Massage Therapist Could Face Charges in Tennessee

Laurie Wheeler could be charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
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A Tennessee woman could be charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license for performing equine massage therapy in that state.

Under Tennessee licensing rules, an equine message therapist must work under a licensed veterinarian’s supervision.

Braden Boucek, director of litigation at the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a group that promotes the review of licensing rules and regulations, Laurie Wheeler was performing message therapy on her own horse when she began offering the therapy to others’ horses for free. After receiving requests from additional owners to massage their horses, Wheeler applied to become a licensed massage therapist in Tennessee.

Boucek said after Wheeler filed the application, the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners became aware of the case and Wheeler received notice in writing that she’d violated Tennessee’s equine message therapist regulations. The letter said Wheeler could face charges of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both, Boucek said

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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