Not too long ago, I wrote a very disturbing post about a Connecticut veterinarian charged with animal cruelty and third-degree larceny in connection with his “treatment” of a dog named Monster.
I’ve been away since then, and just returned to work today. While going through my google alerts, this morning, I learned that the veterinarian in question has also returned to work while his case winds its way through the courts. And while I understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and everyone is entitled to due process, the thought of this man being allowed near another animal, much less being allowed to “treat” another animal disgusts me.
To recap, Dr. Dr. Amr Wasfi of Black Rock Animal Hospital in Bridgeport is accused of:
- Lying about Monster’s condition
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Failing to provide Monster with adequate food and water
- Keeping Monster in the hospital for a prolonged period
- Refusing to let Monster’s owner see the dog while Monster was at the hospital
- Charging Monster’s owner for the unnecessary surgery
Wasfi is also accused of abusing a kitten that was in his care. According to someone who allegedly witnessed the incident, Wasfi “hit a kitten that was under anesthesia so hard that the kitten’s intestines popped out of an incision.” The same witness said Wasfi was “agitated” and that he “threw surgical tools around the room.”
The witness was reportedly fired from the animal hospital after confiding to another employee that she planned to report the matter.
The initial court appearance
Wasfi was arrested last month, but posted a $10,000 bond and was released. Then, on May 8, he reportedly entered no plea to the charges. During Wasfi’s appearance that day, Superior Court Judge William Holden also granted Wasfi’s lawyer’s request to continue the matter until June 7 so the attorney could have more to time to “examine the evidence.”
Since then, Bridgeport police have warned the public not to take their pets to Black Rock Animal Hospital.
“We just want the public to be aware that if they were considering bringing their animals here, just to understand some of the criminal charges we uncovered here,” Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald told the media.
Scary details about Wasfi’s past emerge
Published reports have also provided some valuable — and frightening — insight into Wasfi’s past. Specifically, they show that this is not the first time he’s been in trouble. Apparently, he had his license revoked in 1996, when the Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine found him guilty of “unskillfulness toward an animal.” His license was reinstated in 2003 contingent upon the successful completion of a five-year probationary period.He reportedly completed his probation on April 30, 2008.
Fast-forward to this year when, as the press reports, Connecticut authorities spent months investigating Wasfi prior to his arrest. The investigation stemmed from numerous complaints “about pets whose conditions worsened instead of improving after being treated by the veterinarian.”
Now, maybe some of you don’t think it’s fair to rush to judgment. Maybe some of you don’t believe in convicting someone in the court of public opinion without knowing all of the facts. Maybe some of you actually believe in second chances. Sometimes, I do, too. But not in this case.
Alexandra Bogdanovic is a paralegal and the owner/founder of In Brief Legal Writing Services. She is also an award-winning author and journalist whose interests include animal welfare and animal law. All opinions expressed in this forum are her own. Any information pertaining to legal matters is intended solely for general audiences and should not be regarded as legal advice.