Your article "Some pet owners fight poor treatment by vets" (April 7) is an important reminder that we can never be too careful when entrusting our beloved animal companions to others — even those who are supposed to heal them.

Just as parents would never neglect to check a babysitter's references, guardians of animal companions should contact their local Better Business Bureau and state veterinary board to check for complaints before choosing a veterinarian. Always insist upon your right to stay with your animal at all times — if the vet refuses to allow you in the "back room," don't hesitate to take your animal and leave. If your animal must stay overnight — and always question this — make sure that someone will be there to monitor him or her at all times. Don't be afraid to ask questions. A good veterinarian should explain what he or she is doing at all times and why.

Paula Moore, Norfolk, Va.

The writer is a senior editor at the PETA Foundation.