A Canadian veterinarian who was accused of abusing pets was seen back on the job and the local community is not happy about it.
The Ontario vet was suspended by The College of Veterinarians of Ontario in July of 2016 after they received video that appeared to show veterinarian Mahavir Singh Rekhi punching and choking pets in his care.
Employees at the clinic submitted dozens of surveillance videos as evidence in the case several years ago. According to a statement from October 2013, in one incident Rekhi “grabbed Taz, a Chihuahua, by the throat and punched the dog multiple times in the face.” Another document stated that Rekhi also hit a husky in the face while the dog was under anesthetic during a neuter procedure.
Rekhi pleaded guilty to professional misconduct at the hearing and was handed a $10,000 fine and a 10-month suspension, with the option of reducing the suspension to six months if he attended training programs.
His suspension now appears to be over as Rekhi was seen back at the Skyway Animal Hospital this past week. Former clients, and many in the community, are appalled by the penalty Rekhi received and also critical of The College of Veterinarians handling of the situation.
“They gave those videos in 2014 and here we are in 2016 – two years the college has had the video,” said Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates last year when the hearings took place. “Why did it take two years to do the investigation?” he asked. “For two years, that same vet that they saw the videos on was able to see pets – cats, dog, whatever they were – in his office. The college really should have had the investigation done a lot quicker and that’s something that we’re going to raise as well when we get to talk to them.”
Upon hearing that Rekhi was back at work, protestors gathered outside of the animal hospital to voice their anger and concerns.
One man, Mike Robinson, told CTV News Toronto that his dog Molly was part of the investigation into Rekhi. He said, “We are trying to get the message out there to as many people as we can that this is the vet who abused these animals,” Robinson said. “We can’t stop him from practicing but we want to put a dent in his business and try to force him out of here.”
Others at the protest said that he should never be allowed near a pet again and that his license should be revoked.
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