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Unlicensed veterinary clinic shut down in Florida

News
Article

Three men were detained after an anonymous tip was received that they were running an animal health clinic without a license

polack/stock.adobe.com

polack/stock.adobe.com

Three men were detained Saturday morning after an anonymous tip led the Miami-Dade Police Department to an illegal veterinary clinic, with 2 of the men being taken into custody. The tip allegedly came from a pet owner who had brought their dog to the illegal clinic for a procedure. The dog developed an infection related to the procedure and was taken to a different veterinary clinic, where a licensed veterinarian had to amputate its tail. Miami-Dade Police Department’s Medical Crimes Unit worked in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Animal Services and The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to execute a search warrant.1

“A warrant was served on this property, and what our investigators encountered was a line of vehicles, and animals and patients ready to be seen by these unlicensed veterinarians,” said Andre Martin, Miami-Date Police Department Public Information Officer.2

Two men were arrested and identified as David Blondin, 68, and Robert Hernandez Ferra, 48. They are now accused of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Officers on the scene disclosed that there were 8 patients outside of the home waiting for veterinary care. When the men were detained and later taken into custody, no animals were being held within the home, and were all returned to their owners safely.3

According to local reporting, the third detainee, who was also the homeowner where the illegal clinic was being run, was a licensed veterinarian who allegedly used his credentials to obtain prescription drugs for the unlicensed individuals. However, Blodin and Ferra were running the day-to-day operations within the clinic. Investigators at this time could not confirm how much the homeowner was involved in the illegal clinic, but he was home at the time the search warrant was executed.1-3

Martin told CBS News that the illegal clinic had been operating for many years with its clients hearing about it from word of mouth.3 The clinic was also a cash-only business, which is speculated to be a way for the business to fly under the radar. To local police, this case should be a warning to pet owners to be careful where they are bringing their pets and to make sure it is safe.

“Whenever you're going to take your pet to a veterinary clinic, our pets are like our family members, they're like our children for some people, they're members of our family, they're very important to all of us and we should do everything in our power to make sure that they're getting the best care possible by people who are licensed," Martin disclosed.3

"If you walk into a business, a veterinary clinic, a veterinary hospital or emergency room, you should feel good about where you're taking your animal[s]. If you see things that are unsanitary, such as this operation that was being operated out of an efficacy, out of a home, that's probably not the place to take your pet," Martin concluded.

At this time, no one was officially charged, but the 2 men taken into custody could face felony charges and the homeowner could have his veterinary license revoked. Local police are asking local pet owners who may have brought their pets to the clinic, or know of any other illegal veterinary practice, to reach out to the Miami-Dade Police Department. If they prefer to remain anonymous, tipsters can call the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

Reference

  1. Morejon L, Weddle C, Mackey R. Police: 2 arrested after being accused of running illegal veterinary clinic in southwest Miami-Dade. WPLG Local 10. Published January 27, 2024. Accessed January 31, 2024. https://www.local10.com/news/local/2024/01/27/police-3-detained-after-being-accused-of-running-illegal-veterinary-clinic-in-southwest-miami-dade/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=snd&utm_content=wplg10
  2. Jaquith O. Miami-Dade Police arrest two men accused of running unlicensed veterinary clinic. NBC 6 South Florida. Published January 27, 2024. Accessed January 31, 2024. https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/miami-dade-police-arrest-two-men-over-unlicensed-veterinary-clinic/3217841/
  3. Geisel H. 3 detained, 2 arrested and charged with operating unlicensed veterinary clinic in Southwest Miami-Dade. CBS Miami. Published January 27, 2024. Accessed January 31, 2024. https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/3-detained-2-in-custody-for-allegedly-operating-illegal-veterinary-clinic-in-southwest-miami-dade/
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