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В городе St. Catharines, Ont., разгорелся скандал после того, как были выложены видео, на которых ветеринар наносил удары по животным и грубо с ними обращался.
Mahavir Singh Rekhi признал себя виновным в нарушении профессиональной этики.
Тот факт, что он отделался десятью тысячами долларов штрафа и был отстранён от работы всего на полгода, а также сохранил лицензию, вызвал взрыв негодования общественности.
Его адвокат выразил обеспокоенность тем, что сам ветеринар и его семья получают угрозы от жителей города, а также рассказал прессе, что Mahavir Singh Rekhi учился в ветеринарной школе в Индии, и что там отношение к животным отличается от принятого в Канаде.
Ontario vet receives death threats
An Ontario veterinarian and his family have received death threats after several videos in which he is shown striking, choking and slamming animals in his care were published earlier this week, according to his lawyer.
Vet captured on video abusing animals:
Mahavir Singh Rekhi, a vet at the Skyway Animal Hospital in St. Catharines, Ont., pleaded guilty to professional misconduct at a College of Veterinarians of Ontario hearing in July.
The college launched an investigation after four former employees filed a complaint about Rekhi's mistreatment of animals. They submitted a dozen surveillance videos as evidence of the animal abuse.
Rekhi was suspended for 10 months, which can be reduced to six months if he attends a variety of training programs, and fined $10,000, but he got to keep his licence.
Public rage bubbled over in the city and social media after some news outlets published some of the videos this week.
"He fears for his safety with threats of vigilante justice," Rekhi's lawyer, Neil Adamson, told The Canadian Press on Friday.
He's been receiving "serious threats, very serious, physical threats, death threats and physical threats, also threats to his family," Adamson said, adding the family has reported the threats to police.
The lawyer pointed out that people are watching the videos without context.
"The videos also demonstrate at the very same time (him) showing care for animals by gently clipping their nails and the like."
Rekhi, who attended veterinary school in India, came from a jurisdiction where they treated animals "differently," Adamson said.
"When he came to Ontario to pass licensing exams and be tested, there was no examination, testing or instruction on behaviour modification or restraint," Adamson said.
"Clearly there were gaps and he fell down in that area, but he took complete responsibility in his failings in that regard and has undertaken a comprehensive program on retraining by leading experts in Canada on restraint and behaviour modification."
Since the videos surfaced on news reports, the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has launched a criminal investigation, according to Insp. Kevin Strooband who works out of the local humane society.
Larissa Engels, one of the former employees who filed the complaint with the college, said Rekhi's 10-month suspension was not enough.
"It's outrageous," she said in an interview. "It's just a slap on the wrist and a slap in the face."
Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, an animal welfare organization, agreed.
"It's shocking that the college has imposed such a light sentence on this man and it's disturbing that he might be back on the streets and in position to abuse even more animals," she said.
Jan Robinson, the chief executive officer of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, defended the decision.
"This is a very distressing and upsetting and disturbing case," Robinson said, but insisted Rekhi received "serious punishment."
A change.org petition started earlier this week calling for the college to revoke Rekhi's veterinary licence had gathered nearly 15,000 signatures by Friday afternoon.
According to an agreed statement of facts from the veterinary college's decision, Rekhi "improperly handled or restrained an/or mistreated, struck or abused animals in his care." Video evidence, the decision said, focused on nine animals.
In one instance on Oct. 21, 2013, "Rekhi grabbed Taz, a Chihuahua, by the throat and punched the dog multiple times in the face," according to the statement of facts.
On June 19, 2014, Rekhi hit Adka, a husky, "in the face when the dog was anesthetized for a neuter procedure."
The statement also says that sometime in 2015, he picked up another dog, Molly, by its neck and slammed the dog on a table.
он отделался десятью тысячами долларов штрафа и был отстранён от работы всего на полгода, а также сохранил лицензию
На самом деле соблюдены лишь политкорректные приличия. По факту же г-н Махавир может смело переквалифицироваться в управдомы. Зная отношение канадцев к животным, могу предположить, что после этого скандала его лавочка разорится сама собой, по крайней мере, в Санкт-Екатеринбурге. Своих питомцев никто к нему больше не понесёт.
Его адвокат выразил обеспокоенность тем, что сам ветеринар и его семья получают угрозы от жителей города
За то адвокатам и деньги платят, чтобы выражали обеспокоенность. На самом деле лицу индийской национальности вряд ли угрожает обнаружить на себе видимый ущерб. В Канаде существует масса довольно эффективных способов без нарушения закона выразить своё отношение к любителям бить бессловесных зверушек.
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В продолжение истории. Жители города не согласились с решением суда и организовали протест, требуя, чтобы ветеринара лишили лицензии навсегда. Среди протестующих также были люди, чьи питомцы подверглись жестокому обращению в клинике.
More than 100 speak up for animals at vet clinic protest
ST. CATHARINES – Eleanor Maus couldn't even bring herself to look at the videos.
The St. Catharines woman was like many of the well over 100 people who gathered outside Skyway Animal Hospital Saturday. They had heard the news stories of St. Catharines veterinarian Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi, who had his licence suspended after some of his employees forwarded video evidence of him abusing animals to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.
They had read what the vet did to the animals brought to him to be treated and knew there were videos. But, like Maus, they couldn't watch them.
Maus, who brought her poodle mix rescue Lucy to the protest, said that as a dog lover she was heartbroken to hear what happened.
"Dogs love you unconditionally," she said over the sound of frequent honking horns from passing motorists showing their support.
Maus said that she – and everything who came to the Welland Avenue clinic – was outraged to learn the CVO only suspended Rekhi for 10 months and fined him $10,000. That suspension could be reduced to six months if he completes a comprehensive remediation program that includes mentorship sessions, certification in animal restraint and behaviour modification program, an education seminar and shadowing another veterinarian.
That lenient punishment has been widely denounced, with many people saying he should lose his licence permanently – and possibly face jail time.
Maus said she needed to add her voice to the cause.
"Change doesn't happen unless you do something," she said. "If you do your little part, you do it for the world."
Lynn Blanchard was similarly horrified. She owns two Shih Tzus, Wisper and Buddy, both of which received care at the clinic. She did see the video and said one of the dogs shown being abused bears a disturbingly close resemblance to Wisper.
Even if it wasn't him, Blanchard said she still shudders to think of what her beloved pets went through.
"I was devastated when I saw that picture," she said. "What went through my mind is 'what did they actually go through while they were there?' It took me a few days to calm down."
Mike Robinson and Janice Worth know their dog Molly was abused by Rekji, as she was in one of the videos and they were both invited to the CVO hearing where the vet's case was heard.
Robinson said he couldn't bring himself to go to the hearing.
"I didn't know if I would be able to hold my temper," he said, adding he later confronted the vet at the clinic, using every ounce of will to restrain himself.
Instead, he said, he told Rekhi he would be visited by karma, by which he meant justice.
"I want this place closed," he said. "I want this guy's licence taken away for good."
However, what he doesn't want and what he was disturbed to hear are reports that the vet and his family received death threats. That's not justice, and they don't deserve that, Robinson said.
"This is my karma," he said the demonstration held outside the clinic. "This is the way to deal with it."