A Northeast Washington veterinarian accused of malpractice and cruelty to animals denied the charges yesterday before the D.C. Board of Veterinary Examiners, of which he is a member.
Dr. Frederick K. Adams, who operates the Northeast Animal Hospital at 3622 12th St. NE, testified that the charges against him were baseless.
In one case, it is alleged that a puppy in his care was being eaten by maggots before it died.
"I've never had a case where an animal at my hospital got maggots," Adams said. He said when he saw photographs of the alleged maggot infestation, he "was shocked and amazed."
Adams' six fellow members on the board of examiners, which licenses and regulates city veterinarians, spent most of the day hearing testimony in behalf of Adams.
If the board finds that the complaints against Adams are justified, it may suspend his license to practice. A decision is expected in about two weeks.
It was the second day of testimony in the case, which is the first that the board has heard since it was given power in 1983 to discipline veterinarians.
Officials from the D.C. Humane Society said they have received more complaints about Adams, 14 over the past 18 months, than any other veterinarian.
But Adams testified that the charges from the Humane Society are related to an "antagonistic" relationship between him and the organization's director, Jean Goldenberg.
"At one point I was a consultant veterinarian to the Washington Humane Society," Adams testified. "But Goldenberg and I had a falling out."
Adams's attorney, Franklin Kersey, said the "falling out" was over a request by Adams last year for an investigation into the Humane Society's hiring practices and disciplinary actions taken against its employes.
"We suggest there is a motive here," said Kersey. He said that Goldenberg has a "vendetta" against Adams.
Juan Maldonado, a prosecuting attorney, disputed that claim, saying that "a number of the complaints against Adams were filed by persons other than Mrs. Goldenberg."
Interviewed after the hearing, Goldenberg denied Adams' and Kersey's assertions. "That's absolutely false," she said. "We are above reproach in hiring and disciplinary actions . When you're desperate, you just say that sort of thing."
Goldenberg also denied that she has a vendetta against Adams. "How can it be personal when I'm simply forwarding complaints that have come to our attention," she said.
The hearings are based on two separate cases. One involves a Maltese puppy whose skull was crushed when its owners accidentally slammed its head in a car door, according to testimony. Humane Society representatives said that the dog's condition worsened under treatment provided at the Northeast Animal Hospital, that negligence there contributed to its death, and that another dog became sickly in Adams' care, but fully recovered when taken to another animal hospital.