The state Department of Health has put Walla Walla therapist Dorothy Doebler's license on probation for two years in connection with her poisoning of a neighbor's dog.
Doebler was charged in July with unprofessional conduct by health officials after a guilty plea to a criminal charge in Walla Walla County Superior Court last year.
The marriage and family therapist, licensed in the state since 2001, killed a neighbor's dog with gopher poison in hamburger. Her court sentence included 30 days in jail, 240 hours of community service, a year of probation and a fine of more than $1,000.
In addition, such action disregards the life of an animal and the emotions and concerns of the animal's owners, officials found. Police records indicate a history of similar allegations against Doebler of animal abuse and reckless or malicious behavior toward the neighbor's pets.
Authorities also considered that Doebler had not been in trouble with the Health Department previously, was forthcoming about the event, is competent to practice and has potential for successful rehabilitation.
This month the counselor agreed to Health Department sanctions as follows: Doebler's license to practice will be on probation for two years; she will meet with an approved supervisor monthly during that time, participate in semi-annual reports to the health department authorities, undergo a mental-health evaluation, take an anger management course and complete six hours of continuing education.
Doebler must also pay the supervising program $2,000 and pay for all costs of complying with the order.