Animal Chiropractic Issue

A Life and Death Situation

Ginger is a healthy, four-year-old, golden Lab.  Ann awoke one night with Ginger whimpering.  Ann discovered her dog could barely walk and appeared to be in pain.

Ann took Ginger to a vet here in Arizona. He examined Ginger and concluded that even though she was only four years old, nothing could be done.  He told Ann to put Ginger down.

Ann’s heart shattered!  The next day, Ann discussed her dilemma with her co-workers.

A friend suggested Ann take Ginger to see Dr. Boatright, a chiropractor who holds a certification to do chiropractic on animals.  Ann’s only alternative was killing her pet.  So she made the appointment.

At the first visit, Dr. Boatright found “subluxations:” joint discrepancies that interfere with nerve function.  Ginger was noticeably better when they left his office.

A week later Ginger tugged at her leash, pain-free, dragging Ann along behind her. That was two years ago.  Ginger is alive today, in excellent health with many years ahead, despite the vet’s death sentence.

Dr. Boatright estimates ten percent of new animals he sees have been examined and treated by vets who subsequently give up or recommend euthanasia.  They include mostly horses and dogs. Vets do an excellent job with veterinary medicine, he says, but completely miss chiropractic diagnoses. So the animals fail to get life-saving treatment.

“It’s a great feeling to save animals lives after all hope has been abandoned by other doctors,” says Boatright.

On Monday, April 14, Dr. Boatright was informed that the Arizona Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners was instructing him to appear at a Board meeting two days later, on Wednesday, April 16, to answer charges of practicing animal chiropractic, which the Vet Board inappropriately considers "veterinary medicine," without a license.

Dr. Boatright knew that the American Medical Association mounted an effort to boycott chiropractic and eliminate it from healthcare from 1895 through the mid 1980’s.  Judge Susan Getzendanner, a federal judge in an appellate court case in 1987 found the AMA guilty of unlawfully restricting trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Current activities of the Vet Board and wording in the Arizona Statutes regarding veterinary medicine in Arizona appear to far exceed their purpose and to be nearly identical to the intentions of the American Medical Association to eliminate all competition, except the Board exercises a much greater degree of abuse of power; a particularly egregious offense listed in the Sherman Act.

In 1974, the final US state agreed that chiropractic is NOT the practice of medicine but a sole and separate healthcare discipline as evidenced by separate licensure.  So chiropractic, by definitions tested in 50 states’ courts, cannot be considered medicine of any kind … human or veterinary.

The Vet Board, however, insists it is obligated to uphold STATE statutes despite their conflict with FEDERAL law that takes precedent by reason of the Supremacy clause of the Constitution.  These statutes are so broad they make it a criminal offense to curry one’s horse or comb out your dog because it is “the application of an instrument to improve the animal’s health.”  They would also forbid a farrier from shoeing a horse based on the same broad definitions.

Dr. Boatright  believes it morally and ethically wrong that parents to have the right to decide on healthcare for their children but are denied the same right to choose healthcare for their animals … especially when the only alternative may be wrongful death for the animal.

He believes that not only animal chiropractors, but animal massage therapists, animal acupuncturists, animal dentists and other fully-trained, certified animal healthcare professionals are being unlawfully eliminated from the marketplace, by a particularly egregious abuse of power, at the expense of unnecessary animal suffering and with the unnecessary loss of animal’s lives.  Dr. Boatright plans to vigorously defend the rights of all qualified practitioners to participate in a fair marketplace with the full backing of the legal mandates of the United States Government.

AZ Vet Board meetings are held at 9535 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85258 - in the board room. The Vet Board also receives mail at that address.

Dr. Boatright welcomes your help in mounting a defense on behalf of alternative animal healthcare practitioners throughout the State of Arizona, AND THE NATION AS A WHOLE, who have been wrongly prosecuted; on behalf of rights of animal owners to choose care for their animals; and on behalf of the rights of animals to live with minimal suffering and unnecessary euthanasia for purely political or financial reasons.

Contact Dr. Rick Boatright, DC, by e-mail at