Early Events, Unprofessional Conduct

Before coming to Guam, Dr Joseph ran Wise Owl Animal Care in Southgate, MI until it closed in February 2001 due to his Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy (filed 31 May 2001, resolved 24 October 2001). While no disciplinary actions are listed for his lapsed (31 December 2001) Michigan license 6901006398, a FOIA inquiry revealed that six complaints were filed between June 1994 and May 2002:

Complaint No.Date ReceivedDate Closed
7622619 March 200115 August 2002
763131 May 200222 August 2002
764153 June 19949 May 1995
7648214 June 199520 July 1995
7648423 June 199529 April 1996
767638 December 199916 March 2000

The last four cases were closed with no action due to invalid/unjustified complaint or lack of evidence. The first two, however, were closed after his license lapsed. There's an unfortunate practice by many professional licensing boards to close complaints with no action provided the licensee agrees not to renew their license. The Guam Board of Allied Health Examiners could request that Michigan waive the FOIA exemption on those complaints to verify that.

His divorce from Pauline Margaret Schiff (nee Francis) occurred the same year. Children Benjamin Schiff and Jacob Elliot Schiff came to Guam with him.

Jacob was enrolled at St John's School. Subsequently the school obtained a restraining order forbidding Dr Joseph entry to their property based on threats he made to the school's personnel. Jacob filed for emancipation from his father before reaching his majority and has since left the island.

Dr Joel Joseph has a checkered arrest record. While these are exempt from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, a scan of newspaper archives reveals some details:

For most people their worst encounter with law enforcement has been moving violations or perhaps public intoxication in college. Two felony arrests in four years cannot be explained by "conspiracy" or "GovGuam corruption". N.B., none of these arrests led to convictions.

In 2005 Dr Joseph was charged with the theft of a dog (PDF) by Karon Johnson, President of Guam Animals In Need (GAIN). She followed up with a letter to Agriculture Director Paul Bassler (PDF), Director of Guam Department of Agriculture requesting assistance in retrieving the pet.

In January 2007, the Guam Board of Allied Health Examiners (GBAHE) determined that 30-40% of his continuing education credits claimed on his license renewal application were fraudulent (Letter from Sibyl Crisostomo, Chairperson, GBAHE to Judge Lamorena).

At the same time Dr Rebecca Diaz was in the process of selling Isla Veterinary Clinic to Dr Lisa Silk. Dr Joseph ran this advertisement intimating that Isla was closing and that Dr Diaz's clients would need a new veterinarian. This prompted Dr Diaz to write a complaint letter (PDF) to the GBAHE accusing Dr Joseph of libel.

Dr Joseph ran yet another unprofessional advertisement in December 2007 claiming that:

Unlike others we do not reuse needles, syringes, scalpels, suture & surgical drapes. We do not reuse surgical packs on more than one patient. We do not use outdated drugs or dilute our drugs. SO WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE? WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
This earned a 30-day cease and desist warning (PDF) from the Guam Attorney General before disciplinary charges would be filed. Anywhere else an advertisement this blatantly libelous and unprofessional would earn a license suspension.

For six months in 2008, Dr Joel Joseph ran this classy picture as the sole image of himself on the Wise Owl Animal Hospital website.

In July 2010 Dr Joseph met with then Guam Department of Agriculture Director Joseph Torres for what Dr Joseph claimed was a routine signature on a continuing education form. Only afterwards did the Director learn that it was actually a USDA APHIS Accreditation form. Accreditation is required before a veterinarian can sign health certificates for animal travel. Dr Joseph lost his accreditation when his Michigan veterinary license lapsed. The Territorial Veterinarian, Dr Thomas Poole, had refused to approve renewal due to Dr Joseph's conviction on charges of incompetence and negligence (PDF) by the GBAHE. This deliberate misrepresentation (PDF of letter from Agriculture Director Joseph Torres to the US Department of Agriculture) of a government form would become Charge 19 in Disciplinary Case 11-001 of 13 June 2012.

In January 2011, Dr Joel Joseph announced he was "fed up" and that he was leaving Guam. He acted on his threat in March 2012 when he took the position of resident veterinarian at the Fiji Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) facility.

He abruptly left Fiji two months later. One of the SPCA's numerous concerns was that Dr Joseph had omitted informing them about the ongoing GBAHE investigation. There were other issues as well. From the Marianas Variety of 16 May 2012:

[...]

While in Fiji, Joseph allegedly euthanized 47 animals in the SPCA shelter in one day while a particular employee [ed: Joseph Kameo] was on leave, she said. The situation was further exacerbated when the nurse later discovered that of the 47 animals, three of them were personal pets belonging to Fiji SPCA.

[...]

Dr Joel Joseph responded to the Fiji SPCA's allegations in a Marianas Variety article of 17 May 2012 which can be summarized as:

Other information gleaned from talking to past staff members:

Based on these conversations and information from other sources, I believe both articles are probably more or less correct.

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