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

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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, said they could not by law comment on the reasons for Claudia Orso-Sims's termination.(Orso-Sims would not even verify with Hair Balls today that she was fired; she said only that she no longer works for the city. She declined further comment.)

Fusco said two "excellent clinical veterinarians," Erin O'Toole and Kristina Lem, are covering Orso-Sims's vacancy. He also said BARC added an "exceptional veterinary tech," Sherry Stephens, to the veterinary staff Thursday. (The city is meanwhile advertising for a full-time vet).


The day before she stopped working at BARC, Orso-Sims e-mailed Chief Veterinarian M'Risa Mendelsohn and other staffers about 15 dogs the shelter just took in that "have some sort of alopecia which could be from [m]ange and/or ringworm. We are very short in help right now, but regardless the diagnosis, these guys are not adoptable, and most likely will be put down....Can you send a general plea out [to rescue and foster groups] and tell them that we are working on getting the workup done?"

Rescue and foster coordinator Chatauqua Allen replied: "Thanks for the update, however, rescue/fosters will not commit to helping until they have complete work-up results. We will send a plea, once the results are received. Thanks."

On Thursday morning, Orso-Sims sent the same plea to a volunteer. By that afternoon, she was out of a job.


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