An upstate New York veterinarian was arrested this week on animal abuse charges that left authorities “sickened”.
Dr. Javier Diaz, 46, owned and operated Main Street Animal Hospital in Elmsford, New York. On Friday, he was charged with abusing a litany of animals and falsifying vaccination records between April 9 and April 27. The doctor’s alleged crimes were uncovered by a joint investigation conducted by the Westchester SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Unit (HLEU) alongside Detectives Paul Rescigno and Robert Caralyus, and with the assistance of the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, the Yonkers Times reported.
Diaz is accused of physically assaulting pets left in his care on six occasions in the past month. In one case, he allegedly hit a kitten with canine nail clippers before ramming them into the animal’s mouth, causing gum lacerations. Another time, a Chihuahua dog was punched to keep him from crying while being kept in a crate. He also allegedly suffocated a Shih Tzu dog almost to unconsciousness.
A common theme among other allegations was punching or kicking dogs, often in the ribs, and twisting their extremities, including wrists and ears. According to Yonkers Times.
Diaz was arraigned in Elmsford Village Court on Friday. He currently faces six counts of animal cruelty, one count of third-degree assault and one count of second-degree forgery.
Among the animal cruelty and abuse charges, Diaz was also accused of having, on at least one occasion, falsified vaccination documents. The doctor reportedly presented proof of vaccination to a pet owner and charged them for the service, but never administered the vaccine.
The Westchester SPCA is now calling on members of the public to reach out if they believe their pet has been injured while in vet care.
“We are absolutely sickened by the abuse these animals have suffered at the hands of Javier Diaz, DVM. Veterinarians are sworn to protect the health and welfare of animals so as not to cause pain and misery,” said Shannon Laukhuf, executive director of SPCA Westchester, in a statement. sent to Yonkers Times. “If you believe your pet has been injured in Diaz’s care, please call the SPCA’s 24-hour Animal Cruelty Hotline at (914) 941-7797.”
A similar case of severe animal abuse by a veterinarian was reported last October. Prentiss Madden of Miami, Florida was sentenced to over 22 years in prison after discovering he had produced and shared videos of himself sexually abusing dogs. Investigators also found thousands of child pornography images in his possession.