The Veterinary Nurse Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has asked its registrar to remove a West Midlands-based veterinary nurse after it was found that she had “been dishonest with a charity”.
In a hearing that took place between 24 and 27 July, it was found that when meeting with a representative of the Retired Greyhound Trust (RGT), veterinary nurse Laura Jane Garfield had told them that she had possession of Lola, a greyhound that she proposed keeping with her as an adoptee.
She said she would not part with possession of Lola except to the RGT, despite that at the time of signing the adoption agreement, she had already given Lola to another charity named Greyhound Gap. The RCVS found that this constituted misleading and dishonest conduct.
The committee found the charges and all constituent parts proven and went on to consider whether this amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.
The committee decided that removal from the register would be the only appropriate sanction.
Judith Way, chairing the committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The end result of the respondent’s decisions and conduct meant that RGT was persuaded to pass lawful possession and ownership of the dog Lola to the respondent when it would not have agreed to do so had it been told the truth by her.
“In truth, the respondent was not going to adopt and rehome Lola herself. Instead the respondent’s plan and intention was that Lola should be passed on to a third party who had been recommended by a rival dog rescue charity for rehome and adoption.”
She added: “The consequence was that a social media dispute broke out when the rival dog charity decided to attempt to take advantage of the erroneous belief of the respondent that a decision had been taken by RGT to put Lola to sleep. The publicity generated by the respondent’s erroneous belief was obviously adverse.
“The gravamen [seriousness] of the respondent’s dishonest conduct was that she set one dog rescue charity against another, caused them to spend publicly raised funds on a legal dispute about who should be allowed to retain Lola when those precious funds ought, instead, to have been spent on their charitable objectives.”
Garfield has 28 days from being informed of the committee’s decision to appeal.