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HomeNewsClarksville Veterinarian responds to attack, plans to sue for Twenty Million Dollars

Clarksville Veterinarian responds to attack, plans to sue for Twenty Million Dollars

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutter

Clarksville, TN – Clarksville veterinarian Dr. Ron Whitford went on the attack in a broadcast interview today responding to an email “smear” campaign that alleges he is a “dangerous vet, and could kill your dog,” and says he will spend one million dollars of his own money to sue those responsible for the unfounded attack.

Whitford says he will sue for twenty million dollars, then after paying legal fees, will use the settlement to “Spay and neuter every animal in Montgomery County.”

The controversy surfaced after an email was uncovered from a woman named Stacia Bearden, and it claims that Dr. Whitford performed an operation on a friends dog that got sick and died, and upon further testing, determined that Dr. Whitford was responsible because he used “zip ties” during the procedure.

“The first thing that’s wrong with that story is they say the dog in question was sick, and I was rude to them and they should take the dog back to the Animal Control. First of all, I would have never performed an operation on a sick dog.  Never have, never will,  says Whitford. I’ve been practicing for over forty years, and I have never had a problem with zip ties. They’re used by one of the largest animal clinics in the country.”

Whitford continues, “The story has now changed, and they now say that the dog in question belonged to a hairdresser who was friends of this lady’s cousin. Now, we have been able to link this lady (Bearden) to some very prominent people in our community, very prominent. We’ve sent word to them asking what they know about Stacia Bearden and this story.”

Whitford would not reveal who the “very prominent” people in Clarksville were. “Not until I have all the facts.”

Whitford said he has also received an email from a former Leaf-Chronicle reporter, Sandy Britt, who allegedly threatened him with “If you don’t watch yourself,  and stop trying to slam these groups for not doing what people think they’re doing, then she (Britt) might have to go back to her old stomping grounds at the Leaf Chronicle and do you (Whitford) in.   Whitford said, “Go for it.”

Dr. Whitford says the timing of all of this is just too coincidental. “As soon as we started our new spay-neuter clinic, all of this publicity took off. I personally gave ten thousand dollars of my own money to the Montgomery County Friends of the Shelter for low cost spay and neuter grants for local citizens. That first grant was my money. People say I’m in this for the money, I say that’s a bunch of crap. I’m in it for the animals, and the county better take notice and do something about this problem or it’s only going to get worse. The Clarksville-Montgomery County Humane Society has been collecting money for years and promising a clinic, where is it? What are they doing with all that money they collect?”

Several members of the newly formed Montgomery County Friends of the Shelter are former volunteers with the local Humane Society, and tell Clarksville Online that the reason they left was because Humane Society board members would not let them see the books, and see where the money was going. The Clarksville-Montgomery County Humane Society has a paid staff, and provides low cost spay-neuter vouchers to qualified individuals that are honored at most local veterinary clinics. Whitford’s St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic is not one of those clinics, and his spay-neuter clinic is not listed on their website.

Whitford says he’s offered to supervise the Montgomery County Animal Control for “one dollar per year” and they (Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers) have not taken him up on it. He also said, “I told Mayor Bowers that I would serve on the animal control committee and offer my expertise to her on this problem, and she hasn’t taken me up on that either.”

In a previous interview with Mayor Bowers, she told Clarksville Online that “There have been discussions to move Animal Control under the Sheriff’s Department.” The interim director is currently Sgt. Tim Clifton, a school resource officer with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office.

“I don’t care who supervises Animal Control,” said Whitford. “These animals are living in terrible conditions, and they are sick, and have the potential to spread disease to more animals, and even humans. I just want them to address this problem, because it will only get worse.”

Clarksville Online will continue to follow this story. To hear the interview visit, www.wjzm.com/podcast .

For more on the story, see: Clarksville Veterinarian Target of Attack

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutterhttp://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee. His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville. He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville. Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he's an advertising consultant and media strategist. An avid motorcyclist, Hank blogs about his travels exclusively at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com and www.clarksvilleonline.com You can follow Hank on on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dodgintheroadkill/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodgetheroadkill/?hl=en  


  1. Whoa, those are some pretty specific allegations directed at very specific individuals. I really wish we could all get together in a room, ALL animal organizations, and just talk.

    I have worked to fund raise within the Humane Society for years and years and I personally know who does the books. I know the start-up costs for the Spay-Neuter Clarksville Clinic are $150K, you can find that on their website http://www.spayneuterclarksville.com/Fundraising.html and they needed to raise that PLUS continue to run the regular programs within the organization. That’s why it’s taken so long… but they are almost there.

    As for the books, I would love to talk to these unnamed people who infer wrongdoing behind people’s backs, spreading rumors that only hurt the overall mission. In the world of animal welfare it seems it’s guilty until proven innocent.

    Sad given that all I’ve personally witnessed over the past 14 years I’ve worked with the people of the HS is that they’ve helped animals and people. I’ve never heard them waste a minute of mission time slandering; they are too busy keeping up with the tidal wave of animal need. I truly wish I could say the same for others.

    Please, this is not high school; let’s keep our eye on the ball. If you want to see the books, please call them and ask to see them. If you want to know why it’s taken so long, ask rather than believe insinuations. Before this all becomes a legal nightmare stop bullying, just grow up and talk to each other.

  2. Dr. Whitford claims to be very concerned for the welfare of the animals at Animal Control, yet, to my knowledge, he hadn’t volunteered his time at Animal Control or donated vaccines, flea medications, ear washes, cleaning products, etc. to help the animals during my time as a volunteer for the past few years. Dr. Howard of Animal Hospital was usually the one to do the limited amount of emergency vet work allowed on the Animal Control animals during the former director’s tenure. Dr. Whitford has gotten hundreds of referrals through the $50.00 spay/neuter referral program from Animal Control through the former AC director which, without a doubt, have greatly increased his client base through the years. He also owns Animal Medical Center and North Clarksville Vet Clinic. I sincerely hope that county officials will never let Dr. Whitford run Animal Control after the behavior he has recently shown. As for Mr. Bonecutter, he once again is reporting opinion as fact. He is further dividing the animal rescue community by his statements about MCFOTS. As I had said before, all of the other rescue groups in the area get along, help, and support each other. It appears that Dr. Whitford is the outsider and thinks that everyone is out to get him. I have never heard or seen a vet go to the extremes that he is going to in attacking people publicly. If he is so influencial, well-liked, and important, why is he so worried about what others might be saying? If his reputation is so wonderful and he hasn’t done anything wrong why is he so defensive? Also, Dr. Whitford is not the only vet who helps out with spay/neuter at lower costs as he would have you think. Animal House Vet does low cost spay/neuter for Precious Friends and has helped with Rescue dogs. Tiny Town Vet has helped out Shawnie’Rainbow with their Rescue dogs and other area vets now participate in the Animal Control $50.00 spay/neuter program. Many of the local veterinarians have big hearts and do things at reduced cost for rescued animals, but they don’t have the need to brag about it and shout it to the world.

  3. As someone who has worked in close proximity to animal advocates, rescuers, and their organizations for the past two years, I have some observations. First of all, for every good outcome and intention, as with most human endeavor, one sees equally negative results. Every day, for every dog adopted to a successfully vetted owner, there is an animal improperly released to an idiot. Every day, for each animal successfully diagnosed and treated, there is one who dies prematurely because their rescuer’s “ego” is more inflated than their “knowledge.” And EVERY SINGLE DAY, there are “wannabe helpers,” who waste as much time and energy promoting themselves as the animals they purport to represent. Contrary to the opinion some obviously hold of themselves, most members of the animal rescue community do not rise to the level of Sainthood. Instead, they are fallible human beings, subject to the same inadequacies, jealousies, successes, and failings as the rest of us. In point of fact, my personal observation is that animal rescuers may, as a group, be somewhat MORE prone to the “frailties of being human” than some other similarly ill-defined social groups. It is likely true, on at least a superficial level, that rescuers and their organizations cooperate well. They are, after all, united in an emotionally-charged, urgent, and deadly serious mission. This, however, does not mean that they are not vulnerable to the errors and lapses in judgment characteristic of an inflated sense of self-importance. For example, I have personally witnessed, within the past six months, a dedicated rescuer, in the Clarksville community, literally HIJACK a veterinarian’s LICENSE, without permission, in order to fulfill her “compassionate” calling. I have similarly witnessed a well-known animal rescue organization steal a photograph and illegally use it for PERSONAL fundraising….But, hey, I suppose its ALL GOOD, isn’t it??? REALLY? After all…it’s FOR THE ANIMALS.
    It’s time that people stop fooling themselves, and it’s MORE THAN PAST time that some stop trying to FOOL our community. I urge all people who care about animals to continue to support the people who work tirelessly for the RIGHT reasons (and there are, thankfully, many). But most of all, I urge everyone who truly cares to wear a high-powered CRAP DETECTOR. Because there’s sure a lot of it out there.

  4. I don not know who dlhip9 is, but I would like to take exception to the statement “I have similarly witnessed a well-known animal rescue organization steal a photograph and illegally use it for PERSONAL fundraising….But, hey, I suppose its ALL GOOD, isn’t it??? REALLY? After all…it’s FOR THE ANIMALS.” As everyone knows, all rescues post pictures and share them over the internet. As I recall, MCFOTS had posted a picture of a boxer who had been starved that they rescued on their site for all to see. Apparently a very nice person chose to use that picture to do a song that would benefit the Humane Society. I don’t think it was the person’s intention to “steal” the photo. The person probably could have chosen from many photos, but happened to choose this one. I’m sure that the other Rescue Groups in the area who post all kinds of pictures and stories about the animals would not have “flipped out” if one of their photos had been used. However, apparently, MCFOTS was very put out by the use of their photo and even got Karen Josephson posting comments about the misuse of the photo. Aren’t we all supposed to be HELPING each other to help the animals. Why a rescue group would be so offended because an individual happened to use a photo they had posted on Facebook to raise money for animals is beyond me. Also, I would like dlhip9 to identify his/herself and the person who they “personally witnessed, within the past six months, a dedicated rescuer, in the Clarksville community, literally HIJACK a veterinarian’s LICENSE, without permission, in order to fulfill her “compassionate” calling.”, since I have never heard anything about any “hyjacking” of a veterinarian’s license. From what I’m hearing and reading it seems like one veterinarian and one rescue group seem to be having all the problems with paranoia and not sharing info. ALL the others get along and try to work together. Odd that those who are shouting the loudest and complaining about other groups are the one’s who don’t interact well with others.

  5. I forgot to mention “All God’s Creature’s” vet
    in my above comment who helps MANY rescue animals in our community, including those from Animal Control. They are very kind and compassionate with much love for all animals.

  6. I agree with Mary. I believe if in doubt about something ask questions to the people you have doubts about. Know and state facts rather than rumors and finally behave like an adult. The entire animal community will benefit from these choices.

    You know what’s sad too? I spoke to the person who used the picture for the fundraiser and he (and everyone else who saw the outrage and uproar from using that picture on Facebook) was just shocked that an animal non-profit would get upset with using a picture to aid animals. It’s not like it’s hard to get a picture of a starving animal around here. I could have supplied him with some from my own personal rescues but he was online knew about this one and assumed that it was all for one and one for all. That one group supported and encouraged the other for the cause’s sake. Why wouldn’t he? Why shouldn’t he? He didn’t mean anything by it…he was just trying to do a nice thing, a fundraiser for a good cause. What was he thinking right? How dare he try to help. He didn’t get a dime by the way, 100% was donated. Nothing was for his benefit. And that is a fact that’s confirmable with tax records. My husband and I were really disappointed by how individuals and organizations behaved during that. I have never heard anyone within the HS be that bitter. Sure people get mad and they piss and moan but they have never put their personal feelings above the mission, and if they did I wouldn’t be associated with them. It should be all of us working together… The only war we have to fight is against people who abuse, neglect and abandon. The only war we have to win is for the animals.

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