USDA Rejects Wise Owl Vet’s Bid for Reinstatement

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Guam – Wise Owl animal hospital customers wishing to send their pets off island will continue to have to go through another veterinarian to sign off on their pets’ health  certificates.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will not reverse a decision it made in April to deactivate Wise Owl veterinarian Dr. Joel Joseph’s accreditation as a  licensed veterinarian.

USDA veterinarian manager for the pacific region Dr. John Huntley sent an email to Territorial Veterinarian Dr. Tom Poole and Assistant Attorney General David Highsmith over the  weekend saying “I am not changing the inactive accreditation status of  Dr. Joel Joseph at this time. Until I receive evidence of  Dr. Joseph’s license to practice veterinary medicine on Guam, I am not anticipating further action.”

Huntley says his decision was based on communication from “what I believe to be the competent veterinary licensing authority on Guam. The decision to strip Joseph’s USDA accreditation was made after the Guam Board of  Allied Health Examiners [GBAHE] voted to suspend Joseph’s license for five years, among other sanctions.

But Joseph believes Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo’s recent order to grant a temporary stay, essentially halting the board’s decision for now is proof enough that he is still licensed to practice animal medicine on Guam.

Assistant Attorney General Ben Abrams, who also represents the Guam Board of Allied Health says he is confident the board can persuade Judge Bordallo to dissolve the stay.