Philadelphia, PN - The head veterinarian at the Pennsylvania SPCA has been fired, allegedly after providing medical care for pit bull-mix dogs at a kennel that the PSPCA was investigating. James Penny Jr., an attorney for the PSPCA board confirmed that Dr. Ravindra Murarka had been let go, but said that he didn't know anything about an alleged PSPCA investigation of a kennel suspected of raising pit bulls in North Philly, where dogfighting is common.
Penny said that Murarka runs his own clinic, in addition to his work for the PSPCA, and that he was let go because the PSPCA "felt there was a conflict between his private vet practice and what the SPCA views as its mission." He declined to give further detail. Murarka, who has been at the PSPCA for nearly 18 years, said that he was "shocked" when he was told he was being terminated last Thursday, adding that he worked "day and night" for the shelter.
It appears Murarka was treating pit bulls from a suspected breeder of fighting dogs and did not report the owner. This is arguably a violation of the "Veterinarian's Oath."
Murarka said that he does run a private practice but denied any connection to a kennel housing pit bulls. Speaking from home, he said that a man whose name he could not fully recall had asked him in January to provide rabies shots for his seven pit bull-mixes. "I didn't see any old scars" on the dogs, an indication of fighting, while providing the shots, he said. PSPCA acting CEO Beth Ann White was out of the country on vacation and could not comment.
The Veterinarian's Oath was adopted by the American Veterinarian's Medical Association (AVMA), an organization that strongly opposes pit bull laws.
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