervisor Dorian Strickland and a "disciplinary procedure in process" for vet tech ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2009

    Complain About BARC, Find Yourself Charged With A Crime

    Photo by bf_photos The Harris County District Attorney's Office has charged a BARC volunteer for filing a false police report regarding animal abuse he said he heard while at the city's animal control facility. Shelby Kibodeaux was charged July 1 with the class B misdemeanor, which ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2009

    A Q&A With The Man Who Oversees BARC Leaves More Q's Than A's

    Photo by mary_thompsonWhen it comes to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, Stephen Williams is a man who does not like to dwell on the past. As the director of Houston's Department of Health and Human Services, he said in an interview Monday that while he was aware of years of criticism of BAR ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2009

    More BARC News: The Hammer Comes Down On Two Vets

    Photo by maarjaara The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has fined BARC Chief Veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula and former BARC vet David Rundell for violating U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Texas Veterinary Licensing Act requirements. In Texas, veterinarians who dispense cont ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2009

    An Interview With The New Head Of BARC: This Time, Things Really, Really Will be Fixed. Really

    Photo by Craig MalisowAs BARC's new bureau chief, Ray Sim has his work cut out for him. He now heads an organization that has historically resisted change and ostracized volunteers who have made claims of cruel conditions, with the full support of an administration and city council that believes the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2009

    BARC Down To Its Last Vet

    Veterinarian David Rundell resigned today from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. Nicole Sica at the Houston Examiner was the first on the story.  Rundell was suspended with pay three weeks ago for allegedly treating a sick dog with Valium he brou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2009

    Much-Loved Veterinarian Fired by BARC

    Gil Costas, a part-time veterinarian at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, was fired today for lack of state-mandated certification, Houston Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton told Hair Balls. The news was originally broken by Nicole Sica, editor of the animal-welfare b ... More >>

  • News

    January 29, 2009

    BARC Sucks

    The city's animal shelter just can't get its act together

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2009

    BARC's Head Vet Wasn't Just Reprimanded Once

    No doubt many of Houston's animal-advocacy community are up in arms over this morning's Chron story on BARC's head vet, Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, who had her license suspended in New Jersey.But we at Hair Balls were a little more understanding - really, who hasn't accidentally killed people's dogs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2008

    Your Animals Are Probably Bitching About Ike, Too

    Because Ike (that bastard) has created more victims beyond the human variety, it’s important to keep our furry friends in mind. Fortunately, groups like the Houston Humane Society and the Houston SPCA have been keeping us apprised of the animal situation, and what folks can do to help out. First, ... More >>

  • News

    November 2, 2006

    Country Time

    Horsing around at a feed store happy hour

  • News

    April 13, 2006

    Horse Flesh

    Texas struggles with what to do with its overabundance of Equus caballus, while Europeans wait with open mouths

  • News

    October 30, 2003

    Vanity Plates

    The perfect gift for the pet that has -- ahem -- almost everything

  • News

    July 3, 2003

    Kitty Litter

    Toyya Braskey lives with 100 cats. They are her life. Now the city says they have to go.

  • News

    November 7, 2002

    In the Doghouse

    An animal typically has three days before he leaves the city pound, dead or alive. What happens during that time continues to cause concern.

  • Best of Houston

    September 20, 2001

    Best Pet Pharmacy

    BCP Veterinary Pharmacy

  • Dining

    September 21, 2000

    Strange Fruit

    People pay lots more for organic produce, but are they getting their money's worth?

  • News

    July 13, 2000

    Blaming the Barn Door

    A new report rips into claims that racehorse Alydar's wounds were self-inflicted

  • News

    April 20, 2000

    Cloning for Cash

    A&M's pet project spawns a company to mix DNA with possible IPOs

  • News

    March 16, 2000

    Out at the Zoo

    Embattled director Olson departs as signs of reform arrive

  • News

    March 9, 2000
  • News

    November 25, 1999

    Bungle in the Jungle

    Beneath the pretty facade of the Houston Zoo lies a world where animals, and their keepers, are being shortchanged

  • News

    December 17, 1998

    All Good Dogs Go to Heaven

    The connection between pets and their owners doesn't necessarily end with death

  • More >>