OTTAWA – National animal law organization Animal Justice is calling on the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) to investigate and lay animal cruelty charges against a St. Catharines veterinarian who was secretly filmed abusing pets in his veterinary clinic.
The secret video footage, aired last night on CTV News, was recorded by four former employees of the veterinary clinic. The footage reveals Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi illegally abusing animals, including:
- Hitting a dog over the muzzle with a metal object;
- Choking a chihuahua so hard that the dog defecated;
- Swinging an unconscious, anaesthetized cat by the tail against a table;
- Restraining animals roughly in a way likely to cause them to suffer.
Dr. Rekhi was convicted of professional misconduct by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario in July, but his sentence was a mere 10-month suspension. The suspension may be reduced to only four months if Dr. Rekhi completes two-and-a-half days of remedial training.
“There should be no second chances for vets who abuse pets,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “For a veterinarian to abuse his animal patients in this way is not only blatant animal cruelty, it is also a serious breach of the trust placed in him by the vulnerable animals he treats, and the pet owners who bring their beloved companions to him for care. The Ontario SPCA must lay animal cruelty charges against Dr. Rekhi. Otherwise, he could be in a position to harm more animals as soon as December.”
Animal Justice has filed a complaint over Dr. Rekhi with the Ontario SPCA as well as the Niagara Falls Humane Society.
A copy of Animal Justice’s complaint is available here.
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