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Complaint FAQ

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the complaint process for the Board of Veterinary Medicine. Please click one of the linked questions below to see an answer. If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for below, please feel free to contact our office at 651-201-2844 or vet.med@state.mn.us.

  • What can I do if I am concerned about the quality of a veterinarian's practice?
    • Talk with the veterinarian about your concerns; in most cases he or she will want to know if you are dissatisfied with the services received.
    • Talk with the clinic owner or manager about your situation. They, too, want satisfied clients who will recommend their services to others.
    • Complete in detail BOTH a "Complaint Registration" and "Records Waiver Authorization" and mail or fax them to the Board office. You may print the forms from this site or contact the Board office to have the forms mailed or faxed to you.

    If you like, contact the Board of Veterinary Medicine at 651-201-2844 to discuss your concerns. If the Board is able to be of assistance, you will be asked to submit the written complaint forms to initiate a formal review.

  • What kinds of things can I complain about?

    Generally, complaints about veterinarians fall into these areas:

    • Competency
    • Impairment or chemical abuse
    • Failure to meet minimum standards of practice
    • Sanitation and cleanliness of facilities
  • What are the things that the Board can't help me with?

    The Board can only take action against a veterinarian's license to practice. It can't help you recover money or resolve fee disputes.

  • How does the Board review a complaint?

    First, the Board's staff gathers information from a variety of sources, starting with the information you include in your complaint. The staff or an investigator from the Attorney General's office will gather medical records, collect data and may interview those involved. You will be asked to sign a records waiver authorization form to allow the Board to obtain your animal's medical records. In most instances, the staff will also obtain a response from the veterinarian involved. When the information gathering is completed, the Board's complaint committee will review the facts and decide whether to take action against the veterinarian involved.

  • What kinds of action can the Board take?

    The Board can take a variety of actions. It can limit, suspend or revoke a veterinarian's license; it can order a veterinarian to take more training or to stop performing certain procedures; it can impose a penalty fee; it can order veterinarians to enroll in appropriate treatment programs.

  • Will a veterinarian know that I filed a complaint?

    During the review process, the Board will protect your identity unless you consent to have it disclosed.   In most cases, disclosing your identity is necessary to assist the Board in investigating your complaint since veterinarians must respond to specific complaints rather than to general accusations.

  • How long does the complaint review process take?

    The length of time to complete the complaint process varies widely. Complex complaints may require the Board to refer the complaint to the Attorney General's office for investigation.   Some reviews move very quickly, others often take months or years.

  • How can I find out about the status of my complaint?

    You can contact the Board staff at any time.   However, because of the state data privacy laws, little information can be provided during the investigation. The Board will notify you as to the disposition of your complaint when the investigation and review process is completed. Also, recent legislation requires the Board to send an update letter every 120 days to keep you updated through the complaint process.

  • Do all complaints lead to action against veterinarians?

    The Board receives some complaints that do not lead to action against veterinarians. The Board cannot take action against a veterinarian unless there is clear and convincing evidence to show that the veterinarian violated Minnesota's Veterinary Practice Act. The Board must thoroughly review each complaint before it takes any action.

  • If the Board cannot act, is there anything I can do?

    The Board's staff may advise you on the services of other governmental agencies or professional associations if the Board is not the appropriate agency to deal with your concerns.

  • Are there any costs associated with filing a complaint?

    There are no costs for filing a complaint. 

  • Do I need an attorney to help me file my complaint?

    No. The Board's complaint process is designed for the public. If you have questions about filing your complaint, the Board's staff can assist you.

  • If I file a complaint, can I also take legal action?

    Filing a complaint will not preclude other legal action you choose to consider.

  • Can I complain about a lay person doing a veterinarian's work?

    The procedure is the same as filing a complaint against a veterinarian, but you may not be required to sign a records waiver authorization form. You can file a formal complaint with the Board which includes that lay person's name. Ideally, the complaint should include some form of written evidence such as an advertisement, web link, written advice, or bill to an animal owner and/or the name of a client that is willing to be contact by an investigator from the Attorney General's office.

To submit a complaint, please print and complete these forms and send them to the Board office:  Complaint Registration Form and Records Waiver Authorization


The completed forms may be sent as an e-mail attachment, fax, or US mail. Please make sure you have signed the documents before sending them to the Board office.