Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, DVM, 46(1) 11 negligence, 6 fraud, 19 misconduct, 6 neglect complaints

Modesto, CA

Stanislaus County

1987  
Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, DVM, 47(2) Veterinarian's license revoked

Modesto, CA

Stanislaus County

1988  
Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, 64(3) Improper care of a dog named Bailey in unlicensed veterinarians care

Modesto, CA

Stanislaus County

July 18, 2005  
Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, 65(3) Unlicensed pet doctor charged with animal cruelty, theft


Modesto, CA

Stanislaus County

July 12, 2006  

George C. Ferguson, 74(4)

Licensed Veterinarian of Record, under investigation for aiding and abetting unlicensed & illegal practitioner

Modesto, CA

Stanislaus County

July 06, 2006

Stockton, CA

Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Misdemeanor

(1)fraud, misconduct

(3)theft

(4)unprofessional conduct; aiding or abetting violation of board regulations; professional association with illegal practitioner; negligence and incompetence; record keeping violations; and aiding and abetting unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine

dogs, cats

(1)Dismissed

(2)Convicted

(3)practice ordered to be closed

(4)License revoked

Solano County Superior Court

Photo courtesy of the Modesto Bee Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, owner of the Pelandale Veterinary Hospital was arrested Wednesday, July 12th , 2006 by officials from the District Attorney’s office with assistance from the investigators from the Veterinary Board on charges of animal cruelty, theft and practicing veterinary medicine without a license. He was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail ad released within a few hours on $10,000 bail.  The following morning his business was open.  State authorities continue their investigation of another veterinarian who worked at Kalil’s clinic.

In 2005 Kim Hakolaof Modesto filed a complaint against Kalil over the treatment of her dog. Her dog was taken to the Pelandale Clinic on July 18, 2005 for an abnormal growth on his eye. When she got her dog, its eye was bruised, burned and raw. The dog was taken to another veterinarian and was successfully treated.  Gina Bayles, Enforcement Program Manager for the California Veterinary Medical Board stated that incident is what warranted the cruelty charge.  Theft charges transpired from charging patients for procedure that were never done.

John Goold, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Stanislaus County said that under the California Penal Code, a conviction for animal cruelty can result in a fine of $20,000 and three years in prison. The theft charge is a misdemeanor and could result in six months in jail. Goold was not sure of the maximum penalty for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Without a veterinary license, a person is not allowed to examine, diagnose, treat or prescribe medications to an animal.

The investigation by State officials of Kalil’s clinic last year, but took a year to complete because ten more people filed complaints against Kalil.  On July 6th, 2006 the District Attorney’s office filed its case against Kalil.

State investigators also are looking into the actions of George C. Ferguson's role in the aiding and abetting of Kalil since Dr. Ferguson is the veterinarian licensee of record at the Pelandale Veterinary Hospital. Under California regulations, every veterinary hospital must have a licensed veterinarian on record and Ferguson served that role at the Pelandale clinic. Ferguson is a faculty member at the University of the Pacific, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, said Phil Oppenheimer Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Science. Dr. Ferguson stated that he quit the Pelandale Veterinary practice in June, 2006. He could be facing a citation or fine and/or formal discipline.

Update 6/17/05: A Salida woman's suspicions about the Pelandale Veterinary Hospital have triggered an investigation by state and local agencies into practices at the Modesto clinic.

Juliet Peters filed a complaint with the California Veterinary Medical Board after she discovered that the man she says treated her cat didn't have a veterinarian's license. The license was revoked in 1988, board records show.

Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, who denies treating the cat, said the animal was cared for by a technician who was taking orders from a veterinarian. "I am doing everything by the book because I know I will get my license back," Kalil said. "I do everything by the law."

But providing orders via the phone, as Kalil claimed was being done, is a violation of state regulations, Sue Geranen said, executive officer of the state veterinary board.

A licensed veterinarian must see every new animal the first time that animal comes into a clinic and must examine that animal once a year for as long as the pet is a patient, Geranen said.

According to statements made by Kalil and Rhonda Richardson -- a veterinary technician at the hospital -- veterinarian George Ferguson only visits the clinic once a week. The rest of the week he gives orders by phone. The clinic's veterinarian and narcotics licenses are in his name. The clinic is in a shopping center at Sisk Road and Pelandale Avenue in north Modesto.

If a pet arrives with life-threatening injuries, a licensed veterinary technician can take steps to stabilize the animal and call a veterinarian for instructions, Geranen said. "But even then, the veterinarian still has to come in and see the animal to confirm that proper treatment is being applied," she said.

Another problem, Geranen said, is that Richardson's veterinary technician's license expired March 31st, 2005.

Richardson acknowledged that it lapsed, but said she paid the renewal fees May 26th, and produced a copy of a check that she said she sent to the state.

Her license was still invalid as of Wednesday, June 16th, state officials said, and they have no record of any payment being made.

"So who is treating the animals?" Geranen asked.

According to some pet owners, it's Kalil. But a person without a veterinary license is not allowed to examine, diagnose, treat or prescribe medications to an animal, Geranen said.

Peters, 25, said Kalil performed all of those tasks when she took her cat, Sadie, to the Pelandale Veterinary Hospital on June 4th,. The cat was sluggish and tired. Peters said Kalil opened her cat's mouth, poked and prodded, and then diagnosed the animal. He said the cat was dehydrated and had kidney failure, a common ailment in older cats. He prescribed medication and "soup," Peters said. Suspicious of the soup comment, she looked up Kalil's license on the Internet and found it had been revoked. She filed a complaint with the state, which triggered the investigations.

Kalil said he was in the exam room with Peters to offer moral support. The examination was performed by Richardson, he said, and the diagnosis and prescription were given over the phone by Ferguson.

Last year, Kathleen Clark of Modesto sued the clinic in small claims court, claiming a botched spay operation nearly killed her dog. She won and was awarded about $2,000 to cover additional veterinary expenses. "They told me Dr. Ferguson did the operation, but I never met or even saw Dr. Ferguson until the day of the trial," Clark said. "I've always wondered who actually did the operation." She also said that before the operation, she brought the dog in to get its rabies shots. Kalil gave those shots, she said. He denies that.

If he did give the shots, that's a violation of state law, said Gina Bayless, the enforcement program manager for the state veterinary board. Anyone can give Parvo and heartworm shots, she said, but "a veterinarian has to examine a dog before giving a rabies shot and must sign the certificate for the shot."

Last week, Christian Miller of Salida said he took two dogs to the clinic for different injuries. While he said the staff was professional, he never saw a veterinarian while he was there.

"That struck me as funny," Miller said. If the clinic is found to be violating state regulations and laws, the punishment ranges from fines to revoking a veterinarian's license, Bayless said.

There also could be criminal charges, she said. "It's up to the local authorities to prosecute criminally," Bayless said.

Officials with the Stanislaus County district attorney's office said they would look into the practices of the Pelandale clinic. "We take cases like this very seriously," said Carol Shipley, assistant district attorney for Stanislaus County.

In January, Kalil unsuccessfully petitioned the state to restore his license. In the state report, veterinary board members extensively quote Kalil's history as reasons for not giving him a license.

According to records with the state veterinary board, Kalil was issued a veterinarian's license in California on February 28th, 1980.

In 1987, he was accused by the state veterinarian board of 11 counts of negligence and incompetence, six counts of fraud and deception, 19 counts of unprofessional conduct, six counts of not meeting the minimum standards of a veterinarian and nine counts of failing to pass inspections of his hospitals.

He also was arrested and charged by the Solano County district attorney's office with six counts of animal cruelty and six counts of theft. He was convicted of the criminal counts on Dec. 7, 1987, and was put on probation.

His veterinarian's license was revoked in 1988. He completed his criminal probation in 1990 and had his conviction vacated and dismissed in 1991. In January 2003, he moved to Modesto. State records say he bought the Pelandale clinic in April 2004.

Kalil denies he was guilty of any of the previous offenses. "I was set up," Kalil said. "I am filing an appeal to the board."

Update 7/14/06: Kim Hakola, of Modesto, filed a complaint against Kalil last year over the treatment of her dog, Bailey. "I am so excited that he was arrested," Hakola said. "I have goose bumps."

Bailey was taken to the Pelandale Clinic on July 18, 2005, for an abnormal growth on his eye. According to copies of the medical records Hakola provided, the growth was burned off the dog's eye using nitrogen strips.

That incident is what warranted the cruelty charge, said Gina Bayless, enforcement program manager for the California Veterinary Medical Board.

"Putting those strips into the dog's eye was considered cruelty and was something that should never be done," Bayless said.

Update 9/8/06: The Pelandale Veterinary Hospital in Modesto apparently has closed, and state officials will ask a judge to formally close the clinic and suspend the license of its sponsoring veterinarian.

The California Veterinary Medical Board's petition for the order states that veterinarian George C. Ferguson allowed the hospital's owner, Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, to practice there without a license of his own.

"Respondent Ferguson admits that, '... he does go in to check on things, but doesn't work often,' " according to the board's petition. "Permitting Respondent Ferguson to maintain his veterinary license, and remain managing licensee of Respondent Pelandale, will endanger the public health, safety and welfare."

Ferguson, 74, who received his veterinarian license in 1963 from Oregon State University said he believed Monday's hearing was about Kalil, not himself. "They don't have all the information," he said, adding that he hadn't done anything with the hospital in about a month. "We'll find out when we get to the hearing." He said that Kalil closed it about two weeks ago.

A university spokesman said Ferguson teaches in the spring semester. He could not comment on whether Ferguson's status would be affected if his license is suspended, citing privacy concerns.

Ferguson said he also occasionally helps a veterinarian in Stockton, whom he would not identify.

There was no answer at the hospital's phone number Thursday, and the front door was locked. The interior appeared empty of people and animals, though there was no closure notice on the door or windows.

An employee at a business next door said the hospital had been closed at least two weeks, though she occasionally saw staff members go in and out of the office.

Ferguson said he did not see Kalil engage in anything like animal cruelty when Ferguson visited the hospital. "I can't speak about when I wasn't there," he added.

If the judge rules in favor of the petition, the veterinary board then will file a formal accusation against Ferguson and the hospital, said Gina Bayless, enforcement program manager with the veterinary board. The suspensions would remain in effect until a full hearing on the accusations against Ferguson, she said.

The California Veterinary Medical Board, a division of the state Department of Consumer Affairs, has issued a petition to suspend George C. Ferguson's veterinary license and close the Pelandale Veterinary Hospital in Modesto. In July, authorities arrested the hospital's owner, Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, on charges of animal cruelty, theft and practicing without a license.

If the judge upholds the order, the suspension and closure would be in effect until a full hearing on the charges against Ferguson and the hospital.

Update 9/21/06: A judge has suspended the license of the veterinarian affiliated with Pelandale Veterinary Hospital. Judge Leonard L. Scott's ruling agreed with California Veterinary Medical Board findings that veterinarian George C. Ferguson allowed Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil to practice at the clinic, even though Kalil legally couldn't do so. "Ferguson's supervision of Pelandale was so lax that he testified that he did not realize until recently that Kalil was practicing veterinary medicine without a license," the ruling states.

Kalil was arrested on charges of animal cruelty, theft and practicing veterinary medicine without a license. His arrest ended a state veterinary board investigation prompted by a number of pet-owner complaints last year. Ferguson was the managing licensee for the clinic. The owners said their animals received such poor care that their pets' health was damaged after they went to the clinic. In some cases, the pets died as a result, they said.

The judge's order also formally requires that the hospital be closed.

Gina Bayless, enforcement program manager for the Veterinary Medical Board, said she was very pleased with Scott's decision. "This is our mission, to protect consumers," she said. "And this helps us, as one of the tools we use to carry out that mission." She said the board must file a formal accusation against Ferguson within 30 days. That would be followed by a hearing at which Ferguson either could defend himself against the charges or enter a stipulated agreement with the state, she said. His suspension is in effect until the hearing, and bars him from practicing veterinary medicine anywhere in California.

Ferguson said the ruling is somewhat meaningless because he hadn't planned to renew his license. "I'm kind of surprised by the ruling," said Ferguson, adding that he hadn't received word of the judge's decision. "But I'm 74 and I don't want to practice anymore." He said he did not know whether he would defend himself at the future hearing. He testified before Scott at an initial hearing on September 11th .

Bayless said the formal hearing would take place before the end of the year.

Update 2/1/07: A Modesto man whose poor care of animals led the state to shut down Pelandale Veterinary Hospital pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

Mahmoud Ahmed Kalil, 65, was sentenced to three years of informal probation, fined $4,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, the Stanislaus County district attorney's office announced. Kalil also is barred from seeking a veterinary license, practicing veterinary medicine or operating a veterinary business. A felony charge of animal cruelty and a misdemeanor count of petty theft were dropped.

The California Veterinary Medical Board determined that Kalil, who hadn't held a valid veterinary license in more than a decade, nonetheless owned the hospital and had worked as its main veterinarian since 2004. His license was revoked in 1988 after he was convicted of animal cruelty and theft in Solano County.

The license affiliated with the hospital belonged to George C. Ferguson of Stockton, who, board officials said, rarely visited the hospital. Last year, the state formally revoked Ferguson's license and ordered the hospital at Sisk Road and Pelandale Avenue closed. Ferguson surrendered his license on January 24th, 2007. The violations from the Veterinary Board were unprofessional conduct; aiding or abetting violation of board regulations; professional association with illegal practitioner; negligence and incompetence; record keeping violations; and aiding and abetting unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.

Ferguson died on December 15th, 2010.

Reference

The Modesto Bee California Dept of Consumer Affairs
Veterinary Medical Board