BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A shocking animal cruelty case in Baltimore, where a veterinarian is charged with abusing animals.
He was supposed to cure sick animals, but instead, police say Gregory Burbelo was abusing them.
The Boston Street Animal Hospital is still open, but the accused veterinarian no longer works there, and investigators say their could be more victims.
It is a stomach-turning betrayal, that has some pet owners stunned.
“It’s pretty unbelievable what happened. I was pretty shocked to find out,” said one pet owner.
Detectives say Burbelo physically attacked some of his pet patients.
The alleged attacks happened at the Boston Street Animal Hospital, where Burbelo worked.
One man who brings his pet to that hospital told WJZ’s Amy Yensi he saw no signs of abuse.
“Nothing that would make me think he would ever mistreat an animal,” he said.
Police charged the 57-year-old vet with multiple counts of animal cruelty after a month-long investigation.
Detectives also found that Burbelo threatened employees, so they would not report him. He is also charged with witness intimidation.
“We know that he punched and also slapped the animals with a clipboard,” Baltimore Police Department Cpt. Jarron Jackson. “Punched and smacked with an open hand and closed fist.”
No one would talk to WJZ in person, but the hospital sent the following statement:
“We want our clients and the public to know that we set and enforce the highest possible standards of care.”
Burbelo’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
The Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners confirmed it is “aware of the situation, but cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”
Those who trusted the disgraced vet say there’s no excuse for violence.
“Anybody mistreating animals, there’s a special place in hell for them,” the man who brought his animal to the hospital said.
On the hospital’s website, there’s only one veterinarian listed, and it’s not Burbelo. A staffer told WJZ they removed him from the website as soon as they found out what he was accused of.
Police are urging owners who have had their pets treated at the hospital to give them a call.