For Immediate Release - March 16, 2005

Framingham Veterinarian Surrenders License

Framingham Veterinarian Surrenders License

Vanessa Iglesias Shoemaker of Framingham has entered into a voluntary surrender agreement with the Board of Registration of Veterinarians ("Board"), turning in her license to practice veterinary medicine in Massachusetts for a minimum of three years, which began March 10, 2005.

Shoemaker admitted engaging in unprofessional conduct relating to an incident in August 2004 at Boston's Franklin Park Zoo. The Board alleged that on August 14, 2004, Shoemaker represented herself to Boston Police officers as being a consulting veterinarian for the zoo in order to gain entry after the zoo had closed for the day. According to the complaint, Shoemaker falsely informed officers that she was responding to an emergency escape of a gorilla. When she was denied entry to the zoo, she drove her vehicle into the gates to gain access. Zoo officials verified that Shoemaker never had a professional affiliation with the Franklin Park Zoo.

Shoemaker agreed to not submit an application for renewal of her veterinary license for at least three years. Following the three-year disciplinary period, Shoemaker must demonstrate to the Board that she is mentally competent to practice veterinary medicine in order to obtain full reinstatement of her license.

The Board of Registration of Veterinarians licenses approximately 2,600 veterinarians throughout the Commonwealth. In fiscal year 2004, the Board received 112 new complaints and resolved 109 complaints.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website at and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. It is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensing process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the updating and renewal of approximately 330,000 licenses and the maintenance of databases for licensing, enforcement and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2004, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of enforcement, including 829 disciplinary actions, $128,000 in fines and the return of more than $25,000 to consumers.