Send him a copy and he will post it here (with only your initials).

Return to Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Letters Page 2

July 21, 2012
To: vet.board@veterinary.texas.gov

To Whom it May Concern:

I have become aware of the measures that the Texas Veterinary Board, in a
mandate to provide the best possible veterinary care for Texans, has
taken against the practices of Dr. Ronald Hines, a Texas licensed
veterinarian who has made an internationally accessible veterinary
website. As an attorney, I understand the very interesting conflict that
is presented when Dr. Hines practices veterinary medicine over the internet.
I would like to interject a point that I have not seen raised in other
letters of support of Dr. Hines; perhaps it is time for the Texas Veterinary
Board to begin to include virtual practice as a legitimate and viable method
of practicing good veterinary care in the 21st century, and to construct
reasonable regulations that are in the best interest of the animals and
people that Texas licensed veterinarians will virtually serve. I suggest
that you cease prosecution of Dr. Hines as you begin to develop some policy
that recognizes that not only is providing accurate information over the
internet a very worthy activity for a Texas licensed veterinarian to be
engaged in, but that there is a place for the outright virtual practicing,
in conjunction with clinical practicing,of veterinary medicine as well.
Clearly, the electronic age is revolutionizing medical practice, and all
professional practices, for that matter, in a myriad of ways.The ability
to have face to face, instantaneous, visual examinations and communications,
to remotely converse, photograph, scan, read microchips, authorize
prescription medicine in a secure and confidential format, and to ask and
answer questions without any time or geographic barrier when time is of
the essence are exciting tools that we now have in our hands. I would
like to see, as I'm sure all of you would, these tools in the hands of
competent and capable highly trained professionals such as Dr. Hines as
we begin to shape and develop them, instead of leaving this area wide open
to internet entrepreneurs and untrained opportunists who recognize their
lucrative financial possibilities. In other words, let's have high quality,
professional information and advice available on the internet.Of course
there are limitations to what can be accomplished without actually being
in a clinical setting in the the physical presence of the animal.
Malpractice laws and other regulations would govern, but surely you can
see that nowadays, there is a standard of care that Dr. Hines and others
would be able to meet by electronic communication with people seeking
veterinary help. If Dr. Hines was able to provide general information to
the reading public, but to charge a fee once someone had entered into an
agreement for individual services, much as legal professionals are beginning
to do, it would pioneer a whole new revenue stream for veterinary
professionals. Moreover, it would help animals, meeting your most
important mandate.

Thank you for reading this. As an animal lover and owner of 4 pets over
the age of 15, I am grateful for and appreciative of your profession.
Cordially,
A.M.C., Esq.

****************************************************************************

July 22, 2012

To: Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

I am very shocked to see that anyone or company should have a problem with Dr.
Hines giving his professional expertise to individuals whom desire help from
him. It's as though I cant use the internet to get the most accurate lists of
information when in need, for ANY reason... that has been the whole purpose
of the internet and the world wide web, right?! This is so unfortunate to
have financially successful companies to 'pick' on Dr. Hines just for the sake
of a dollar. Dr. Hines should not have to be going through this type of
'BULLYING' from these of his 'fellow veterinarians ', aren't you all suppose
to support 'your own' ! I am one of many who has come to this web site for
help with hand raising an orphaned puppy, and to read this letter to Dr. Hines,
after I have received life saving information concerning my pup from DR. HINES'
website, is crushing to me! Not to mention Dr. Hines and other recipients'
of his helpful information. This is my response to whether Dr. Hines should
sign this..." NO, NADA, NOPE, NO WAY!!!!" You people are straight BULLIES for
this retched action!! By the way I live in Georgia, and I'm for Dr. Hines
conducting his business in-office and on-line!!!!
K.P.

****************************************************************************

July 30, 2012
To Veterinary Boards:

As I am unable to contact Dr Hines directly due to the recent events, I am contacting you in
hopes that you will pass this along to him. He wrote an article on arthritis in dogs and
I'd like to know why he didn't mention radio therapy in his article. This is a scientific
question and not related to any consultation that I am seeking. I also don't live in the US. I
I live in Zurich, Switzerland and am working with the Tierspital (animal hospital).
S.D.

****************************************************************************

August 1, 2012

To Vet. Board,
I am shocked to see the strong-arm approach you have taken regarding Dr. Hines. Your motives are so obvious! Didn't any of you bureaucrats realize how the public would view your actions? Your accomplishment is impressive. You did more than find a convenient scapegoat for your collective troubles: you also made a preemptive move to ensure no one else messes with your power. All that...and you only had to sacrifice one of your own. You should be ashamed.

M. C
Rowland Heights, California

****************************************************************************

August 9, 2012

To: Ms. Laura Moriaty, General Counsel,
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

/Dear Ms. Moriaty,

I am sorry to say that I only learned of Dr. Hines this evening. I was doing a desperate online
search for information regarding what appears to be the impending loss of Nickolas, our
12-year old Chocolate Lab. Though being treated for congestive heart failure, he is not
responding well. In looking for drug interaction and other treatment information online,
I found two of Dr. Hines' articles: 'Heart Failure in Your Dog: Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy' , and 'Grieving and Pet Loss: Coping with the Death of a Loved Dog or Cat'. Clearly, the state-licensed Dr. Hines knows his veterinary medicine; he also shares with his readers a giving spirit that surpasses book learning. Though our Nickolas is currently being treated by a local Veterinarian (as is our other, younger Chocolate Lab, Sam) I found more insight and more love and soul on these web pages than I have gained from years of working with our family Vet. Dr. Hines' beautiful and moving piece on dealing with the loss of a pet gave me more peace than anything else I have read or experienced. I understand that your group shoulders the responsibility of ensuring reliable and safe medical care for animals. I also understand how bureaucracies can sometimes become misguided and used for private gain by others hoping to stifle competition with threats of sanction or worse. Have members of your team not found Dr. Hines' articles to be sound, accurate, and current? Are his gentle
country-doctor ways really that big a threat to big veterinary business? What Dr. Hines
has done for me tonight is give me peace of mind. I hope he is permitted to continue sharing
his knowledge and heart without fearing the censure or loss of his license. He clearly has
earned what satisfaction and tiny compensation he gains from his work. He's one of the good
guys, the kind you find less and less. Even in Texas.
S.H.
Rancho Mirage, California

***************************************************************************

August 10 2012

To: Nicole Oria
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

I read Dr. Hines web site and have found it to be very beneficial for my Cougars health.
There are few Vets in Florida that knows what to feed and nutritional supplements these animals need to be as healthy and cared for as possible. I personally feel it is a shame when a
person has the knowledge of these things are not allowed to help me and others.
Best Regards,
J.H.
Florida Panther Survival Project

**************************************************************************

August 21, 2012

Dear Board members, as a concerned citizen I am requesting an update on this case. As
a family with pets we request that you reconsider your position and who it is you
are working for. I have a question, and I wonder if you can answer. Does Governor
Perry have pets, or possibly his children and has he ever had to answer a child's
question about their sick dog or cat on a weekend or evening? Have you ever needed
to quickly determine if the problem your seeing with your pet needs immediate medical
attention? We must be careful and guard against taking away the usefulness of the
Internet? This is bigger than Texas, please consider his whole audience.

Please consider your roll in this and pledge to your constituents whom you serve and
an even greater audience that you will dare to serve their best interest and not
succumb to corporate or conglomerate pressure that is so common today.

Sincerely, JPS

**************************************************************************

August 23, 2012
Dear Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners:

I live in NYC and am the owner of a Yorkshire Terrier. Dr. Hines is such a wonderful
person who helps animals and their owners in times of need. There is a strong need for
a friend like Dr. Hines because in times of need people turn to the internet for help.
When pet owners are worried about a sick animal, it is a blessing to be able to find a
factual website and someone as kind and helpful as Dr. Hines. Dr. Hines helps pet owners
to be more knowledgable when they go to visit their local vets. Who benefits from
this? - THE ANIMALS. Who is harmed? - No one. In practice, a friend like Dr. Hines
most probably increases business for local vets because after consulting with Dr. Hines
a a pet owner will generally have to go to local vets to have their animal diagnosed/
treated in person. In some cases, after consulting with Dr. Hines a pet owner with
their new found knowledge may take their dog to multiple vets to make sure he/she is
meeting with the best vet -this will actually drive up business for local vets. In cases
where people cannot afford to go to a local vet, the existence of distance vets have no
effect on local vets business but at least worried people will have been comforted by
being able to speak to someone who may have been able to help ease their suffering.

I do hope that the board will see that what Dr. Hines does is a wonderful, kind gift
that benefits animals and their owners in times of need.

Kind regards,
NS

*************************************************************************

September 12, 2012
To: Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners
Re Ronald Hines DVM case #12-167

I am writing in response to the action of the board concerning Ronald Hines DVM. I
understand the board does not feel Dr Hines should be able to maintain his web site.
Dr Hines also provides counseling to owners with pets who contact him for advice.
Dr Hines does not ask for a fee, but it is possible to give him a donation. His web
site is a valuable resource for those looking for information on pet health and
nutrition.

I am resident in California and have needed secondary advice to what my own vet
recommended. Othertimes, I have been unable to get in touch with my vet about my
pet's behavior or appearance (late at night or on the weekend). For us pet owners,
many pet illnesses/odd behaviors may occur at inconvenient times, when a visit to
a 24 hr pet emergency clinic/vet hospital may be prohibitively expensive or may
even be unnecessary. Although there are many sites on the web with pet health
information, Dr Hines provides useful, reassuring information on his web site which
helps pet owners.

I formally request that you not block access to Dr Hines and discriminate against
his web site when other sites such as Ask a Vet, at http://www.justanswer.petmd.com/
and http :// www.veterinarypartner.com/ provide what they call a consultation and
require payment.

I, as a pet owner, have the right to be my pets advocate and have the right to be
able to use the resource of the internet to inquire and research issues I have with
my pets. It is then my responsibility to make the final decision as to the care my
pet needs per advice from the various sources I have contacted and/or visited---which
often includes a visit to my local vet, too.

Some of those resources I have used have been animal breeders forums/blogs/websites.
Many have given me more sound advice regarding certain issues because they are far
more experienced in certain areas of animal care and husbandry than the average vet
---especially in light of the fact that most average veterinarians do not see a
great deal of breeding animals, etc. because most pets nowadays are neutered/spayed.
They have been able to pin point issues immediately (because they have been there
themselves and had years of experience) whereas my vet had no idea and insisted on
multiple labs done. Eventually my vet followed the advice I brought to him from
the breeders forum and my cat got better within 48 hours---after 1 week of continued
decline under vet care!! Are you going to shut them down, too?

I have diabetic children and I have challenged issues with UCSF pediatric
endocrinology department regarding nutrition because some understood less than me!
They are endocrinologists! Not nutritionalists! And even the nutritionalist had
some faulty, old data and was appreciative of my updating her. This is all due to
my being a Pit Bull in finding out everything I can regarding issues pertaining to
the health and well-being of my family. Hence, often secondary opinions and
research is essential to ensuring the best decision. And as a responsible parent,
I seek information from various entities to make informed decisions for the care and
well-being of my children. It is my responsibility to also evaluate these sources
with the use of common sense! Why should it be any less for my pets? And lastly,
who gives you the right to tell me who I can or cannot communicate with?

I, therefore, formally request that you include my letter be recorded into his file.

Sincerely, D.G.
Vineyard Road
Novato, CA 94947

************************************************************************

September 20, 2012

I have just found Dr Hines website after being informed that my dog has degenerative
heart disease. The information is comprehensive and not biased towards trying to sell
some product that may not be of any use, he also answered all the questions that were
unanswered by my vet or other websites which only seem interested in selling products.

I cannot believe that you are trying to close this website due to commercial, corporate
pressure from other vets. I wish my comments to be recorded in his file and would like
an acknowledgment that my email has been received. The board has no mandate to
interfere or meddle with private email conversations regarding informed health care
decisions for my pet or to tell me who I can correspond with over the internet.

Without finding Dr Hines website tonight, after receiving the terrible news about
my westie Mollie I do not know what I would have done. I know feel that I have the
relevant information to try and make some positive moves to help my pet for the future,
however long that may be.

Regards, K. L. Dover, Kent, England

************************************************************************

September 21, 2012

Dear Members of the Board Committee,

I have 3 cats who are my whole life, literally what is left after I lost everyone
in my family. They are getting older, one has seizures, another one hyperthyroid
issues and the third one also needs attention. I want to provide them with the best
possible care I can and need to consult with Dr Hines on a special home made diet
for all of them.

I am appalled that he is not allowed to advise people via his
website and the Internet. This is not only a violation of free speech which is the
foundation of our Country but also a deliberate way to prevent pets and their owners
from receiving educated, unbiased advice by a corporate lobby. Doctors, all doctors
should think of the well being of suffering creatures first.

I am asking you to be decent human beings and help all of us who are dedicated to
our pets as if they were our children to give them the best possible care and have
some choice in doing so. Just like you want to have with your loved ones.
Thank you for letting Dr Hines continue his service to humanity and humane-ity.
Dr. F.S.C.
San Diego, CA

************************************************************************

September 27, 2012

Dear Members of the Board,

I am writing in response to the action of the board concerning Ronald Hines DVM.
I believe strongly that Dr. Hines should be able to maintain his website.I always
use the internet to research a problem before I contact Doctors, Dentists,
Tradespeople, etc. Knowledge is power. The more I find out on my own, the
better customer/client I become. Less time is wasted because I know what questions
to ask and maybe just how much I don't know!

Dr. Hines site was very helpful to me when one of my cats (five years old, no symptoms)
had a routine blood test which my Vet said showed a few "slightly" elevated numbers
(suggesting possible kidney problems). She recommended a urinalysis. I was surprised
and upset and asked my vet to please email me the blood test report. I immediately
went on the internet and found Dr. Hines' site. I learned quite a lot about both
blood and urine testing. These tests are not as straightforward or as reliable as
one might suppose ~ depending on where/how they are done. I had no idea! I was
relieved to see that the values my Vet reported as abnormal fell within the normal
range on Dr. Hines' site. I was able to have an educated discussion with my Vet.
I felt more in control of the situation and therefore less anxious. My pets are like
family and I will leave no stone unturned when it comes to researching possible
problems and finding solutions.

I trust and rely on my local Vet. Her expertise and hands-on knowledge of my cat
coupled with Dr. Hines' dynamite website created the best possible outcome for me
and my cat (education and an accurate diagnosis). Teamwork is better than warfare........

Sincerely,

EAH
New Hampshire

go to page 3 of letters