The Stay At Homes

Norman Rockwell 1927




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

Return to Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

June 7, 2014

To: The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

I am contacting you to let you know that Dr. Hines website was extremely helpful in the information it provided to me in a time of confusion and pain. I generally am not a person to take the time to write a letter on behalf of someone I do not know, but this website is an invaluable resource of information. I believe the crime is that you would spend the time and resources to target someone who is obviously dedicated to providing information in a quality form. This website is truly filled with useful information, it is not some half witted attempt to solicit for profit or to misinform the public. This site is used for information and educational purposes, it is up to the user to take the information or not. Please, focus your efforts somewhere more useful. And please, add this letter to the file of Dr. Hines.


Long Island, NY


June 20, 2014

To: Texas State Board of Veterinary Medicine

Dear Sirs,

I am emailing in response to an article I read by Dr Hines.I understand that there are some issues at present and that as such Dr Hines is unable to take email enquiries however I am desperately seeking some advice about one of my dogs and as such respectfully request that you log my email in Dr Hines file and allow a response to my enquiry. As a long term pet owner I am well aware that in addition to the many medications that my vet can prescribe to combat health issues there are alternative remedies in many cases. At the end of the day my concern is getting the best possible care for my pet. As such online investigation is invaluable to gather information from people with experience in dealing with similar issues and I have found Dr Hines information to be most helpful. One of my German Shepherds currently suffers from Atopy and Anal Furunculosis and has been prescribed Atopica. I have done considerable reading on both complaints and on the drug prescribed however would like to ask Dr Hines what his thoughts were on giving my dog this drug for Anal Furunculosis.
I have used cider vinegar dilute solutions for treatment of Atopy with great effect however have no alternative remedy for the other issue. I would be most grateful for a response to my enquiry and hope that the board will act responsibly with regard to Dr Hines website.

Yours sincerely,

Northampton, United Kingdom

[The Board never responded to her request]


June 23 , 2014

To: vet.board, nicole.oria

I am writing from New York in reference to Case no. 12-167 regarding Ronald Hines, DVM. I request that this letter be included in his file.A few years ago when my middle aged hyper athletic dog tore his Canine Cruciate Ligament (like the anterior cruciate ligament in humans) I took him to my vet (who I have a great deal of confidence in). He laid out my options and told me to make a decision in the following few days. It was a very weighty decision and I wanted more information. I searched the web. Unfortunately each option had strong advocacy. Although I found a lot of information it did not make the decision easier or tip the balance in any direction. Then I found Dr. Ron Hines site. The information was objective and free of commercial bias. I was
able to weigh the options. I was able to chose not only surgery but which type of surgery for my dog. It happened to be the same one that my vet recommended. Dr. Hines site helped me to feel comfortable with this decision regardless of outcome (since there are never any guarantees with surgery). I feel that because of Dr. Hines site I was able to enter this decision “with my eyes open”. The dog did well and still is doing well. Without the information on Dr. Hines site I would have blamed myself if the dog hadn’t such a good outcome.
At that time I was dismayed to discover that there was any dispute over the website (Case no. 12-167). Now that I have a new puppy with some behaviors that I haven’t encountered before, I again searched the net and came across Dr. Hines helpful site. I was elated as the information it gave was balanced, supplemented what I was getting from my vet and obedience trainer and I felt was free of any commercial bias. I was surprised to discover that there is still problems with Dr. Hines expressing his opinions. Not only that, but I cannot communicate with him even to say “thank you” as he cannot communicate via his website . This is absurd. Dr. Hines should be able to express his opinions and communicate with others about any topic he and they wish. Therefore, although I never write letters I felt compelled to write this one in support of his site,
freedom of speech, and downright fairness. I am a neurologist. Some of my colleagues originally felt threatened when patients would come to them with questions about conditions that they had looked up on the internet. I have never felt this way. I have always felt (and fortunately my colleagues have come around) that this generally reflected a patient who was concerned enough to “do homework” and even if they came to me with some confusion or misunderstanding about the information (or misinformation), it gave me the opportunity to clear up the confusion, misunderstanding, or misinformation. The patient was able to participate in the decision and because of that, overall satisfaction was greater.

I hope Texas Board Veterinary Medicine will understand the advantage to all veterinarians of Dr. Hines site. It is my opinion that Dr. Hines site will benefit all veterinarians because the information he provides leads to informed pet owners. Informed pet owners are better able to communicate with their veterinarians, ask pertinent questions and not have unrealistic expectations. This will lead to improving the overall satisfaction with the veterinary services and ultimately will benefit the animals they care for. Thank you for your attention to this.

D.M., MD
Newburgh, NY


July 9, 2014

To those listed in the “TO:” field

This moved me when I discovered that after all the help I have received. I have never written to Dr. Hines, but I wanted to thank him today, then I saw this…ouch! And I was saddened! So, I must tell you I live in a rural area and share the world with numerous wildlife. Every day, I am faced with discovering a bunny hole, critters in my home, etc. I have reviewed the information online not to treat animals; however, to make sure I understand them and not try to impose my human care needs on mother nature’s and God’s animals. My dog brought me a bunny; I was devastated. It was squealing and I saw the umbilical cord. Being a biology major at UCLA, I knew this meant there may be others. I investigated to find another and then the hole. My initial instinct was to take them to a facility. Instead, I put a red string across the nest and put the other bunny back in the hole. One bunny sustained dog bite injuries and stopped breathing in my hands. I disposed of it and watched the hole. The
mother visited and I was excited. Due to the articles provided by Dr. Hines, I did not disturb mother nature. I did not overrun wildlife shelters with the care of bunnies that had a caregiver, I understood not to impose my beliefs or understanding of how human babies should be cared for on the bunnies. It became an educational experience for me and my three children. I was at ease understanding cottontail care, feeding cycles and that only a small percentage may survive due to predators and mother nature’s way of keeping life in balance, “natural selection,” Darwin theories. To take this away goes against the right to free speech, free press, etc.; life should not merely be about profitability. American businesses being offshored will kill American jobs and further deplete the ability to have pet owners. I am sure other market declines are impacting vet care. I used to
purchase AKC registered animals and now, I rescue. I have discovered some wonderful animals due to American economic decline. If we cannot keep our homes, we cannot enjoy pets. Just look at the shelters. This agenda should be about understanding the full cyclic effects along with downstream impacts affecting vets not this website, which is awesome. I would support this every day. Please focus on real impactful initiatives and not a good hearted single veterinarian who is helping America save money by saying leave the animals in their holes, dens, nest, etc. Let natural selection take its place and realize if faced with an emergency, I will share some general guidelines. Dr. Hines has listed areas to investigate, reach out to specialized veterinarians if you really want to help. Provided products and potential pet store types that care the brands, etc. This attack is missing the big picture use the sites as a marketing tool potentially help Americans save or build your business through listed text of services and products you carry, but also do not forget the non-profit mindset of giving back to the community and offering free guidance when able. I have also helped raise abandon dogs and I was in shock with Petville USA in Los Angeles, CA donated the food. Stuff I did not even know existed. It was hard, but it was rewarding. Please reconsider there is so much out there and this information is invaluable.

ACTIONS REQUESTED: Please record my comments to Dr. Hines files and any relative court documentation. I would like a response confirming these actions have been executed. I request a written notice of the final decisions in this case; I have cc:ed Dr. Hines with an e-mail address to approve this action

E. L.
Leominster, MA


July 29, 2014

To The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners:

I live in Stillwater, [] home to its own very fine College of Veterinary Medicine. 10 days ago, I had to have my elderly Beagle put down. He was suffering from terminal cancer and my ability to manage his pain was no longer sufficient to provide for quality of life. Last Saturday, I adopted a puppy from the pound. Lucky me, I picked a "parvo" puppy. Fortunately for the puppy, this isn't my first rodeo. When I called our local vet school on Sunday to determine what testing/tx would cost-- assuming an approx 3 days of IV fluids--I was told that the cost would be somewhere between $600-1000. As much as I love dogs, there was no way I would have spent that, even IF I could have afforded to, for a pup I'd had less than 24 hrs. Fortunately, I'm an RN, so I nursed him through until Monday morning with pedialyte and enforced rest. On Monday, my vet confirmed that"Crash," the puppy, indeed tested positive for parvo and graciously placed an IV catheter so I could manage his care at home.
While there are no guarantees, all signs point to a likely recovery.All that said, there is a limit to how much time my vet can spend with me, and questions that occur after the visit. Hence, I turned to the internet to read as much as I could about parvo--especially the recovery period--and THAT is how I found Dr. Hines EXCELLENT web-site. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated his links to studies which let me know that he wasn't just speaking from "experience" but had actually sought to keep his own knowledge base well-rounded and up to date. I also found value in the breadth of knowledge presented on the occurrence of parvo, etc. throughout the years. Being able to access information that my 2 yr old Lab mix--who has been vaccinated--is likely well-protected from infection was good news to me.

I find it appalling that the TBVME is trying to silence Dr. Hines. To what end? I would think that information coming from a licensed veterinarian would be considered a great contribution over the nut-jobs that are out there hawking snake oil to unsuspecting and desperate pet owners. He worked/paid for his knowledge; he has years of experience; and, he's up to date on current studies. Why shouldn't he benefit from sharing that information with others on the internet, or via paid consultation?

Do you seriously think it is "costing" my vet anything when I choose to do my own research? Do you believe that he wants to be interrupted--repeatedly--with more questions? Or, do you just think that we "common folk" don't "deserve" access to this information? Clearly, it has not taken the place of needing my veterinarian's services--for which I happily pay.

Did not each one of you take the following oath?
"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge .I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

It is my belief that Dr. Hines is doing a better job of using his knowledge and skills for the benefit of society, et al, than the Texas State Veterinary Board. Shame on you for trying to silence him. I pray that the court finds that you are indeed violating his right to free speech, and the right to be reimbursed for services--regardless of whether those services occur in clinic or through consultation.


Stillwater, OK


July 13, 2014

To: Vet Boards
I am writing regarding Dr. Ronald Hines' case # 12-167. I've always viewed the State of TX as one of only a few “no-nonsense” states in the United States of America. I would like to keep my email short and sweet by saying leave Dr. Hines alone, fry bigger fish, get your ---- --- -- ---- --- and let this poor old man continue to do what he loves!


Atlanta, GA


July 30, 2014

To: Texas State Board of Veterinarians,

Over the last few days, my cat has encountered a very serious medical condition involving his digestive tract. This condition is threating his life. I've taken him to a recognized local vet who administered an array of tests (expensive) and could not make a conclusive diagnosis. In my search of the internet for more information, I quickly came upon Dr. Hines' website and found the information extremely useful and well explained. I'm using this information to educate myself so that I can enter into a more informed discussion with my vet. The information that Dr. Hines presents is extremely useful. 

I should note that I'm not looking to replace my local vet with Dr. Hines, nor am I trying to second-guess her. However, the information on Dr. Hines website has allowed me to ask detailed questions that have resulted in further exploration of options by my vet.

I understand, because of your investigation, that Dr. Hines no longer responds to email inquires. This is unfortunate as there are many cases that fall "in between the lines" and having the ability to ask questions which might not be directly answered on his webpages would be an added benefit to pet owners.

Today, the vast majority of Americans turn to the internet to learn about a wide variety of topics. Veterinary information is no different. I urge you to drop your investigation of Dr. Hines and allow him to return to his work of providing information to pet owners.


Washington, DC


August 9, 2014

To: Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners:

I want to start this email by voicing my outrage over the way that DVM Ronald Hines has been treated by some of his peers and various, close- minded people. I do not know this man but I can clearly see that he is passionate about animals as well as fellow human beings. In my opinion, no one should have the right to tell this man who he can and cannot associate and converse with online or in person. I personally thank god that people like him are still out there. If it were not for an article that he posted online, this little abandoned raccoon that I rescued, would not be here right now. I live in Ohio and there are no local wildlife veterinarians that could help me or even see my baby as you cannot get a permit to have a raccoon that you have found. It is hard to get any permit for wildlife or exotic animals here because of the man who killed himself after releasing all his exotic pets in Zanesville, Ohio, causing a huge uproar and many innocent animals to lose their lives.
Here is my story. Early one morning, about 2 1/2 weeks ago, I found a small raccoon lying in a baseball field. I guessed her to be about 3 weeks old. She was "knocking on deaths door". I heard her making this awful noise so I located her, grabbed a postal box and a towel out of my car and picked her up with the towel and placed her in the box. She was thin, starving and covered from head to toe in hundreds of live maggots. I took her home, bathed her, picked the maggots off with a lice comb, fed her and fixed up a cage and heat pad for her. I called multiple veterinarians near and far and could not find one who would see this sweet little baby because I am unable to get a wildlife permit. A few of them did give me some advice, over the phone. Although I had never rescued a raccoon before, I knew the basics about their care, as I have rescued sick, injured and unwanted
pets, all of my life. I jumped online, skimmed a few articles, but I did not find everything I was looking for until I came across Mr. Hines article. His article covered absolutely everything that I needed to know. After reading Mr. Hines "Raccoon care" article I realized that I had miss-judged her age and she was approximately 5 weeks old. I learned so much from what I read that this raccoon can now be properly cared for, vaccinated and prepared for a successful release back into the wild. She is alive and thriving now due to Mr. Hines passion and knowledge. If DVM Hines were not a veterinarian, then his articles would be perfectly fine, correct? Why does it matter to anyone that this man uses his personal time and effort to educate people about wildlife.That is his job! If he wants to give advice for a small donation or without being paid for it,then why shouldn't he be able to do that without criticism? I personally believe that this man deserves respect and I admire him. To threaten to take his veterinary license for something that he is passionate about is absolutely ridiculous. Ronald Hines has my complete support!



October 2, 2014

To whom it may concern,
I found Dr. Hines' website to be key for my peace of mind in the care of my cat. I have a an aging cat with kidney disease who had been losing weight. I found Dr. Hines' website eased my concerns that my cat was receiving appropriate treatment and care. Additionally his information on home cooked diets has been informative and very helpful. I would have loved to correspond with him further not to replace my cats care from his veterinarian but rather to have a trusted source of information to supplement my knowledge. I think the case raised against him by the board is ridiculous and not in the best interest of animals and pet owners everywhere. I would like to know when I will be able to continue with my right to privately correspond with Dr.Hines about cat health and care?
I ask that my comments be recorded in his file.

Thank You,
S. N.


November 2, 2014

Vet Board/To Whom It May Concern,

I'm emailing on behalf of Dr. Hines, DVM. I don't know where things stand as of Nov. 1, 2014, but request to have my comments recorded and put in his file.I can't believe Dr. Hines has had to waste one penny or one minute on such an absurd battle. There has been NO CRIME committed. He is a hero and a treasured friend to so many people. Having lived in TX myself (and loved it), I know there are real crimes happening that could be pursued instead of what is happening in this case. It is my right to information and my right to make informed health care decisions for my pet(s). Private email conversations are just that..... private. No one can say what I can and cannot view on the internet or whom I correspond with; short of Homeland Security/FBI, and since no crimes have been committed...emails are private! "Distance" veterinarians are critically important, especially in the middle of the night when "mans best friend" is dying on your bathroom floor, you live in the middle of no where, and are alone with no idea what to do. You definitely DON'T revoke his license!! Thank you for taking all comments into consideration.

A. O.


December 26, 2014

Thank you for your website.
Your words meant a lot at a time I really need them. RIP xxxx 12/23/14, best friend of 14 years.
The TBVME should be ashamed of themselves.
Sincerest regards,

Portland, Oregon


January 9, 2015

Dear Sir/Madam:

Being born and raised in the State of Texas makes for special people. I know as I am one of many, maybe even like you. Texans typically do not take kindly to being put in a position where opinions of others limit our individual freedoms. Folks have a right to information, and from so many sources these days. It's true we may not agree on all the actual content, but that certainly does not negate either parties' rights to the data or to limit individual decisions regarding pertinent health care for our families, including our pets. My right to information is absolute just as it is for you, as it is a mandate not to interrupt or disseminate private email conversations, as to what one can or cannot read in a book or a website or, even with whom one may choose choose to correspond.

There is both need and desire to have access and information to/from "distance" veterinarians that want/choose to be available for others that have consciously chosen to lean on their knowledge and professional experience in times of trouble, fear and doubt. This is especially important when qualified, compassionate veterinary knowledge is simply unavailable. That said, I respectfully ask that you please stop attempting to limit information and availability in these areas as the information I was able to glean helped me make the best healthcare decision I could for a beloved family member, my cat. And guess what? It saved his life.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

A. S-M.
Bowling Green, Kentucky

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