“If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity” – Albert Einstein
I’m not a person who goes around expressing my thoughts openly on social media (although I have opinions on most things I read) – at least not until now. In my introduction to this course, I talked about my non-work interest being my Bernese Mountain Dogs. A lot of what I do revolves around them, their needs, and their overall wellbeing. With that in mind, about 14 days ago I was shaken to my core when I opened my Facebook page and learned of a St. Catharines Veterinarian (the clinic is almost across the street from where I live) who had for years been abusing our pets.
Suspension Could Be Reduced
You may have heard about this story or seen posts on social media about it and had your own reaction but animal lover or not we need to speak up and correct a wrong. Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi has received from The College of Veterinarians of Ontario a suspension of 10 months and a $10,000 fine for professional misconduct which took effect on August 20th. The suspension will be reduced after he attends retraining on animal restraint and behaviour modification techniques and could be practicing again by December. He has not been criminally charged however, the Niagara Regional Police are currently investigating the situation. The Lincoln County Humane Society and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) are also conducting their own investigation.
Jessica Hamilton, one of the vet techs at his clinic along with three other techs knew he was abusing the animals and worked laboriously to get proof to be able to file a complaint with The College of Veterinarians of Ontario. Dr. Rekhi can be seen in the videos punching, choking, and abusing animals. One of the videos shows him holding a sedated cat by the tail and slamming it up against a cupboard, beating a dog across its snout with metal nail clippers and on another one he is seen choking a dog until it defecated. CTV News broke the story on their evening news and social media platforms. When one or all of the techs knew something had happened with an animal in his care, they would mentally make note of the time and then rewind security camera video, play it back and record it on their cell phones. Once he received his suspension, the techs that filed the original complaint released these videos on social media because they felt his suspension was too lenient and wanted people to know about it.
Right A Wrong
Having my own dogs I couldn’t imagine what I would feel had it been one of them in those videos and neither could people in the neighbourhood. It is being talked about by people that I have met over the last couple of weeks. When asked how they found out about this horrific situation – social media was a big part of their news source and they have indicated that they want justice. Social media can serve as a catalyst to help transform this situation. The story has been circulating around social media now it’s time to turn this into something good – use social media to right a wrong. So here I am embracing social media! Only good can come from this, right? As more people in our community become aware of this man and his abuse; the more people we hope will be outraged by the suspension and act to have it changed. There is a Change.org petition circulating for The College of Veterinarians of Ontario to permanently revoked his license. He should never be allowed to As of today there are over 44,800 signatures towards their goal of 50,000.
Can we use social media to change their minds? “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity” (Albert Einstein) – I signed the petition. Will you?