A Baltimore veterinarian, who practiced at the Boston Street Animal Clinic, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and was forced to surrender his license on Tuesday, according to the Baltimore’s state attorney’s office.
On December 12, Gregory Burbelo, 57, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, aggravated animal cruelty and witness intimidation. Police reported on November 20, they responded to alleged animal cruelty complaints committed by Burbelo while working at the animal hospital. Investigators say videos were made available showing the vet hitting dogs with his hands or using a clipboard on three different occasions during the month.
On January 12, Burbelo pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty and inhibiting the testimony of a witness. The Baltimore Sun reports Burbelo received a five-year suspended sentence, three years probation, and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.
“It is unconscionable to think that a licensed professional, sworn to provide medical attention to animals would attack them,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “Animals have no way of defending themselves from these types of attacks. Fortunately, the employees at this animal hospital were a voice for the voiceless — capturing evidence and reporting these criminal acts — which resulted in the defendant being barred from owning new pets, interacting with animals, and practicing veterinary medicine.”
Burbelo’s attorney stated his client has suffered multiple heart attacks which left him with a short fuse. Fortunately, none of the dogs needed any medical treatment as the result of the veterinarian’s abuse.
The judge also prohibited the veterinarian from contacting any witnesses at the trial nor can he acquire any pets. Burbelo must also undergo mental health and drug and alcohol screening and treatment.
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