Controversial Ex-BARC Vet Accused Of Botching Surgeries (With Graphic Photos)

Categories: Texas

kittensad.jpg
Sad kitten is sad
A veterinarian who left the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care after he was caught dispensing controlled substances without proper registration is now accused of botching routine surgeries on four kittens last week at his new job at a low-cost clinic.

Marie Melancon told Hair Balls that two of her kittens died, and two were gravely injured, after David Rundell spayed them at Spay Houston. (Four others are apparently fine). Her complaint is not the first time Rundell has been accused of incompetence during routine procedures on cats: in 2007, BARC's head vet "recommended that the BARC bureau chief suspend Rundell's surgical privileges for botching three surgeries on cats that month," according to a 2009 Houston Chronicle story. "Rundell had spayed the cats that month, and their internal organs later began leaking out....the cats were euthanized."

Former BARC Spokeswoman Kathy Barton told the Chron, for the same story, that Rundell's surgical privileges were temporarily suspended in 2005 or 2006, but she would not disclose details. The Chron also reported that, after those botched surgeries, rescue group Friends of BARC did not want Rundell to fix any animals the group intended on fostering or adopting out.

Melancon told us in an e-mail that an autopsy conducted by her primary vet "showed that [one kitten's] bladder had been cut open during the spay surgery and left that way. My vet says [it] could have been sewn back and that [it] is impossible for that vet to have not known he did it because urine starts spilling out immediately."

Melancon said she sent the other kitten's body to Texas A&M's vet school for an autopsy and is including the results in a complaint she intends to file with the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medicine, but she declined to disclose the contents of the report.

Two other kittens have fist-sized bruises on their rear sides and "will likely require skin grafts," Melancon told us. She also stated that her vet "says they are bleeding out internally because their parts were not properly cut out and tied off during the neuter, and [he] says he cannot reverse it at this point."

Rundell started as a relief wellness vet at Spay Houston 6-8 months ago, Spay Houston Director Deana Sellens told Hair Balls. He started full time approximately three months ago.

She said she checked all of Rundell's references, including BARC. Although she said she could not remember who she spoke to there, she says she was told he did not leave the shelter for surgical reasons. Which technically is true; he gave Valium to a dog when he was not authorized by the state to do so. He was not fired for complaints that, in one month, he botched three routine procedures.

"I actually spoke to BARC...they had no issue with his surgeries," Sellens said. (She also said she was unaware of any news coverage or other complaints of his history with cats, which is extraordinary, since Sellens herself is personally active in cat rescue, and news -- especially the bad kind -- travels quickly within the Houston animal rescue community).

"We have nothing to hide, and I personally am the one that asked for the bodies to be sent to A&M so we can get a true findings report," Sellens said. "If I find that Dr. Rundell has been negligent, he will not be doing surgery at our clinic anymore."

Sellens said this is the first complaint of Rundell she's received and that her customers have praised his work. She said that Rundell told her that, in the past, "he had some problems with some bad sutures" and that he's "very particular" about the brand of sutures he uses.

"He's very rescue-friendly," Sellens said. "...he does everything he can to help; I mean, he's made donations out of his own pocket to cover medicine when people can't afford it. He's really been very good with out customers."

Rundell was not available for comment.

We've included four photos of the two surviving kittens; two from shortly after their June 4 operations, and two taken on June 9. One of the photos is particularly disturbing. Sellens told us that she's seen the pics and has requested that the cats go to a third-party clinic for comprehensive exams.

"I swear on my life there is nothing in this clinic that could cause that kind of damage to cats," she said.

The pics after the jump, but again they're kind of grisly.....


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102 comments
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Vet
Vet

Those are burns from the heating pad under the animal during to keep them warm during surgery. The heating pad was turned too high.

Neil_Andy
Neil_Andy

unnecessary surgery compensation If you were the victim of unnecessary surgery and injury and medical negligence causes you to suffer, then you could have right to receive compensation for your injuries. The patient always trust that a doctor always knows the right thing and prescribe things that are good for your health. However there are thousands of cases every year in which patients become victims of medical negligence. 

Guest
Guest

So,   where are the results?

Guest
Guest

When is the followup?

You know who I am!!
You know who I am!!

I tell you what,  you folks need to concentrate on your own problems at spay houston that got you into this mess,  instead of making  comments on here that make your clinic look even worse..   Yall are acting like children and making yourselves look so.   If any of you have a problem with me.   Call me and we can settle this over the phone or face to face.   I have nothing to hide.     David Chapman

anon
anon

This is the last time I'm going to read any of this or post here.

"I tell you what,  you folks need to concentrate on your own problems at spay houston that got you into this mess,  instead of making  comments on here that make your clinic look even worse..   Yall are acting like children and making yourselves look so.   If any of you have a problem with me.   Call me and we can settle this over the phone or face to face.   I have nothing to hide.David Chapman"

David you called me on the phone asking about this article that I didn't even know was published. I told you everything that was going on because I have nothing to hide. You acted so concerned and told me how you love spay houston and have no ill will toward any of us. Then you come on here claiming to be an Animal rescue and a customer Which you are neither. Posting lies and trying you hardest to exaggerate this whole thing even farther.

"As a person who has been rescuing animals for many years.   I myself had stopped using Spay Houston months ago,  even before this debacle with Rundell.  I found the staff rude to the point that I beleived they didnt care about animals.  The lobby stunk of fece's and was unkempt.   I could only imagine what the back of the place looked like after seeing the lobby.   I just walked out after listening to the receptionist bark orders out to people who patronizing their clinic.    Go figure this happened.   Im just glad I had fore site and left.   I would have been devastated if these Cats were one of my own."

You know exactly what the back looks like David, you use to clean it...

Sarahwdbry
Sarahwdbry

I texted u. And like I said before, the childish antics should stop on both parties. You for ur quarrel with Sellens and Sellens for whatever reason with u. U are not affiliated with this clinic andHave no knowledge of what goes on here. Therefore all comments areIrrelevant.

And as far as making "us" look bad?! If that was meant as a cheap shot whatever makes u sleep good at night.

Sarahwdbry
Sarahwdbry

In reference to this ->"Be very careful about what you say about people and their integrity, there are ramifications to such lies and gossip.!!!!" -As soon as you post your name all the previous posts you made can be seen FYI... "As a person who has been rescuing animals for many years.   I myself had stopped using Spay Houston months ago,  even before this debacle with Rundell.  I found the staff rude to the point that I beleived they didnt care about animals.  The lobby stunk of fece's and was unkempt.   I could only imagine what the back of the place looked like after seeing the lobby.   I just walked out after listening to the receptionist bark orders out to people who patronizing their clinic.    Go figure this happened.   Im just glad I had fore site and left.   I would have been devastated if these Cats were one of my own. "  -The above post is YOU, now that you posted your name, and ITS OBVIOUS you lied about everything impersonating a rescue group to gossip for a personnel vendetta.  You can have your personnel disagreements, that is fine, BUT do not attack a good organization and its WELL EDUCATED FULL TIME staff, when THEY themselves work hard and have been through hell to dedicate their lives for this career and FOR the animals. It is unfortunate if you had a bad experience here but that was in the past. AND if Spay Houston is such a horrible facility, why ask "us" for a job reference??? This entire thing is childish, im not pointing fingers but on both sides this needs to stop. I am proud i work here at Spay Houston and Im proud i went to school for this and do what i do, so please keep personnel attacks apart from this clinic. THANKSSARAH W.

Guest
Guest

This is unfortunate

<3Winchester
<3Winchester

Aside from the personnel grudges etc. the point of this article is the well being of the kittens and any other animal. So a majority of these comments are irrelevant.For whatever reason the kittens were misdiagnosed and weren't treated properly causing said outcome.The point of Spay/Houston is to stop the overpopulation of homeless animals.The attacks towards this clinic and the staff is astonishing and hurtful. Put your personnel opinions aside and think about the bigger picture.

Educatedpetlover
Educatedpetlover

I find it funny how people are allowed to write boggus lies and publish it. Fact: death of kittens had nothing to do with the surgery. Fact: the vet who did the "exam" didn't even yet the kittens Fact: autopsy reports reveal it was burn marks Fact: spay Houston doesn't use "heating pads". Therefore this is just another group of people with no life bringing down a non profit organization with their lies and accusations!Lawsuit is in persuit for all the people falsely slandering names and publishig shit :)

Tech
Tech

You cant sue people for telling the truth!!!    This thread chat is so funny.   It seems like S/H has gotten themselves into some mess hear.   Hmmm.   Funny!  Glad Im not working there anymore as well.  But,   North Carolina was fun!!!   

Na
Na

Meant- the vet whom the kittens were taken to is the one who made them look the way they do. He mistreated the burns because he, A VET, misdiagnosed, if anything he didn't even test them, causing them to not get proper treatment. Now that vet should be slandered!

Linda
Linda

Thats what I was thinking! The pictures are dated so its not that hard to see! They look so much worse after that vets "care." I'd like to know what his original diagnosis was and the steps he took to treat it. Looks so much worse afterwards I don't believe is was spay/houstons fault. I love the way they treat animals. Every time I've gone there it was as if they were caring for their own pets.

EMME
EMME

I think they are worse as all burns look worse overtime before they look better.  Once the blisters pop (in 3rd or 4th degree burns) then they look wet and are worse and more prone to infection.  I don't think it's bad care.  They have also been to Gulf Coast Animal Hospital.   

Guest
Guest

The only way to get all the facts straight is to release the actual results from A&M. If the accusing people are so sure, then why decline to disclose?? That only shows that they don't have anything, this is just a grudge against Rundell and the clinic, too bad they call themselves "rescue people" if their interest was to protect the animals they would not be trying to close down a clinic that is doing nothing but good, reducing the overpopulation of unwanted litters in shelters and homes around the metro area and helping rescue groups and people in general that rescue strays. 

Rescue
Rescue

sounds like you there!

guest
guest

You are correct. The original vet treating the two burned cats misdiagnosed it. He was convinced they were restraint injuries and not burns at all. He shaved them as you can see in the first photos, and had the care taker applying gobs of neosporin to them which you should never use petroleum products on a burn. I feel really bad for the poor little critters I hope they pull through ok. The orange one is being adopted by one of the vet techs taking care of them at gulf coast (not the vet that misdiagnosed them. They had to be taken to another vet before it was figured out they were burns.).

Linda
Linda

So who is the vet thats taking care of these kittens now? Doesn't look like he's helping much, if anything he's making it worse. I'm assuming the reason the A&M results aren't being released is because it's not spay/houston's error! I have taken my rescues there multiple times and think the staff are wonderful. I also know people who have volunteered there and said they had no complaints whatsoever about the level of service that was given. I know the way rumors fly in the rescue world, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Most of these rescue women just love the drama of it all and will spread bad press without any actual research into the matter. I wish spay/houston the best of luck in this unfortunate case and will continue to bring my animals there and refer others to this clinic.

Lucia
Lucia

I have a cat rescue and have used the clinic many times, luckily without problems. After reading all the comments I will have to think a long time before taking another animal there.

Rescue
Rescue

As a person who has been rescuing animals for many years.   I myself had stopped using Spay Houston months ago,  even before this debacle with Rundell.  I found the staff rude to the point that I beleived they didnt care about animals.  The lobby stunk of fece's and was unkempt.   I could only imagine what the back of the place looked like after seeing the lobby.   I just walked out after listening to the receptionist bark orders out to people who patronizing their clinic.    Go figure this happened.   Im just glad I had fore site and left.   I would have been devastated if these Cats were one of my own.  

Smarterthanu
Smarterthanu

Glad u left too, these people deal with enough uneducated, rude, freeriding jerky clients.

rescue
rescue

Glad to see that you are rescue oriented and hope trashy "rescue" people leave a clinic after poor service. You must work there as well, since you are so versed in their methods and choose your clientele with the most discretion. I thought it was about spaying and neutering of animals to reduce the pet population ie: the unnecessary euthanization of unwanted pets in our area. Glad to know its about only servicing elite clientele with no issues or worries about the care of their fosters, adoptees or owned pets.

Guest
Guest

Okay David! You have no rescue and yes we are glad u are gone. U were the incompetent one.

Educatedpetlover
Educatedpetlover

Woah! You have other reasons for being here? Talking about the lobby, the receptionist... Blah blah blah

guest
guest

That was my second post, and both were under guest. Several other people are posting under guest as well but they are not me... I'm evolved with this through a 3rd party clinic I replied directly too a question. How is that not "addressing the issue being discussed"? Looks like their isn't much discussing going on here anyway. I thought the issue was the cats is it not? Guess you have some personal vendetta to address here and don't really care about the animals involved. Its ok most "rescue people" do it as a "social thing" and don't care about animals anyway.

rescue
rescue

Why do you keep changing your name and not adressing the issues being discussed?   Guest?

Na
Na

Lady (assuming) most of their clients so they say is from rescues and other shyer organizations as far as I could tell they don't choose clients, clients choose them. As for any business. And if they are there they obviously have some heart for that career, and yes if I was there I wish they'd take certain people i deal with crappy customers all the time and could only imagine what they deal with, people go there for the cheap price so you can imagine the clients who attend.Eye for an eye, those who are rude get treated rudely:)

Ramona
Ramona

Oh my God.........those animals are in pain! Just look at the eyes!  Damm, this needs to stop!!!!

Unicornldy05_65
Unicornldy05_65

Ms. Sellens was aware that Dr. Rundell had issues prior to hiring him. He was on the original team that traveled to the Humane Alliance for training. She was advised at that time that he was not staff material for the clinic. Ms Sellens is as negligent as the vet. Dr. Rajan and the other numerous vets who practiced sterilizations at the clinic are wonderful surgeons. As for Ms. Sellens it is a real shame that any vet associated with this so called "low cost" clinic will forever be associated with Spay/ Houston. What is also a shame and embarassment for the parent organization Adopt A Cat will suffer the consequences of the failure of this clinic. Adopt A Cat is a fabulous no kill cat organization. Poor service and numerous price increases over the last several months and since they have been open are proof they are not rescue friendly. Just ask the rescues whom she used to start the clinic and has left them out in the cold on pricing in an effort to keep her very well paid job. She has no business running a clinic of any kind. Numerous complaints about service etc over the last few months are proof that you cannot mistreat the public and rescues, hire inadequately trained part time staff and only worry about the bottom line and your own fat paycheck. There are several other low cost clinics in the Houston Metro area that have been in business, operate correctly and do a fantastic job.

Guest
Guest

Smith. Rescues check in late, pick up late, and half the time expect special privileges!?Info is on the website and is verbally told to you, it's not our fault you cannot keep up.AND if you would pay attention the $5 Or so increase on surgery prices is because the extra pain med is now included in the price. And any other prices have always been. There are even new services that are being offered because the staff care and were willing to do so.So if u pick up late there is a charge because u are one person and u know pick up times.And everyone employed here obviously isn't here for a "fat paycheck" if anything we are underpaid.

Educatedpetlover
Educatedpetlover

Part time inadequate staff?! The staff is actually well educated with lots experience, did you go to school and keep a job in the field for more than a year? No. Therefore your comments about any clinic is bullshit. I find it offensive when ignorant people slander other people who have their whole heart in their career.And it's sad to see certain people with grudges because they were not qualified to slander a good place.

anon
anon

Weren't you fired from spay houston Betty?

Unicornldy05_65
Unicornldy05_65

Sorry,   my name is not Betty.   But I was there!

Guest
Guest

David and Betty chapman, glad these lazy two aren't associated with the clinic anymore.Lies and laziness.

David Chapman
David Chapman

Deana and Larry,   you guys are funny!   Just think people.  These people who are making these posts that are rude,   and making personal attacks,   are the ones who run and work at  Spay Houston.   What class Deana and Larry have. Libel and slander are dangerous. Why not post your name. My wife worked tirelessly for a local animal shelter before you ever started your business and she worked very hard for the clinic locally and at the clinic itself. She never  made any of these posts. We received several calls from people this morning about this going on. Deana told everyone she quit and you say she was fired. Which is the lie? Theft? Where  is any evidence, facts, or legal charges? Its been months since we were associated with the clinic, yet all your problems are her fault? Whatever......Be very careful about what you say about people and their integrity, there are ramifications to such lies and gossip.!!!!

My name is David Chapman.  And Im glad that me, nor my wife are affiliated with such a low class operation.     Facts talk and Bullshit walks.   I guess thats why Spay Houston is in the boat they are in.   Come on Larry and Deana.   You two know the truth.  Now if yall could just tell it for once!!! By the way we both still work in the animal industry FOR the animals and always will. Keep my wife and myself out of your business and handle your current problems without dragging everyone else into it!!!!!!

Larry
Larry

They were the inadequate staff. Thats why her, and her husband no longer work there. This information isn't even accurate. Just two low life thieves that stole donations to a charity trying to stir up crap. Shows you can judge the charter of a person by the number of teeth they have.

Tiredofurbullshit
Tiredofurbullshit

You wwere there? So ur apart of the inadequate parttime staff?

Funny

Larry
Larry

Ok what ever you say Betty. Funny you husband called me at the same time this post was made asking me about this article...

Amanda
Amanda

Deana Sellens is extremely rude along with everyone else that works there.  She was so rude to me when I dropped off my foster dog for a neuter that I asked for them to bring him back out to me.  I took him to my regular vet and paid the extra money, thank God.

Educatedpetowner
Educatedpetowner

If u can't handle ur own damn dog that's ur problem, these people don't get paid what they deserve at this nonprofit organization and people like u expect to get waited on?! They're understaffed to begin with and still do an amazing job, yet there are uneducated fools who expect free shit handed to them! Glad u paid full price

Lhpetvet2b
Lhpetvet2b

What made u think I couldn't handle my dog? Odd of you to assume that...

Vet Tech
Vet Tech

No doubt!!!   What a loser!!!  

Lynda
Lynda

If people would stop the hysterics for a moment and think, maybe they would realise the incision for a spay or neuter is not on a cat's back.  Looks more like an allergic reaction to shots to me. Would the investigative reporter please investigate what A&M and Gulf Coast has to say about this? If this Marie person is so sure about what she has claimed she needs to release the findings from the experts. People need to know the real facts before they jump on the band wagon and run an affordable spay neuter clinic out of business.

EMME
EMME

I have read what caused the contusions on these kittens and it is horrific.  It is in legal hands right now, so that is where it will stay until Marie is ready to release it to the public.  It is not from allergies.  

Nonyabusiness
Nonyabusiness

If u knew u would have said what it was! It was burns marks NOT caused by clinic because they have nothing to cause that in the place it was.

Settling the bullshit.

Paris_mnky
Paris_mnky

rice bags were sent home with the owner and they were not hot when they were released

EMME
EMME

burns caused by overheated rice bags.

Lynda
Lynda

If it is not being shared with the public where did you read it?

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