A Bridgeport veterinarian is accused of animal abuse and theft after police say he performed an unnecessary procedure on a dog and then left the dog without proper feeding for days.
Dr. Amr Wasfi, who worked at the Black Rock Animal Hospital, faces charges of animal cruelty and third-degree larceny.
The arrest warrant shows that police received at least two complaints about Wasfi.
The arrest warrant details one complaint regarding the treatment of a dog named Monster. According to the warrant, Monster’s owner brought his pet to Black Rock Animal Hospital on February 14 with a limp. The owner said he was told that Monster had a sprained knee and was sent home with pain medication. One week later Monster was still limping and so they returned to see Wasfi.
According to the arrest warrant, on March 2 Wasfi told the owner that Monster had a fractured pelvis and needed surgery. The owner was told Monster would need to stay until March 7.
The owner told police that he contacted the vet on March 7 and was told Monster had to stay a few more days for monitoring. The victim began trying to visit his dog and was refused. According to the warrant, he finally contacted Animal Control and got Monster back on March 25.
According to the document, Monster went in originally weighting 63 pounds, and when he was released to his owner, he weighed only 46 pounds.
The owner took Monster to the emergency room at Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine. The veterinarians there determined Monster never had a fracture and that the surgery, which included putting a screw in his pelvis, had been unnecessary. One of those veterinarians also told police that Monster was being treated for “refeeding syndrome” and dehydration, which happens when an animal is without proper food or water for at least 10 days.
The owner told police Wasfi charged him $3,330 for the surgery.
In another complaint, a former Black Rock employee reported that she witnessed Wasfi hit a kitten that was under anesthesia so hard that the kittens intestines popped out of an incision. She also said that Wasfi was “agitated” and threw surgical tools around the room, according to the warrant.
According to the warrant, the complainant said she raised her concerns to another employee and said she was going to file a complaint. She told police she planned to resign the next day, but when she showed up for work the employee she confided in met her at the door and handed her a box of her belongings, telling her she had been fired.
Wasfi was arrested Wednesday and released on bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 8.
Ernest C. LaFollette, who is representing Wasfi, told NBC Connecticut that Wasfi has been in business since at least the 1980s.
"Many people speak highly of him as having been their veterinarian for many years. All kinds of peoples bring animals with many different problems," LaFollette wrote in an email to NBC Connecticut.