Lowell veterinarian’s license suspended

The Animal Hospital of Lowell. (June 3, 2015)

LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — The veterinarian who founded the Animal Hospital of Lowell and who runs the Spay Neuter Express chain has had his license suspended by the state.

Dr. Bruce Langlois’ license was suspended effective May 31.

He told 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday he had no idea the suspension was coming.

“No idea at all,” he said. “Completely blindsided on it. Nobody talked to me. Nothing at all. I just found it in my pile of mail when I got home.”

He declined to talk about the specifics of the suspension, saying his attorney had advised him against doing so.

But 24 Hour News 8 obtained a copy of the complaint filed by the state Attorney General’s Office. It states Langlois’ license needed to be suspended immediately because he “poses a danger to the public health safety and welfare.”

The complaint states that he routinely uses people who aren’t vets or vet techs to give anesthesia to the animals he does surgery on, and that he didn’t keep an accurate log of the controlled substances used at two Spay Neuter Express clinics. It also says that when a cat named Toddy died at a spay clinic, Langlois found that the animal had an enlarged heart and small kidneys, but didn’t accurately record the weights of those organs.

“The complaint is based on the fact that that attorney general and other people don’t understand the law,” Langlois said. “What I’m doing is well within the law and is very typical and it’s basically related to personnel and clerical things.”

According to state records, Langlois’ license to practice has been suspended three times and a total of seven complaints have been filed against him by the state.

When 24 Hour News 8 asked him if those numbers were typical, he replied, “it’s not typical. I think being in the practice of a low-cost spay or neuter clinic may be part of it, but I don’t want to speculate.”

His license was suspended immediately once before in 1996 after he was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

It was suspended again for six months in 1997 for practicing while his license was suspended.

In May 2000, Langlois received a limited license and was placed on probation for six months. In November 2004, he received a full and unlimited veterinary license.

Then, in 2008, the Attorney General filed a complaint against him saying that he didn’t maintain a good log of controlled substances. He faces that allegation again in the most recent suspension.

The 2008 complaint also alleged he didn’t sterilize surgical instruments. In that case, he was put on probation for six months.

In 2011, state records indicate there was another complaint. That time, he was allegedly compounding a non-FDA-approved drug to give to animals after surgery and allegedly wasn’t using sterile surgical environment. In the decision regarding that complaint, he stopped compounding the drug and it was determined the conditions he operated under complied with the public health code.

A pending complaint filed against him in May 2014 alleges that he was negligent with 11 dogs and cats. The complaint alleges the doctor’s actions — or inaction — led to infections, amputations and costly surgeries.

Langlois said that his clinic operates on about 18,000 animals each year.

“We provide a very much needed service to the public. We provide cost-effective services that everybody really needs to get for their dogs and cat,” Langlois said. “We’re very efficient. We don’t do that by cutting corners. We do it because we’re very good at what we do and the reason that we’re so good at what we do is because we do it so many times a year.”

Langlois said he appealed the suspension Wednesday.

A representative from the Attorney General’s Office said a judge will schedule a hearing date for between five and 10 days from the receipt of the appeal. The judge will decide at the hearing whether the license will be reinstated. Langlois can appeal if the judge rules against him.

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