Wednesday, July 30, 2014

VIDEO: Wise Owl Vet Continues Push For Department of Agriculture Inspection

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Wise Owl Vet Clinic’s Dr. Joel Joseph is making a renewed push to have his veterinary clinic inspected by the Department of Agriculture after it was discovered their original permits were not valid. But Territorial Veterinarian Dr. Tom Poole refuses to inspect the clinic saying Wise Owl should have never been opened in the first place.

The last agency to inspect Wise Owl Clinic was the Guam Fire Department, according to Benjamin Schiff, Joseph's son and Wise Owl Operations Manager. And, he says, the clinic passed that inspection.

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It all started in June 2011 when DPW notified Dr. Joseph that all his original permits for the veterinary clinic were no longer acceptable. The building was formerly used as an office space and then turned into a veterinary clinic. That, Department of Public Works says, requires a change of occupancy, which Wise Owl doesn’t have, but is now trying to get.

"That’s pretty much what we’re asking is for Tom Poole to come down and inspect and get a Department of Agriculture inspecton form saying that if there are any problems with Wise Owl Animal Hospital that you put it down on government stationery so we can comply with the wishes of Department of Agriculture," says Schiff.

So we asked Dr. Tom Poole, the territorial veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture about this inspection. He says Dr. Joseph never had the right permits and should never have been opened to begin with.

"He does not have and never got the permit to turn that into a veterinary hospital in the first place and DPW informed him of that a year and half ago and said you have got to get this place inspected to be a veterinary hospital. You never did that in 2005 period," laments Dr. Poole.

"So, no, I’m not going to inspect them for any sort of modification for their veterinary hospital or whatever it is they wanna do when they don’t have a permit for that to be a veterinary hospital in the first place," he declares.

Although Acting DPW Director Carl Dominguez confirms Dr. Joseph doesn’t have the proper permits, he says it’s not too late to get them. Dominguez adds he was not aware that Guam Fire inspected Dr. Joseph’s clinic last July, but says he will talk with the department to determine what Dr. Joseph’s next steps must be.

Meanwhile, Schiff once again brings attention to other veterinary clinics on island.

"So of course we went through the leg work of Department of Public Works and finding out if any of the other vet clinics had occupancy permits or building permits and according to an August 24, 2012 [sic], Isla Veterinary Clinic, Harper Veterinary Clinic, Animal Medical Clinic, Boonie Bed and Breakfast, Marianas Vet clinic and Harper Quarantine Facility doesn't [sic] have thes permits either," says Schiff.

We first reported this in August of last year. Dominguez says he and other DPW staff members spent hours searching for the permits in question but could not find any.

He tells PNC News that he expects all veterinary clinics to comply with the law and, just as Dr. Joseph is trying to do, go through the proper channels to obtain those permits.

Schiff says the change of occupancy they’re seeking is for the first floor and not for the second floor of their building.