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Dog dies after botched neutering by fake Florida vets

By Monique O. Madan and Carli Teproff

Miami Herald

May 25. 2018 7:20PM




MIAMI — It was supposed to be a simple procedure.

Royalty, a 12-year-old American Bulldog, was set to get neutered. His owner, Omarnestor Delrio, made an appointment and was ready to pay. The problem: Police say the veterinary clinic wasn’t actually a clinic, and the vet was a fraud.

Now, Jose Alvarez-Marrero, 58, and his girlfriend Sophia Gonzalez, 40, are facing one charge of animal cruelty and another charge of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Gonzalez was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail on Wednesday. Alvarez-Marrero is on the run, Hialeah police say.

According to the arrest report, the duo transformed their Hialeah apartment into a makeshift veterinary clinic. On April 23 Delrio took Royalty to the shady Hialeah apartment.

According to the report, Royalty showed signs of pain so the dog was given more anesthesia.

Delrio was given instructions on how to care for the wound, including being told to “place a pair of pants on Royalty to prevent him from licking the wound.”

Two days later, Delrio became concerned and called Alvarez-Marrero because Royalty wasn’t eating or drinking, and wasn’t “recuperating at the pace he expected him to recover.”

Delrio took him back to the Hialeah apartment where Royalty was given two injections, one in the neck and the other in the thigh, in the guise that they were antibiotics, police said.

By Saturday, Delrio was so worried that he once again brought the dog back to the fake clinic where the dog was placed on an intravenous bag with an “unknown liquid.”

By Sunday, the dog wasn’t moving so Alvarez-Marrero advised him to bring Royalty back yet again for more medicine.

Finally, Alvarez-Marrero escorted Delrio and Royalty to another veterinary clinic in Hialeah. That vet said Royalty was “in bad shape.” Delrio then took Royalty to a Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami.

“The victim was advised by veterinary staff that whoever conducted the procedure on Royalty was beyond medical malpractice. That is pure animal cruelty,” an officer wrote in the report.

Royalty died April 30, one week after his surgery.

The veterinarian at Knowles ruled that Royalty’s death was caused by an “unsteril(e) surgical procedure.”

On Wednesday, Hialeah police and Miami-Dade Animal Services executed a search warrant at the apartment in Hialeah. Officers were met by Gonzalez, who said she lived there with her boyfriend.

A call to Miami-Dade Animal Services wasn’t immediately returned Thursday night.

“Jose Alvarez-Marrero was not home at the time and spoke with detectives over the phone,” Hialeah police spokesman Eddie Rodriguez said in an email. “Alvarez told detectives he was on his way home to speak with them, but never arrived. Jose Alvarez-Marrero remains at-large.”


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