Cantonment Veterinarian Arrested After DEA Investigation

July 10, 2014

A Cantonment veterinarian has been arrested on drug charges following an investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA.

Michael Bishop Windley, age 67 of Highway 196 Molino, was arrested on state drug charges of four counts of possession, delivery, and manufacture of a controlled substance and four counts of fraud in obtaining prescriptions. Windley is a veterinarian at the Companion Animal Clinic at 470 South Highway 29 (the former Winn Dixie shopping center), according to Special Agent in Charge Mark. R Trouville of the DEA’s Miami Field Division.

According to the arrest warrant, the DEA received a call in August 2013 from a Winn Dixie pharmacist regarding the suspicious prescribing activities of Windley. During the investigation, DEA learned that Windley was fraudulently obtaining methadone by writing prescriptions in the name of his ex-wife’s dog and filling the prescriptions at various pharmacies in the Cantonment and Pensacola areas and then providing the drugs to his ex-daughter in law.

According to the DEA, Windley filled 30 prescriptions (for a total of 5,400 tablets) for methadone between December 11, 2012 and February 7, 2014. Two of the prescriptions for methadone were filled at two different pharmacies on the same date.

According to the DEA, Windley presented multiple controlled substance prescriptions for 180 methadone tablets each for a dog named Banner under the owner’s name Barbara Ard of the 4600 block of Highway 196 in Molino. Ard, according to the DEA, is Windley’s ex-wife.

During a DEA inspection of the Companion Animal Clinic, Windley first told an investigator that he had researched several medical journals and attended a conference where methadone was used as a pain medication with no side effects in animals. Windley, according to an arrest affidavit, also said he had six dogs, five of which were deceased, that were prescribed methadone. He was unable to produce the medical files of the dogs, telling investigators that the files had been destroyed. The veterinarian then said he wrote the prescriptions for all the dogs under one dog’s name, filled them at area pharmacies and then dispensed it out to the animals’ owners — a wrongful practice, according to the DEA.

Later, Windley voluntarily surrendered his DEA license, the report states, and admitted the pills were for his daughter in law.

The daughter-in-law, a Gulf Breeze resident, told investigators that she would clean Windley’s home and take care of his pets. He would leave a bottle of methadone on a table at his home. She told investigators that she was taking up to 20 methadone pills per day, and investigators witnessed her make a call to her primary physicians to make an appointment to receive help.

Windley was released from the Escambia County Jail on $50,000 bond.


45 Responses to “Cantonment Veterinarian Arrested After DEA Investigation”

  1. Sad on January 3rd, 2015 8:01 am

    I was in complete shock when I heard the news. Even though I don’t live here anymore but my family lives here and always have been Dr. WIndley’s customers for many many years. Dr. Windley is a good man and I don’t care what anyone have to say about him….he made a mistake and we ALL have mistakes in our lives! I do believe that the sentence time is way too harsh for Dr. Windley. He should not have lost his business…..perhaps a fine would be sufficient enough.
    Know what is really sad? What about people that continue to abuse animals and get slapped with a fine and nothing changes….they are still abusing animals??!! Those lowlifes deserves life in jail period!!

  2. M. Farris on December 21st, 2014 1:37 pm

    Dr. Windley was my neighbor. Had some animals, and if anyone had an animal they did not want, Dr. Windley would take them onto his farm and care of them so they would not have to be put down while they were in good health. He was the vet for my own two dogs and always was interested in their health and well being. His fees were reasonable. I miss him as a neighbor, and wish him the very best. We all make mistakes,– are any of you sinless? I hope he is let out of his detention center before the sentencing period–he is a great man. God bless.

  3. Bob Remmereid on November 7th, 2014 8:55 am

    I have been taking my Rotty to Doc Windley for ten years and now my new Rotty. He has been the best Vet I have found in the area. He knows his animals and really cares about their well being. I have to drive a ways to get to his clinic but have been happy to do so and will continue for the best care of my animals. I wish the best for doctor Windley as he is a very good man.

  4. sapp on November 5th, 2014 6:45 pm

    just want to say, i do not judge dr. windley at all from what happened. he is a very good man, selfless and kind hearted. i wish he didnt have to stop working as a vet this nov. 17th. also is a very good vet. :)

  5. Jennifer Berke on July 21st, 2014 2:53 am

    I’m very sad to hear this but I’ll continue to take my dogs there. He is a very nice man that puts people and pets first before all other. Yes what he did is wrong however no one is perfect and I’m pretty sure lesson learned in this situation.

  6. Paul and Sue Page on July 13th, 2014 11:41 pm

    I am truly sorry to hear this sad story – sad for so many reasons. We will continue to pray for Dr. Windley, his family, staff and friends. We will continue to have him and his staff care for all our animals.

  7. Sharon Smith on July 12th, 2014 9:43 am

    This is truly a sad day for me as I love Dr. Windley and his staff. They are A #1 professional at everything they do. My cats are VERY picky and they love him too. He has been our vet for many years and as long as he and his staff are there we will be too. Page, Shane, Craig and Ramona are like family to me and I can sometimes talk on the phone to them and straighten out a problem and not even have to go into the office. My prayers are for this good man – I don’t condone what he did but WE ALL have done things we just can’t explain “why we did it “- just know we messed up when we did. This too shall pass – God Bless.

  8. shawn on July 12th, 2014 12:56 am

    drug war beginning to seem like an expensive waste of time to anyone. nah, didn’t think so. lets get started on a new jail. stay the course.

  9. Seriously on July 11th, 2014 6:53 pm

    Trying to help??? He was basically a drug dealer…. you don’t help someone by supporting their habit. He knew what he was doing & it was wrong he abused his position to do it.

  10. Walnut Hill resident on July 11th, 2014 4:40 pm

    This is truly sad. My animals have been patients of Dr windley’s for many years. He has always been caring with my pets and treated them as I would. I think he was trying to help his daughter in law out and nothing more. Obviously what he did was illegal but I think he had good intentions to help a family member out of a tough situation. If he is still permitted to continue his practice I will be going back to him for the simple reason that he is Human just like everyone else.

  11. I know Windley on July 11th, 2014 3:41 pm

    I do not see this as a reflection on his Vet business, I see it this is a reflection of his personal actions. I do not see where anything negative can be said of his business, only his actions. He simply used his status in the community as a way to meet the ends.
    With that being said, I saw a comment below asking if he would do this before he came to be the age that he is now – my own personal opinion, Yes. This is his character, only the time and reputation made him more comfortable and easier to do, but I think it would happen at 37 just as it has at 67.

  12. Marie/Charlie's mom on July 11th, 2014 2:28 pm

    perdido fisherman,

    I do not know from where you got your “knowledge” about Methadone. I was addicted to prescription drugs that were legitimately given to me by my regular 2 doctors who both knew what I was taking. I tried to go off of them on my own, and I did go through withdrawal symptoms. It was awful. Then, I went to a pain management doctor that gave me Methadone while easing off the other drugs I was taking. It helped me so much and I did not get addicted to the Methadone. It is possible that Dr. Windley was helping someone do the same. I know we should obey the laws, but some laws just make no sense in some cases. THAT is why I thought we had judges….to judge each individual individually, depending on the facts surrounding the offense and the general integrity of the offender…..NOT by the letter of the law. God, Himself does not hold everyone to the letter of the laws they interpret from His Word. Praying for all involved.

  13. Jcellops on July 11th, 2014 11:38 am

    I so wish that I could just blink- and all of this horrible situation would just go away…truly, this really pains me…I suppose that it’s normal for some posters who don’t know Dr Windley, as many of us do, to make harsh or negative comments about his actions…if I didn’t know him- I’d probably feel that way too….but, I do and I just can’t wrap my mind around how or why this could ever happen to someone who’s had such a valued reputation in our community… He’s fixed up and cared for at least 10 of my dogs/cats over the last 16 years…he and his knowledgable staff are tops in my book… He did an extensive repair job on my beloved first greyhounds leg after it got mangled… Never thought he be able to walk, much less run- but, he recovered fabulously thanks to Dr Windleys surgical expertise…I’m going to pray for a positive resolution….regardless of his guilt or innocence.

  14. Danny on July 11th, 2014 8:20 am

    So I have a friend who is a Pyromaniac, for his birthday I gave him five gallons of gasoline and a box of matches. Just trying to help!!

  15. perdido fishernam on July 11th, 2014 8:04 am

    I hate to tell all ya’ll who are sayin methadone is used to get people of the hard stuff, Methadone IS the hard stuff. Average withdrawl from Heroin is 10-14 days of pure hell, methadone withdrawl last 6 months, that’s 45 days of diarrhea, anxiety, chills, vomiting and maybe an hour of sleep. after that 45 days you start to feel a tiny bit better but no more than 2 -3 hours of sleep for the next 4 months. Methadone is trading one addiction for another, but is a great medicine for chronic pain and terminal illness. Subutex and suboxone with drawl is just like coming off the other crap, you still have to detox with some suffering, there is no magic pill for addiction, only cure is not using. Subutex, suboxone and methadone only stop withdrawl symptoms, the desire to get high is still very much there, that’s why they want people to go to counseling and N/A A/A meetings at the same time. You will have to suffer if you use dope long nough to get hooked ( which isn’t very long). It’s like you have to suffer the same amount of time you used, like yen and yang, there must be balance.
    I wonder if his step daughter has something on him to make him do something so stupid, I have never seen a vet write a script for class 2 medications for a dog or any other Animal, there are to many other drugs they can use to treat pain in these animals.

  16. Waterlady501 on July 11th, 2014 7:50 am

    David Green, I completely agree.

    My stepmother is addicted to prescription pain medication. She has found a way to manipulate the safeguards of pharmacies and her insurance company by getting her supply from 5 or 6 different doctors in the Pensacola area. One time when she overdosed and nearly killed herself, I helped my dad scrape her up off the floor and took her to the hospital where they admitted her to a 3-day detox program. As soon as she could, she called my dad, begging to come home because as she said “This place is full of horrible drug addicts.” Yes, yes it is. Just because you have a prescription, doesn’t make it OK.

    All of these comments about how great he is as a vet remind me of the Sandshaker Scandal.

  17. Michelle on July 11th, 2014 12:41 am

    Dr Windley is an awesome vet and I’m sure there is more to the story than what we are hearing. I hope he will be able to continue to run his business. He is truly an awesome vet and I would not hesitate to take my animals to him for their care. I believe that people make mistakes and can learn from them as well. Good Luck Dr. Windley … I wish you the best !

  18. Luvmyboys on July 10th, 2014 10:36 pm

    Trying to help someone or not, what he did is illegal. I do not know this man or his practice or his daughter-in-law, what I do know is the law regarding falsifying Schedule II narcotic prescriptions. I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over a decade, the DEA does not take this lightly. If he gets off lightly I will be shocked, I’ve seen less (schedule/quantity wise) offenses get stiff punishment. Again, I don’t know anything about anyone involved, just speaking from a profession related perspective.

  19. John Scott Clopton on July 10th, 2014 9:23 pm

    It appears to be an isolated incident – he was only helping his step-daughter (ex) – and who knows she may have been like a real daughter to him – and when it comes to your children, no matter how much education you have, we do NOT always make wise choices. The man is 67 years old – he surrendered his DEA license which will prevent him from ever prescribing narcotics again which will severely limit his ability to practice his craft. I say give the man a pass – don’t condone his actions – but i truly wonder if this would have occurred if he was at an earlier point in his career – when his mind was probably a little sharper and his instincts for doing the right thing were probably more rigid and appropriate.

  20. 429SCJ on July 10th, 2014 8:59 pm

    I hope that Dr Windley is able to resume his practice as he has been our family veterinarian for many years, and I reference the numerous postings of accolades to appeal for such determination.

  21. Tim McNally on July 10th, 2014 8:43 pm

    I agree with a lot other people, I think the world of Doctor Windley and his wonderful Staff, that took care of all my animals Kiki Snapper and little Guy.I pray for all of you. God Bless.

  22. No Excuses on July 10th, 2014 8:15 pm

    I hate to hear this about Dr. Windley. If he is guilty, he will have consequences for his actions. As far as his being allowed to practice, he probably could, but would not be allowed to prescribe medications. He lost that right when he abused it. However, others in the practice could do the prescribing, and he could still do the surgeries, etc. He’s a wonderful vet. Just made some bad choices. If they close, we’ll have to take our small pets to the nearest vet in Pensacola. There are good vets there too.

  23. Nelle on July 10th, 2014 8:12 pm

    Wonderful man…. great vet….. bad decision. I’d like to hear his side of the story and I wouldn’t hesitate to take my furbabies to him and his wonderful staff. Hope he can somehow keep his practice.

  24. David Huie Green on July 10th, 2014 7:28 pm

    You are what you do.
    What you do shows what you really are, who you really are.

    Most do mostly good, some bad.

    Decide and stick to the decision and accept the consequences.

    David for understanding self
    and others

  25. Mary on July 10th, 2014 6:14 pm

    is he back @ work? where am I suppose to take my dogs?

  26. Someone on July 10th, 2014 2:36 pm

    Not sure why he didnt just help her join the masses at Cantonments methadone clinic, she could have gotten her 200 mgs a day there for a paltry 14 bucks. Concerning her getting a bottle full (180) for cleaning his house, WOW did he know that was $900 bucks for a house cleaning. Surely he could have hired merry maids for less.
    I knew people back in 1995 who were at 200mgs a day, I’m not sure how she even drove to his house, talk about being a zombie !

    Thats incredible to say the least.

  27. Tc on July 10th, 2014 2:36 pm

    How about the lady he was giving the pills to? Will charges be filed on her? I sure hope so.

  28. Molino resident on July 10th, 2014 1:51 pm

    So sad to hear this. Such a nice man. Hopefully, things will turn around for him. I also wish the best to his employees.

  29. Marie/Charlie's Mom on July 10th, 2014 1:24 pm

    I knew Dr. Windley before he came to Molino and then Cantonment. I have always liked him. He is NOT a thug. I am sure in my heart that there is more to this story than we know. AND…………………, Methadone is given to people to get them through withdrawal from hard core drugs.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Withdrawal is a terrible experience. It needs to be done slowly. Methadone helps that. AND, that may have been what he was doing. ….helping someone. If he was a “regular Joe” there would not be all this hooplah. I know that we are supposed to obey the law, but many of our law makers are not even following the laws they made. SO, that being said, I hope he is reinstated. Even without penalty, I doubt he would do this again. He is a caring person and a good vet, and I hope he stays. He and his staff have gone above and beyond for me more than once. I love all of them, support them and do not care who knows. My late and living dogs, Tina, Princess, Schotzie, Muffy, Suzy, Charlie, Chloe, and Buddy also love Dr. Windley and staff. So did our cats, Cat 1 and Cat 2.

  30. melanie on July 10th, 2014 11:00 am

    This is sad :( he is a great vet,been taking my animals to him for years..

  31. Vickie on July 10th, 2014 10:59 am

    I am very SAD :( to hear this! I really loved this vets office and the staff. They were all so very nice! I wish them all the best! And we all make mistakes he is no different and shouldnt be talked about so badly! I truly believe he is a good man that just simply made some bad choices, but hopefully this will not affect the rest of his life…… God Bless!

  32. Football Mom on July 10th, 2014 10:53 am

    Unlike “Becky”, I do not have personal knowledge of DOCTOR Windley outside of the office. I do not know if he was or was not trying to get something for nothing or trying to help someone continue THEIR drug habit.

    What I do know is that at his practice, he is top notch in my book. He and his staff are some of the most helpful caring people around. When my kitty of 16 years was ailing, he was honest and let me know when “it was time.” He never tried to talk me into frivolous meds or procedures.

    I hope all works out for him and his staff get to keep their jobs. I would miss reading the “kitty” chalkboard out by 29 everyday!!!!!

  33. Deb on July 10th, 2014 9:35 am

    Hate this for him, and especially his employees as they are such caring people. Sure hope they don’t close down this office. It is the only one out in this area and has such excellent service. Hopefully they can find a replacement for now

  34. Wendy on July 10th, 2014 8:25 am

    Very Sad. He has been our vet for 8 years. I guess we need to find a new one. I feel bad for the lives his actions have affected like his employees and customers. Hopefully he learned something.

  35. K. in cantonment on July 10th, 2014 8:14 am

    I really hate this has happened!! I really like Dr. Windley . I think his staff is wonderful, I hope everything works out for them.

  36. Richard on July 10th, 2014 8:07 am

    The ladies upfront and the vet that helped us with our beloved dog at the end of his time ,where so great.They are a very caring bunch in there and I hope they stay open.I think his caring so much for others got in the way of what was right.It seems he didn’t want his ex daughter doing heroin and haveing to deal with the people heroin comes from.

  37. Gembeaux on July 10th, 2014 8:02 am

    “Lost the files”? Did he ever work for the IRS?

  38. wow on July 10th, 2014 8:01 am

    Its sad that if you a are a PROFESSIONAL DRUG DEALER you get praise and so much understanding from people. When the truth is they are just as wrong as the average Joe that deals with drugs. He is killing who ever he is giving that crap to!!! He is a thug, hoodlum, KILLER! But because he is a professional nothing will happen to him besides a little probation if that.

  39. R U kidding on July 10th, 2014 7:56 am

    How does one even think he was “helping” someone else by providing them with prescriptions to “feed” their 20 pill a day addiction? If he truly wanted to “help” her, he should have convinced/helped her to get professional medical help.

  40. haley on July 10th, 2014 7:52 am

    This is a shame. A terrible error in judgment. I hate seeing this happen to a person who has spent his entire adult life caring for animals. He is about the only vet out in the Cantonment/Molino area that cares for small animals and doesnt charge the proverbial “arm and leg” for his services. I am not sure how this will play out for him professionally, especially if he gave up his DEA license. I hate that he will have to give up his practice. He has a great bunch of ppl that work for him as well. It’s sad. Drugs do terrible things to ppl and to those that love them. I just hope the best for Dr. Windley.

  41. Toni on July 10th, 2014 7:47 am

    Dr. Windley has always been a personable, reliable, true professional man. He has taken care of our animals for 20 years. Like Jane said, I do hope his employees don’t lose their jobs and I pray that everything works out.

  42. Jessica on July 10th, 2014 7:24 am

    Dr. Mike is a really good man I’ve known him my entire life. I hope this turns around for him. He’s an amazing veterinarian my dog loves him. My heart goes out to him.

  43. Becky on July 10th, 2014 6:56 am

    Mr Windley Was not thinking of his employees. He was making sure he had his house cleaned and dogs taken care of. He was not just helping someone continue there drug habit, he also was helping his self. And with that said he must pay the price.

  44. Wanda Repine on July 10th, 2014 5:48 am

    He has been our vet for almost 30 years. We will be praying for him and all the employees as they go through this trying time.

  45. Jane on July 10th, 2014 4:40 am

    This is so sad. Dr. Windley is a good veterinarian and I really hate seeing this happen. I know it is wrong, but it is sad that he got pulled into this by trying to help someone. Now he pays the price for someone else’s addiction. I hope someone else can take over at Companion Animal so the nice folks there won’t lose their jobs and we don’t lose the only vet out here in this area.

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