The Houston Police Department is asking for the public's help in reporting any incidences of Wilfredo Gutierrez posing as a Texas veterinarian. Gutierrez has pleaded guilty to the unlawful practice of veterinary medicine reported Tuesday's Houston Chronicle.
During a news conference on Monday, Senior Police Officer Suzanne Hollifield, who works with the animal cruelty unit of Houston's Police Department stated:
"We have learned that there are probably over 50 known victims, and we are afraid there are many more victims whose pets have been treated by this individual."
Authorities are asking anyone who may have used Gutierrez for pet services notify them. It is not known at this time if any animals suffered severe consequences under treatment by Gutierrez posing as a licensed vet.
Practicing under the name of DogSmart Veterinary Services, Wilfredo Gutierrez Pet Services and Mobile Vet Vaccinations in the northwest section of Houston, an investigation began when a dog owner reported Gutierrez to authorities for bandaging his dog's leg for a sprain when the animal's leg was actually broken. Authorities contacted the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and began an undercover investigation.
Gutierrez has also been charged with felony drug possession of morphine that Houston Police Department contend was stolen. Gutierrez is currently being held in the Harris County Jail.
In Texas, veterinarian technicians do not have to be licensed by the state or any state agency. The Board has recently offered licenses which now expands their supervisory abilities.
Gutierrez told authorities he loves animals. He was charging a lower fee than area vets, which is why pet owners were using his services and were unaware he was not licensed.
Authorities are asking anyone affected by this person to call 713.308.3100.
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