According to Monday's WFAA News, a Houston, Texas, man was arrested after authorities conducted a sting operation and discovered that he was posing as a veterinarian to unwitting pet owners in the Houston area.
Authorities allege that 26-year-old Wilfredo Gutierrez portrayed himself as a licensed veterinarian for over a year; officials are concerned that pets who were supposedly vaccinated by Gutierrez could be vulnerable to potentially deadly diseases because the vaccines which were administered may have been placebos.
According to KHOU News, Gutierrez was a veterinary technician at a vet clinic in the area, but he branched out on his own and operated his fake "veterinary" business under the names, DogSmart Veterinary Services, Wilfredo Gutierrez Pet Services and Mobile Vet Vaccinations.
Houston Police Department Detective Suzanne Hollifield spoke about how the clients were duped:
They really believed he was a veterinarian,”
“They said he had a lot of compassion for their animals and he seemed legitimate so they were surprised.”
Gutierrez allegedly provided a range of care to pets who were brought to him, including administration of vaccinations, spay and neuter surgery and treatment of injuries.
Hollifield noted the reason that Gutierrez seemed to gain business:
He was charging a significantly less amount of money than a licensed vet and all the victims I’ve talked to so far say that is the main reason they used him,”
The police are hoping to locate the individuals who utilized Gutierrez for pet care. Individuals are asked to contact the HPD Major Offenders Division Animal Cruelty Unit at 713-308-3100.
Past clients may recognize Gutierrez's advertised phone number of 832-748-2437.
If you would like to continue receiving the latest dog-related news, tips and advice, please click the word "Subscribe," near the top of the article. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for more stories and updates.