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We had great confidence in UCD VMTH.  We knew that UCD VMTH had been an AAHA accredited hospital (the Standard of Veterinary Excellence) since 1979, and that fact contributed to our decision some years before Sally’s illness in 2002 to become annual donors to UCD Veterinary programs.  We were actually on UCD’s VIP donor list! (Click here to view the entire newsletter (8.5mb large file size)) 

 

If you look at AAHA Resources For Pet Owners you are advised the AAHA accreditation process is voluntary and covers among other things, quality of care, management and medical records.  How could anyone reconcile UCD VMTH’s AAHA accreditation with their revelation to the court that they do not consider their program subject to recordkeeping standards, standard of care, or the tenets of informed consent? 

 

From a practical perspective, if you look at AAHA’s website, you see that AAHA accreditation is designed to be a promotional tool for a veterinary facility or practice.  The web site states:

“AAHA drives public visibility of our member practices and the AAHA brand through public and media relation efforts that reach millions of people nationwide.  We are utilizing more media outlets than ever before to educate and inform pet owners across the nation about what we stand for—excellence in veterinary medicine.  We are currently working with an international marketing and advertising firm, Fleishman Hillard, to develop and strengthen AAHA’s public awareness…AAHA is launching a $1,000,000 accreditation awareness campaign, the biggest outreach effort to the pet-owning public in our history.”

 

We contacted AAHA to advise them of our courtroom experience with UCD VMTH.  It didn’t seem AAHA believed us at first, but eventually they suggested we submit a formal complaint to their organization.  We did so, including transcripts of courtroom testimony like those on this site.  In response, we received a letter indicating they submitted our complaint to UCD VMTH for response.  After several inquiries as to outcome, we received a terse letter from AAHA indicating UCD VMTH had voluntarily terminated its membership in the AAHA accreditation program.  



However, in August of 2011, UCD VMTH is still listed as an accredited hospital on the AAHA-sponsored public information web site HealthyPet.com (see image below - original URL is http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=18e0412b-35b0-40d7-86d4-061a870ed735)



Additionally, in April 2010 the AAHA web site for veterinary students also lists UCD VMTH as an accredited educational institution. (Please click here to view a copy of that web page as of 4-26-2010 - original url: http://student.aahanet.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?site=student&webcode=accred_hosp_stnd).