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AG accuses Granger veterinarian of animal cruelty

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AG accuses Granger veterinarian of animal cruelty

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:57 pm

Attorney general accuses Granger veterinarian of animal cruelty
By Ted Booker South Bend Tribune 2 hrs ago (3)
Attorney general accuses Granger veterinarian of animal cruelty
Santiago Flores
The Animal Clinic of Granger.Tribune Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES
Attorney general accuses Granger veterinarian of animal cruelty
Greg Swiercz
GRANGER — The office of Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed a complaint against Granger veterinarian Jennifer Perusek, alleging she routinely abused animals in her care from 2012 to 2016.

Perusek, who runs the Animal Clinic of Granger, "engaged in a pattern of kicking, hitting, slamming, dragging and choking animals, tying animals too tightly to a cage or table, and carrying animals by the scruff," according to the complaint, which was filed in June with the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

The complaint, brought against veterinarian licenses of Perusek, refers to former staff members making allegations against her. But the whistle-blowers aren't identified.

Perusek is accused of cruelty to animals, fraud and failing to exercise reasonable care expected by members of her profession. Based on those alleged violations, the attorney general's office has recommended the state veterinary board discipline Perusek. The board hasn't acted on the complaint yet.

Download PDF Attorney general complaint against Dr. Jennifer Perusek
South Bend attorney John Kuehn, who is representing Perusek, said in a statement that she "vehemently denies the claims that her former employees have made against her" and that she "continues to build a veterinary practice where animals are treated with respect."

Although it describes potentially criminal actions and uses the phrase "cruelty to animals," this is a civil complaint against veterinary licenses. It would be up to the office of St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter to file criminal charges, based on the attorney general's investigation. Cotter said his office has requested more information from the attorney general to determine whether charges could be pursued.

The complaint, which is in Perusek's married name, Jennifer Perusek Scheller, refers to several instances in which she allegedly abused animals.

Sometime between October 2011 and February 2012, for example, Perusek allegedly took an "uncooperative" cat and "swung" it "a few times in the air like a basketball before putting it into a box."

During the same period, the complaint says she abused a rescue puppy that was admitted for dehydration and undernourishment. After unsuccessfully trying to administer an intravenous line, she allegedly "grabbed the puppy's head, slammed it on the table and cursed." The puppy later died.

Sometime between June 2014 and July 2015, she allegedly "sedated barking dogs" without the permission of owners, the complaint states, and "some dogs were so heavily sedated they could not stand up." During the same period, she allegedly used "shock bark collars" on dogs without the knowledge of owners, causing some dogs to receive burns and wounds.

The complaint states that Perusek "instructed staff to inform the owners these marks were hot spots caused by allergies."

The complaint also accuses Perusek of fraud by not providing services that owners of boarded animals paid for. Sometime between December 2014 and February 2016, for example, owners were allegedly charged for "play care" but "sometimes the dogs did not leave their cages."

In a 2011 Tribune story, Perusek talked to a reporter about graduating from Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine and joining her father, Frank Perusek, at his veterinary clinic in Granger.

She'd helped out at the clinic, she said then, since she was a young girl, often spending time with the hospitalized animals, brushing them, petting them and cleaning up after them.

She said she was inspired to become a vet by her father's dedication, honesty and true love of the pets, as well as his clients' loyalty to him.

This report will be updated by The Tribune.

Download PDF Perusek's response to complaint ... beadb.html
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