61-year-old Floridian man Osvaldo Sanchez was charged with animal abuse and practicing veterinary medicine without a license after he was alleged to have identified himself as a vet and operated on a pregnant dog, according to a release by Collier County Sheriff’s Office made on August 11.
The now-deceased dog, named Sugar, was a 6-year-old pregnant Chihuahua who was struggling to give birth. Sugar’s owners contacted Sanchez as he had previously made himself known to them as a vet.
Investigations revealed Sanchez was a dog groomer, not a licensed vet.
“Pets’ lives are at risk if unlicensed individuals perform surgery, prescribe medication and claim to provide needed care,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “Such individuals who believe they can operate outside the law will be arrested and held accountable – our dedicated detectives will see to it.”
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding Sugar’s death
Sanchez performed a C-section on Sugar and spayed her in a mobile office that had been converted into an unofficial ambulance. Sanchez removed still-born puppies from Sugar and charged her owners $600 USD from the botched procedure that later cost Sugar her life.
On May 25, Sugar’s owners took her to an emergency 24 hour vet, who quickly realized that something was amiss with her past medical treatment. The doctors noted that Sugar’s stitches from the incision of the C-section were done with non-surgical grade string. Sugar passed later that night from an infection she contracted from the surgery.
A doctor at the 24 hour vet had said that it was likely Sugar would have survived if she was treated by a licensed vet.