Suki's Safe Haven is exactly what it sounds like - a safe place for victims of veterinary incompetence, negligence, and abuse to obtain information about this disturbing but important subject. It's a companion site to The Veterinary Abuse Network, which grew out of a site founded in 2000 in memory of Suki the Cat, REPEATEDLY MISTREATED BY EDWARD J NICHOLS DVM, CRESTWAY ANIMAL CLINIC, San Antonio, and to alert the public of serious flaws in state board systems that routinely look the other way to protect the vets - and not our pets. You'll find original posts and articles as well as links to victims' stories, resources, other sites and blogs, and media coverage from all over the net. We'll also cover First Amendment issues for those of us who have been sued by the very veterinarians who mistreated our pets and then used the legal system in an attempt to silence us.

We will never forget. We will never be silenced.

This is an independent consumer advocacy blog and not associated with any government agency in any way.

December 31, 2013

Is This the Worst Vet of 2013? Shirley Sara Koshi of Gentle Hands Veterinary Strikes Back with Bizarre Version Regarding Her "Theft" of Karl the Cat, Claims She Has "Sold Karl"

UPDATE: During the open NYS Board investigation and the pending lawsuit in the NYC courts, and reportedly uncooperative in both, Shirley Koshi committed suicide in her home in 2014. Karl was found safe and later taken with other cats to an NYC shelter. Karl was retrieved by Gwen Jurmark and placed in the forever home of a concerned advocate. Another cat was retrieved about a week later from the vet's locked clinic, weak and dehydrated but otherwise okay. 

After Koshi's death, a cybermob led by a longtime troubled vet with behind-the-scenes help from her friends and professional veterinary organizations began a years-long campaign of continuous attacks, stalking, and threats against citizen advocates, blaming us for "cyberbullying to death" an adult medical professional, licensee of the state, and keeper of public health and trust. This vet-led mob is made up of the same people who never uttered one word in Koshi's defense while she was alive, instead using her death to promote intimidation against anyone who dares to speak out against veterinary misconduct. They will not succeed.

According to Shirley Sara (or Sara Shirley) Koshi (or Koshy, if you go by her family spelling), Karl the Cat has been sold.

Dr. Shirley Sara/Shirley Sara Koshi/Koshy told the court at a preliminary hearing in December that she SOLD KARL to his new owner. This is a woman who has had veterinary licenses in five states and by her own admission has worked in about 30 different animal hospitals over her “career.” She just opened her hole-in-the-wall storefront on Johnson Avenue in July of 2013 and a mere one month later she had already taken Karl. Just the type of stable individual that we should all look to as a paradigm of veterinary virtue (NOT!) to make life and death decisions about animals. 

I just have two words for this creepazoid vet who allegedly stole a client's cat on the apparent basis that she 1) either doesn't have the capacity to understand how cat colonies and caretakers work, or 2) doesn't LIKE the idea of cat colonies and caretakers and has appointed herself the queen and ruler of the animal kingdom and simply took Karl as her own, which the evidence and the timeline--which Koshi has conveniently ignored in her various versions of what “really” happened—seem to support. In short, Koshi doesn't really give a damn about what happens to animals who are taken out of their usual surroundings—whether she personally approves of those surroundings or not. And that goes double for colony cats. 

The two words that keep coming to mind are...Puppy Doe. Remember the Quincy, Mass. dog who was tortured beyond belief, having been shuffled from owner to owner—first by his original owner who gave him up due to BSL (breed specific legislation) and then to a “wonderful” woman in a nearby town, and then ultimately to the monster who inflicted unfathomable prolonged and repeated abuse, starvation, beatings, and medieval-style torture.

Are we supposed to take the word of this weirdo Koshi who sold Gwen Jurmark's cat that he is safe. Says who? This nutcase is being allowed to keep Karl's whereabouts—and the identity of his so-called “new” owner—a secret when we have just witnessed one of the most horrific cases of animal abuse this country has ever seen because an unfortunate animal was shuffled around by people who thought they were doing “the right thing.” Was Puppy Doe tortured to death because she had “behavioral problems” that caused her to be shuffled around. Is Karl similarly disoriented? 

We are supposed to believe a woman who has consistently and conveniently omitted her own unstable behavior surrounding the sequence of events that have transpired since she “appropriated” Karl on August 10, four days into an inexplicable ten-day “hospitalization”?

Now she's blaming the two women who brought Karl in as a "favor" to Jurmark, calling them Good Samaritans (ha!), but bashing Gwen for dumping animals in “public parks.” What is Koshi's personal definition of “dump” (other than what her clinic looks like)? Karl has medical records and a current rabies vaccination certificate in Gwen Jurmark's name and a notarized record from Karl's actual vet. Koshi doesn't care about any of that, and in a worse case scenario, the courts may not either.

Colony cat ownership is not cut and dried; it can be a complicated area of law, right down to the legal literature surrounding cat colonies describing “degrees of ownership” of individual cats. Gwen Jurmark may not meet Queen Koshi's personal rules and regulations of what she thinks cat ownership is, but Karl has been Gwen Jurmark's cat for all intents and purposes for the past five years. Until they both had the very bad luck to trust two “Good Samaritans” who have since headed for the hills leaving Jurmark to twist in the wind. Koshi took it from there—first taking Karl, renaming him His Majesty Billy and parading him around as the newest member of her family, ignoring all attempts not only by Jurmark but by the husband of one of the "Good Samaritans" who called Koshi and told her that Karl was Gwen Jurmark's cat. After taking Karl for her own, she then  SOLD him. To whom? And why? If Queen Koshi believes she is the savior of the animals, why not publicly proclaim Karl/Billy as her own? She describes herself in her self-serving drivel on her web site as “Proud owner” of GHV. What the hell does Koshi have to be proud of? Keeping a cat from his owner for five months and then selling him so that she can "show" Jurmark that she will never see her cat again?

The fact is that Koshi sold Karl after she was sued by Gwen Jurmark, because Koshi is a coward and needed to get rid of Karl. Koshi is also one of the worst types of vet—a bona fide control freak vet who is hell bent on winning at any cost no matter who gets hurt or destroyed. Damage and destruction are irrelevant—it's not about the animals, or even their humans. It's about her and her obsession to get her way. (Those of us who have lost our pets to toxic control freaks with egos to match know what I'm talking about.)

As it stands now, it's going to be up to the courts to sort this one out, and I'm not feeling especially optimistic that the courts are going to—just like Koshi—give a damn about cat colonies because Koshi is setting herself up as some sort of one-woman vigilante “rescue” force who saved Karl from his own owner. Whose other pets will she "save" from their owners if they do not meet with her approval or dare to contradict her? Worse, she brought along an aide from former District 11 councilman Oliver Koppell's office to help her through the hearing (she has no lawyer of record). What is Koppell's (a lawyer in private practice) role in all of this, and what will his successor Andrew Cohen's role be in “defending” this “doctor” when they are listening to her fantastical “version” of events? 

As many of us already know, any vet making up his or her own laws is a potentially extremely dangerous vet. Koshi refused to let Gwen Jurmark, with almost $1800 in hand, to even see her own cat. Koshi just kept smiling her constant and, yes, creepy smile, saying that she “loved” Karl and that he was fine. This is not a normal human being, much less a normal veterinarian--a licensee of the state of New York who has behaved in the most unprofessional manner possible. Koshi leaves out all of her screaming fits, hanging up, calling the police, throwing tantrums, claiming "harassment" (yawn), scribbling strange notes and taping them to her locked clinic door, and generally acting like a lunatic.

Here's another fact: No reputable vet acts like this nut, and if Koppell and Cohen are going to hitch their wagons to this “star,” they might be in for a big surprise when they find out the truth about Shirley Sara Sara Shirley Koshi Koshy. There's a great line in the song “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” about having “termites in your smile.” That lyric will forever remind me of this Koshi chick. Termites in her smile. Perfect description of her. 

I know it's hard to pick just one, but if I had to nominate not just the Worst Vet of 2013 but quite possibly one of the worst vets I've ever heard of, the “winner” would be Shirley Sara Koshi, hands down, of Gentle Hands Veterinary, 3547 Johnson Avenue, Bronx, New York, NY. Imagine the unending agony of never seeing a beloved pet again and knowing that your vet SOLD him to...who? Anybody with the price Koshi asked? 

Here's just a partial list of what Koshi has done, and she seems to be getting away with it without any regard for the law:

  • Koshi ignored a subpoena to reveal where Karl was, claiming that she did not respond to it because the date on it was handwritten. 

  • Koshi refused a certified letter sent by Karl's rightful owner, Gwen Jurmark, for reasons unknown. This was after issuing explicit instructions to Jurmark to “put it in writing.”

  • Koshi dialed 911 when Gwen Jurmark and friends went to try to retrieve Karl yet again. When the police responded, Koshi hid in the back, until the officers made her come out. The fact that she even did this in the first place (called an emergency number and then ran and hid) tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this coward.

Koshi is also trying to plead her case to the court of public opinion. Good luck with that. She has a strange, poorly written, confusing, weird little web site, and an even more disturbingly egocentric Facebook page where she constantly publishes quotes from luminaries as if she is one of them, leeching off of their wisdom to make it look like she has any, which she doesn't. Her ramblings are the work of a massively insecure, ignorant, impotent, weak individual who shouldn't be allowed around innocent victims who can't talk. And she certainly shouldn't be allowed to SELL a client's cat.

Gwen Jurmark is not the only one who has the right to know where her cat is, because in a way Karl is all of our cats. All of our pets. We need to know where Karl is. If a crackpot vet like Shirley Sara Koshi can claim that Karl wasn't getting veterinary care (hello? That's how Koshi was able to take him in the first place), and politicians and the courts protect this insanity, then none of our pets are safe.

By the way, Puppy Doe's real name was Kiya.
And Gwen Jurmark's cat's real name is KARL. 
Never forget it, and never forget the name Shirley Sara Koshi. Your pet's very existence and your peace of mind may depend on never getting anywhere near this despicable, repugnant vet who will undoubtedly continue to do whatever she wants with no accountability. 

We will never forget, and we will never be silenced. It's what I say about my Suki, and what I will always say about Gwen Jurmark's Karl. 


Re: Case Index Number CV-015676-13/BX

Civil Court of the City of New York

Gwen Jurmark, Plaintiff vs. Dr. Shirley Koshi; Gentle Hands Veterinarian at Riverdale, P.C., Defendant(s)