4

BARC Down To Its Last Vet

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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 brought into facility. Rundell, who animal welfare activists have complained about for years, operated without proper state registration for most of his time at BARC.

"We have posted that position, and we have been trying to bring in temp vets or part-time vets for about two, three weeks now," Barton told Hair Balls.

This leaves Chief Veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze as the only full-time vet at BARC, which handles over 25,000 animals a year. (Prior to working at BARC, Ohashiegbula-Iwunze worked in New Jersey, where she was reprimanded twice - including one suspension - by that state's veterinary board. The board accused her of "gross negligence, gross malpractice, or gross incompetence" in her mistreatment of three dogs who subsequently died. In one case, according to the board's records, Ohashiegbula-Iwunze "testified that she was under the influence of Ultraset, a drug prescribed to her by her physician following a diagnosis of a herniated disc" while treating one of the dogs).

Prior to Rundell's suspension, the Health and Human Services Department fired part-time vet Gil Costas for a technicality relating to his controlled-substances registration - which, unlike Rundell, he held consistently. (The city's interpretation of the controlled-substances statute was that all vets are required to notify the state of all addresses where they handle or distribute certain drugs. Officials at the Texas Department of Public Services have told Hair Balls and other media that only a primary address is needed.)

You can read all about the wacky, wild world of BARC in a story we did here.

Meanwhile, the city is closer to finalizing a contract with no-kill advocate Nathan Winograd to perform a "snapshot" assessment of BARC. Winograd's $8,000 fee has been covered by his supporters.

No date has been set for the assessment, but Winograd will give a seminar March 28 at the South Texas College of Law's Joe Green Auditorium. He is being sponsored by No Kill Houston, which is selling tickets for $14.99 at www.nokillhouston.org, or for $20 at the door.

The proceeds will go toward covering the seminar's expense, according to Bett Sundemeyer of No Kill Houston.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.