FAIRBANKS — A popular yet controversial veterinarian who catered to rural Alaska has renounced his license and told the Alaska veterinary board, in a handwritten letter using capital letters, to leave him alone.
The veterinary board accepted Dr. Eric Jayne’s surrender of license on Jan. 8.
His supporters are crushed.
“He is a hero,” Pamela Samash of Nenana said. “We should have rolled out the red carpet for him.”
Friends described Jayne as one of the few veterinarians willing to work in the Bush and said he provided quality care for animals.
Jayne was under investigation for multiple allegations of negligence, prescriptive practice and standards of care, according to an affidavit signed by Dawn Bundick, an investigator with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.
The veterinarian left Alaska in the fall, and friends said they didn’t know if he was coming back. They launched a petition and letter writing campaign in a show of support for Jayne.
Officials with the Humane Society of the United States and Doyon Ltd. wrote letters to the veterinary board complimentary of Jayne. Supporters said they gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition to be presented to the Alaska Board of Veterinary Examiners.
Scarlett Hall, a dog musher in Eagle, was disappointed to hear Jayne would no longer be practicing veterinary medicine in Alaska.
“That’s a shame for all of us who live in the Bush areas,” Hall said. “It takes a lot for a vet to come into a rural area and work. Eric was willing to do it.”
Fairbanks dog musher Kathy Lenniger agreed.
“It’s too bad,” she said. “He really did enjoy going to the villages, and he really did believe in helping animals for people who could not afford large vet bills.”
Samash fears Jayne’s experience will deter other veterinarians from working in rural communities. Jayne was the only veterinarian willing to travel to Nenana, Anderson and Healy to do vaccinations and perform minor surgeries, such as spaying and neutering, Samash said.
She called on the state to set policies that encourage veterinarians to practice in rural Alaska.
“I am so upset,” Samash said. “Instead of an investigation, he should have had an award ceremony. As it stands now, no vet is going to want to do this.”
Attempts to reach Jayne were unsuccessful.