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Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Undercover kitty nabs fake vet

February 9, 2006

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An 8-month-old former stray cat named Fred, that was used for a sting on a fake veterinarian, is licked by Burt, a Boston terrier in Brooklyn, N.Y. Steven Vassall, 28, who was posing as a veterinarian, was collared last week and charged with unauthorized practice, criminal mischief, attempted petty larceny and other criminal counts, said Brooklyn Dist. Atty. Charles Hynes. Burt was an alleged victim of Vassall.

An 8-month-old former stray cat named Fred, that was used for a sting on a fake veterinarian, is licked by Burt, a Boston terrier in Brooklyn, N.Y. Steven Vassall, 28, who was posing as a veterinarian, was collared last week and charged with unauthorized practice, criminal mischief, attempted petty larceny and other criminal counts, said Brooklyn Dist. Atty. Charles Hynes. Burt was an alleged victim of Vassall.

— Fred, the undercover cat, made his own collar.

The 8-month-old domestic shorthair was used by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office to nab a man charged with being a fake veterinarian, officials said Wednesday.

Arrested and indicted on charges of posing as a licensed vet last Friday was Steven Vassall, 28, of Brooklyn. Vassall, who investigators said was a student at Kingsborough Community College, may have been doing medical procedures on animals for as long as seven years, said Brooklyn Dist. Atty. Charles J. Hynes.

Vassall was arrested after a Brooklyn man, Raymond Reid, 40, complained to Hynes' office about the treatment given to his Boston terrier, Burt.

Authorities set up a sting using Fred as a would-be patient. An investigator posing as Fred's owner summoned Vassall to an apartment rigged with a hidden camera. Vassall told the investigator the kitten could be neutered for $135.

Vassall was arrested after he left the apartment with Fred in a box and the cash. He was charged with treating an untold number of pets without a license, authorities said Wednesday. He was released on $2,500 bail.

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