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Vet now back in Canada?

carey
October 16th, 2004, 11:41 AM
VIRGINIA BEACH — A veterinarian who practiced in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach faces 26 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

The charges against Dr. Claude Andre Grenier stem from a Sept. 26 incident in which 25 cats were abandoned outside the Virginia Beach offices of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

SPCA officials said the purebred cats were packed so tightly into animal carriers that one suffocated.

As of Friday, five of the cats were dead, two of them euthanized because of serious health problems. The cats, discovered in five animal carriers, had several health problems, SPCA officials said.

Dehydrated and underweight, many also had eye and severe upper-respiratory infections. Some were covered with fleas, and one was infested with maggots, SPCA officials said.

“They were a mess,” said Sharon Adams, the SPCA’s executive director. “They were dying.”

Reached Friday in Canada, Grenier said he owned the cats but denied dumping them or neglecting them. “The conditions that have been reported to you are wrong,” he said. “Certainly, I’m not guilty.”

Grenier, 44, is a Canadian citizen who has been living in the United States for eight years. He said he has raised and shown cats since he was a teenager.

“I’ve devoted my life to felines,” he said. “That’s why it’s so confusing that things are so turned around that I am the bad guy that’s accused of mistreating them.”

Grenier is past president of the Feline Alliance of Tidewater , is an active breeder and is a regular at cat shows along the East Coast.

Animal-control officers said it appears that Grenier was raising all the cats in his second-floor apartment in the 3900 block of Waterway Place.

A search warrant was served at Grenier’s residence Sept. 27, and four other cats were found – two inside and two outside – leading to the 26th criminal charge. Grenier was not home at the time.

Officers have not been able to find and formally charge him.

Grenier disputed the SPCA’s assessment of the cats’ health and suggested that they became ill after being exposed at the shelter. SPCA veterinarians say the illnesses are long-standing.

Grenier said he does not know how the cats could be sick or neglected. “I had someone taking care of them every day,” he said.

He would not identify who was caring for the animals and said he did not know who left them at the SPCA. He suggested that it might have been movers who took his belongings to Canada.

He gave The Virginian-Pilot the name and phone number in Quebec of a woman who, he claimed, was in charge of the move. Reached at that number, the woman spoke no English.

Adams said the SPCA suspected that the abandoned cats were Grenier’s the day after they were discovered. Two women called looking for cats that, they said, were under his care.

A few days later, Adams said, Grenier called the SPCA, demanding that his cats be released. The information was given to animal-control officers, who launched an investigation.

The state Department of Health Professions said Grenier is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Virginia. According to the state Veterinary Medicine Association, Grenier was reprimanded in 2000 and fined $500 by the state Board of Veterinary Medicine for two cases of providing substandard care.

In one, he allegedly gave an incorrect enema to a dog that later died. In the second, he allegedly gave improper treatment to a dog with a broken leg.

Grenier formerly worked at the Strawbridge Animal Hospital in Virginia Beach and the VCA Actin Animal Hospital in Chesapeake.

Margot Mellies, a retired pediatrician from Mill Spring, N.C., said she has known Grenier for more than 10 years and can’t believe his cats would be in ill health.

She said she and Grenier have bred cats together and competed in cat shows.

She said that she has never been to his home or seen where the cats were raised, but that, “I know from the cats that he has shown, and when he has been at my house, the condition of the cats has been good.”

Wayne Gilbert, superintendent of the Virginia Beach Bureau of Animal Control , said warrants for Grenier’s arrest are awaiting his return. Grenier said he cannot return to the United States because of a visa problem. A police search warrant said Grenier is on unsupervised probation but does not give further details. Grenier said he is not on probation.

He said he wants to return to the United States to clear his name and get his cats back. “I am a victim here of some stories to make me look worse than the actual case,” he said.

Later, he said: “I don’t plan on ever returning to the United States. The justice system in that country is very deficient and especially bad for anybody that is not American.”

Reach Jason Skog at 222-5113 or jason.skog@pilotonline.com

badger
October 16th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Carey, can you tell me which newspaper this article came from and the date? I want to send this to the professional order of veterinarians here in Quebec. We wouldn't want this guy practising here, would we, unless he gets serious help...

carey
October 16th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Here is the header of the article and the name of the paper. I think it's a very good idea to alert the vet association in Quebec as they may be unaware. (Of course, he may be anywhere in Canada, in which case an alert to the CVMA would be in order).

Twenty-five kittens *were dumped outside the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Virginia Beach on Sept. 26. Five of the 9-week-old kittens died. This exotic short-hair, above, survived. STEPHEN M. KATZ/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT


By JASON SKOG , The Virginian-Pilot
October 16, 2004 | Last updated 1:24 AM Oct. 16

Mysts38
October 18th, 2004, 06:36 AM
Iam going to email this to my vet,who is a member on the board of the ontario SPCA

elmoy
October 18th, 2004, 11:07 AM
Would anyone know if this Grenier vet was originally from Hull Que? I used to live very close to this vet clinic and the vet's name was Grenier. He was not a very nice person to start with....

I wonder if it is the same person.... :confused:

carey
October 18th, 2004, 01:58 PM
I will try to find out, although it is quite a common French name.

carey
October 18th, 2004, 04:43 PM
I asked the reporter if he knew anything. This is his response:
HE told me he’s not practicing at the moment, but the tel. number I have for him lists to a location in Moscouche (sp?), Quebec, near Montreal. Beyond that, I don’t have any information, sorry. If you come across anything interesting, please let me know
Does anyone near Montreal know where this location is? Glad to hear he's not practising, although that doesn't mean he won't - if he's a qualified vet no doubt he'll be starting up again at some point. :(