New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Legal Action Against Unlicensed Veterinarian in South Jersey
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs have filed an action against Jacque Smith of Williamstown, after she allegedly deceived South Jersey horse owners into believing that she was either a licensed veterinarian or a university student studying veterinary medicine and thereby gained permission to treat their horses, some of which died after being treated by her.
Smith, also known as "Jackie Smith," "Jaqueline Smith," "Jacquline Fabrico Smith," "Jackie Fabrico Smith" and "Jacque Fabrico Smith," has never been licensed by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine nor did she attend the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania, as she allegedly told some consumers. An investigation by the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs found no evidence of Smith ever having attended any veterinary school. Smith allegedly operated businesses called "Equine Health" and "Equine Dentistry," though neither business is registered in New Jersey.
According to the Complaint, Smith allegedly administered a variety of prescription drugs to horses that only licensed veterinarians are permitted to use. In one case, Smith, an unlicensed person with no veterinary medical training, determined that a horse needed to be euthanized. She then injected the horse to euthanize it, allegedly causing it to suffer for two hours. In another case, Smith allegedly misdiagnosed a horse with a urinary tract infection as merely being dehydrated, and improperly treated the animal.
"New Jersey's animals are deserving of proper treatment and care by legitimate veterinarians," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "Rather than help and heal, Smith caused harm to horses by misrepresenting who she was, and in some cases, delayed proper veterinary care through her alleged actions."
A horse rescued by a Mays Landing couple allegedly collapsed after Smith injected the horse with what she purported to be Morphine. When the horse was injected multiple times but did not immediately die, Smith allegedly stated that "other veterinarians told her to cut [the horse's] throat," which ultimately, she did not do. The horse finally died two hours after the last injection.
According to the complaint, when one consumer discovered that Smith was not a licensed veterinarian, and refused to pay her bill in full, Smith allegedly threatened to have her husband break the consumer's legs and also to have the consumer's "horses killed at any time."
"Any animal lover should be outraged by the alleged conduct of Jacque Smith," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Some of the horses she 'treated' died horribly slow, painful deaths as a direct result of her alleged actions, and others did not get the quality care they should have received from a legitimate veterinarian."
The State in its six-count Complaint filed in State Superior Court in Atlantic County, is seeking to permanently bar Smith from treating horses and holding herself out as a veterinarian. The State is also seeking to obtain civil penalties and consumer restitution.
Consumers who have employed Smith and have had quality of care issues are asked to contact the Division of Consumer Affairs and file a complaint. An online complaint can be filed or the Division can be contacted by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200. Consumers with other information about Smith's alleged unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine can contact Enforcement Bureau Investigator Hildred Woolley at 973-504-6300.
This investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Deputy Attorney General Gezim Bajrami in the Division of Law's Professional Boards Prosecution Section is representing the State in this matter.
The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office assisted the Enforcement Bureau in this investigation.
Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on
Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming
Consumer Outreach events.