:Actually, its perfectly legal to perform verterinary procedures on an animal you own. Otherwise, farmers wouldn't be able to tend to their stock animals.
That varies by state. Invasive surgical procedures are not typically legal for farmers to do even on animals classified as livestock, and many states have further regulations on how livestock can be treated and medicated by the farmer. Animals classified as pets or wild animals are also considered differently from livestock under the law in some states.
What Mr. Ritchey was doing was by no means treating his own animals. He was practicing unlicensed veterinary surgery on other people's animals for money. The law definitely frowns on that in any state.