Veterinarian Charged With Abusing Pets: 'We Are Absolutely Sickened'

An upstate New York veterinarian was arrested this week for animal abuse charges that left authorities "sickened."

Dr. Javier Diaz, 46, owned and operated the Main Street Animal Hospital in Elmsford, New York. On Friday, he was charged for allegedly abusing a litany of animals and falsifying vaccination records between April 9 and April 27. The doctor's alleged crimes were uncovered by a joint investigation carried out by the Humane Law Enforcement Unit (HLEU) of SPCA Westchester alongside local detectives Paul Rescigno and Robert Caralyus, and with assistance from the Westchester District Attorney's Office, the Yonkers Times reported.

Diaz stands accused of physically abusing pets left in his care on six occasions throughout last month. In one instance, he allegedly hit a kitten with canine nail clippers before shoving them in the animal's mouth, causing gum lacerations. Another time, a chihuahua dog was punched to make it stop crying while being kept in a crate. He also allegedly choked a Shih Tzu dog almost to the point of unconsciousness.

A common theme among the other allegations was punching or kicking dogs, often in the ribs, and twisting their extremities, including wrists and ears. Each incident was reported to have caused the animals "to suffer unjustifiable pain and suffering," according to the Yonkers Times.

vet accused of abusing pets
An upstate New York veterinarian was arrested on Friday and charged with numerous counts of physical abuse against pets. Above, a representational image of a vet treating a dog. John Moore/Getty Images

Diaz was arraigned in the Elmsford Village Court Friday. He currently faces six counts of animal cruelty, one count of third-degree assault, and one count of second-degree forgery.

Among the accusations of animal cruelty and abuse, Diaz was also accused of, on at least one occasion, falsifying vaccination documents. The doctor allegedly presented proof of vaccination to the owner of an animal and charged them for the service, but never actually administered the shot.

The SPCA Westchester is now calling on members of the public to reach out if they believe their animal was harmed while in the veterinarian's care.

"We are absolutely sickened by the abuse these animals suffered at the hands of Javier Diaz, DVM. Veterinarians take an oath to protect animal health and welfare not to cause pain and misery," Shannon Laukhuf, SPCA Westchester's Executive Director, said in a statement sent to the Yonkers Times. "If you suspect your pet was harmed in Diaz's care, please call the SPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty hotline at (914) 941-7797."

A similar instance of severe animal abuse by a veterinarian was reported last October. Prentiss Madden of Miami, Florida, was sentenced to over 22 years in prison after it was found that he had been producing and sharing videos of himself sexually abusing dogs. Investigators also found thousands of images of child pornography in his possession.