MONTEREY COUNTY (BCN) — The SPCA of Monterey County has found another puppy that was given a faulty ear and tail cropping by a man posing as a licensed veterinarian.

On Wednesday, the SPCA got a call from the owner of an 11-week-old Doberman Pinscher whose ears and tail were cropped by Damian Maldonado, who the agency believes is falsely representing himself as a licensed veterinarian.

Authorities are looking for Maldonado based on the accusations of animal cruelty and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

The Doberman is thought to be at least the fourth dog Maldonado has disfigured, SPCA for Monterey County spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said.

Maldonado reportedly performed the surgery in the owner’s living room on a plastic folding table.

Brookhouser said that he lodged sticks up to two inches deep into the puppy’s ear canal and sutured the wounds with fishing line before wrapping tape directly over the exposed flesh.

The SPCA directed the owner to a licensed veterinarian in an effort to prevent infection.

Brookhouser said the veterinarians immediately noticed that the job was done by an amateur, as there was not enough cartilage left to support the ears and the tail was cut too close to the puppy’s body.

“Times are tight and people are trying to cut costs wherever possible,” Brookhouser said. “But cutting costs on veterinary bills is not what should be done. All of these owners are ending up paying more to deal with the infections.”

Ear cropping, which the SPCA described as removing part of a dog’s ears to make them stand erect, should be performed by a licensed vet when puppies are 9 to 12 weeks old.

“Ear cropping and tail docking is controversial but not illegal,” Brookhouser said. “However, performing these surgeries in a non-sterile environment is illegal.”

Maldonado is described as a Latino man, weighing roughly 200 pounds and standing about 5 feet 9 inches tall. His business card says that he operates “El Cartel Bully Kennels” and provides veterinary medical services.

Maldonado reportedly offers general consultations, vaccinations, de-worming, general surgeries, supplements, accessories, vitamins, artificial insemination, stud services and puppy sales, according to the SPCA.

SPCA officials are offering a $3,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of Maldonado.

Maldonado could be charged with violation of Drug Enforcement Administration regulations, practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and other violations for cruelty to animals, according to the SPCA.

The SPCA is looking for other possible victims, especially since a phone number listed on Maldonado’s business card has a 209 area code, which encompasses 130 cities located in more than 15 counties.

Anyone with information about this case or who believes a pet is a victim is encouraged to contact the SPCA at (831) 373-2631.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (9)
  1. Al says:

    ok – what about the loser owners that are seeking out these procedures???

    1. sheena says:

      i agree. the owners are willingly disfiguring their own animals and to make it worse they are letting it happen right in the comfort of their own living rooms. what part of that seems normal in any way? this is disgusting on all levels.

  2. Kimberly Fielding says:

    I agree, and what punishment to the owner? Maldonado should be found and cropped himself. I am sure they can find something on him to dock..
    Sheena, I agree. What kind of monster would allow this to happen in their living rooms to an animal they allegedly care about? Is medication being used to numb first, or is he just hacking away? Tape on exposed flesh? What is WRONG with people?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  3. Lori Portales says:

    It makes me very sad to learn that owners cannot love and respect his/her animal just the way the dog was born. Can you imagine what kind of person would allow some crack pot to disfigure the dog? I believe the owners should also be held accountable for make such an irresponsible choice due to saving money. Would he/she allow this type of medical treatment to his/her children? I think it says alot about the owners.

    Lori Portales, MSW

    1. Charlotte says:

      I agree with you!!! When we were adopting our MinPin we requested his ears and tails not be docked. For health reasons we had his dew claws removed but other than that we wanted him ‘au natural’. I love him with his floppy ears and long waggy tail. He is not a show dog, he is our ‘furkid’ and companion. To alter him breaks my heart. 😦

      1. Suebee says:

        We have a “floppy eared” pup ourselves and always gets comments about how we “should have gotten those fixed” . Happy to hear we are not the only ones who are not altering since we are not showing our dog anyway.

      2. Lisa says:

        Im with Charlotte, I love her doggy and that is he not cropped 🙂 He is adorable! I dislike reading stuff like this, so sad that it happens ::( Poor pup. (Seesa)

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