Screenshot of the Hemopet page on Jean Dodds.
People call her Dr. Dodds, and she is touted as “one of the leading animal health experts who pioneered and revolutionized animal health”.
“Dr. Jean Dodds is a DVM, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has spent more than five decades as a veterinarian in clinical research,” read the website of Hemopet, their controversial canine blood bank in closed colonies.
Unless, as reported by the Southern California News Group nearly five years ago, Dodds is not a licensed veterinarian in the state of California.
On October 11, the California Veterinary Medical Board sued Dodds for practicing veterinary medicine without a license and proposed a fine of $ 5,000.
It’s unclear why the state has taken action now, but a new state law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this month targets Hemopet directly and will phase out blood banks in closed colonies.
Dodds never responded to phone calls or emails asking for comments.
She has led Hemopet in Garden Grove since 1986 and has an ardent following as Dr. Sears, the dog group skeptical of standard dog vaccination protocols. In addition to selling dog blood and related products, Hemopet sells “saliva-based food intolerance tests,” which some veterinarians dismiss as quackery.
The “NutriScan” for US $ 298 tests the most frequently ingested foods with up to 112 ingredients “to provide you with specific results regarding your pet’s food intolerance or sensitivity”, while the “CellBIO” for US $ 125 a novel biomarker test for cellular oxidative stress in pets is saliva. “
While many advocate Dodds’ “holistic” philosophy – combining traditional medicine with natural approaches – and driving for hours from everywhere to seek treatment at Hemopet for pets, it has equally strong critics.
“I have written about Jean Dodds many times. She is one of those controversial figures who did some legitimate, even groundbreaking, work early in her career and then stepped from the deep end, not only embracing many forms of pseudoscience, but apparently believing that she was going to stand up regardless of the evidence against it Ideas could never be wrong, ”wrote Brennen McKenzie, a veterinarian in Palo Alto, on his SkeptVet blog.
“It encourages speculative, inaccurate and even blatantly false claims about thyroid disease, pet nutrition and vaccines,” he continued. “It has become particularly evident by selling proprietary diagnostic tests that are at best unproven and in some cases have clearly shown that they don’t work. She has the undeserved reputation of being an ‘expert’ in areas in which she is actually just an outlier, and represents views that clash not only with the assessments of real experts, but also with scientific principles and research results. “
McKenzie is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and has a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from the University of London, according to his résumé.
File photo of a greyhound at Hemopet held still while donating blood at Hemopet’s Garden Grove. (Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register / SCNG)
Dodds received a DVM with Honors from Ontario Veterinary College in 1964, according to records in Canada. She began working as a research fellow with the New York State Department of Health in 1965, worked her way up to director of the hematology laboratory at the state’s Wadsworth Center, and became executive director of the New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services in 1980, her biography says. The idea for a closed dog blood bank to protect the dog’s blood supply came to her during the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s. She moved to California and started Hemopet a short time later, but was not licensed as a veterinarian here.
The peculiarities of the state quote state that Dodds has been “listed as a veterinarian in the electronic medical record and in the handwritten medical record” for one animal several times since June 2020 and “interpreted laboratory results and created a treatment plan” for another. Similar violations involving a third animal were cited by the state.
Dodds critics, excited to see closed California colonies being scrapped in favor of pet blood donation, are pleased that the state is finally taking action. Your supporters lament it.
“I have been to two seminars. Was in her facility. I think she’s brilliant, ”wrote Joy Brunn, who leads a rescue operation in Los Angeles County.
It is unclear what long-term effects the state’s actions will have. “Given the evidence of history, I am not confident that this action will benefit Dr. Dodds will have significant ramifications, ”wrote veterinarian McKenzie. “Nevertheless, it is at least worth it for an official supervisory authority to confirm what so many of us have known and discussed for years – that Dr. Dodds is not a trusted veterinary professional but an outlier whose views and behavior do not “reflect the values or practices of the vast majority of their peers.”