Granger veterinarian accused of abusing animals in her care

Published: Sep. 5, 2017 at 2:59 PM EDT
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A Granger veterinarian vehemently denies claims that she abused animals in her care.

Nonetheless, a complaint has been filed before the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that potentially threatens the ability of Dr. Jennifer Perusek to continue to practice.

The administrative complaint contains 16 pages of alleged wrongdoing.

One incident involves an uncooperative cat on a leash that the doctor allegedly “swung the cat a few times in the air like a basketball before putting it into a box.”

There’s also a claim that the doctor grabbed a “puppy’s head, slammed it on the table and cursed” after repeated unsuccessful attempts to insert an IV into a rescue animal suffering from malnourishment. The document indicates that the puppy died but that the doctor allegedly reported that the animal dropped dead while walking in its foster home.

It’s further alleged that Dr. Perusek reused needles and syringes to save money when treating rescue animals and that she improperly used sedatives and shock collars to control noise at the Animal Clinic of Granger.

Stefanie Banks Barnett is a 14-year client of the establishment, and only last night did she find out that her dogs, Bree and Radon, were part of the complaint. “They were being boarded and that they had bark shock collars on, which I never would allow or knew that that was happening, and that they both were shocked so much where it was so tight that it caused burn marks. It said to let the owner know that it was probably caused, that it was hot spots caused by allergies, and I do remember being told that they had hot spots.”

Stephanie realizes that the allegations are just allegations and adds, “I don’t want to believe it, more than anything I don’t want that to have happened to my dogs so I don’t want to believe that, but with over 100 dated and named accusations, it seems pretty hard to believe that none of it’s true.”

An attorney for the clinic released a written statement saying Dr. Perusek “vehemently denies” the claims made by former employees and that the doctor continues to build a practice where animals are treated “with respect and given the highest possible level of care.”

The written statement points out that the doctor is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association and that Dr. Perusek is grateful for those who stand by her in this difficult situation.

On page six the complaint reads: “By her conduct in engaging in a pattern of kicking, hitting, slamming, dragging, and choking animals, tying animals too tightly to a cage of table, and carrying animals by the scruff, Respondent has engaged in cruelty to animals…subjecting Respondent to discipline by this Board….”

The following are portions of some of the complaints:

3. Perusek "swung the cat a few times in the air like a basketball before putting it into a box."

4. Perusek "cut the nails so short that at least three nails on each paw were bleeding. When the sedation wore off, the dog's head was tied so tightly to the cage that it started to choke, panicked, bit its tongue, and blood sprayed all over the room."

6. Perusek "picked Bear up off the table and slammed Bear onto the table at least three times."

20. A dog in Perusek's care "had on three bark collars which were so tight they caused Cooper to choke and cough."

63. Perusek "administered only one half of the proper rabies vaccine dosage."

88. Perusek "performed chemotherapy on animals without supplying protective gear to staff members who assisted her."

Perusek's attorney released the following statement Tuesday:
Dr. Jennifer Perusek vehemently denies the claims that her former employees have made against her. She has been committed to loving and caring for animals her whole life, and she continues to build a veterinary practice where animals are treated with respect and given the highest possible level of care. Her accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association speaks volumes for the high standards she has set at the Clinic, and she is grateful for those who have continued to stand by her throughout this difficult situation.