Feb
6
2013

One veterinarian impersonator is waiting to learn her legal fate, while another finally received his sentencing after being arrested in 2010. In both cases, the defendants were accused of mutilating and even killing animals during the course of their unlicensed surgeries.

Jail time for fake veterinarian in Florida

In Fort Myers, Fla., a man was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation for performing surgeries on animals without possessing a veterinary license, according to ABC 7. He also must pay a $500 fine as well as court costs.

While impersonating a veterinarian at his wife’s animal clinic, Eugene “Larry” Gentsch allegedly operated on several patients - performing procedures such as spaying and declawing. An earlier report by ABC 7 determined that Gentsch was responsible for the deaths of at least six pets.

Gentsch’s wife, licensed veterinarian Dr. Amy Gentsch, was also arrested in 2010 on suspicion of knowingly allowing her husband to operate on animals in her hospital. The couple allegedly told clients at Dr. Amy's Animal Clinic that Dr. Amy Gentsch was the domestic animal veterinarian while her husband specialized in exotic animals.

According to ABC 7, Dr. Amy Gentsch pleaded guilty in October 2012 to employing an unlicensed veterinarian. She received two years of probation from the court and also was put on probation by the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine, although she is still licensed to practice veterinary medicine.

Ohio woman on trial for unlicensed veterinary work

A 36-year-old Ohio woman is on trial for allegedly performing surgeries and issuing prescriptions without a license while pretending to be a veterinarian.

According to Fox 8 News, Brandi Tomko is facing 13 counts during her trial, including practicing without a license, identity fraud, theft, forgery, and assaulting or harassing an assistance dog.

Tomko was an employee at C&D Animal Hospital, which provided low-cost veterinary services and operated as a no-kill animal sanctuary, Fox 8 News said. When the clinic’s owners and veterinarians abandoned it, Tomko reportedly stepped in and began portraying herself as a veterinarian or veterinary assistant to clients.

Prosecutor Gregory Peacock alleged in his opening statements that Tomko performed surgical procedures such as declawing kittens, leading to deadly consequences for some of the hospital's patients, the media reported.

Peacock’s allegations were supported by two clients who testified that Tomko’s declawing efforts led to one kitten suffering from a life-threatening infection, and one kitten not surviving the procedure.

Tomko’s defense attorney, John Greven, is arguing that the witnesses never actually saw Tomko performing the procedures, which makes it difficult to prove that she was actually the person who did it, the news said.

The judge in the ongoing case will decide Tomko's legal fate, as Tomko has elected not to go before a jury, Fox 8 News said.

Comments (3) -

Dr. Charles A Curie
Dr. Charles A CurieUnited States
2/7/2013 6:54:04 AM #

I am most hopeful that the judge acts upon this with the severity that the crime deserves. There is a lady in our area who has practiced veterinary medicine for years with out a liscense. I reported her quite a few years ago and the investigation brought her to court where she was found guilty of practicing without a liscense. The penalty imposed was a $250 fine. The next day she was back in business and still is.

KAT the Dog Lover
KAT the Dog LoverUnited States
2/7/2013 9:39:04 AM #

I'm with you, Dr. Curie! I really don't understand how people can be so unethical and dishonest as to pretend to be a medical professional. Sure, lots of people can't afford private veterinary care, and low-cost nonprofits are few and far between, but to impersonate a doctor and take money from people is just plain wrong. What the judge should do is sentence jail time, impose hefty fines, and add community service as part of the probation, AND disallow these imposters from ever opening a business as the primary veterinarian--allow them to work only as a second-tier assistant veterinarian, or as a qualified, credentialed technician/technologist. Veterinarians are true medical professionals, people, with formal educations and medical degrees!

Jerry Allen, DVM
Jerry Allen, DVMUnited States
2/11/2013 10:45:27 AM #

We have a pharmacist who passes as a veterinarian out the back of his drug store. He vaccinates, diagnoses, prescribes and even euthanizes (or dispenses shots for people to home euthanize). I do notice all his animal prescriptions were put in bottles with just white blank labels with handwriting on them and no identifier of the drug store or any veterinarian prescribing. He euthanized a puppy for a family out the back of his drug store by walking out with a small hammer and knocking it in the head in front of the children (story reported to me by family...unwilling to testify though) I made a house call on an animal the owner reported he dispensed a shot to kill the animal who had been HBC a few days earlier and was in bad shape. Dog was paddling, grunting and thrashing but not dead. I took the bottles from everyone who brought anything in, cataloged it and took samples. Reported to the State Veterinary Board..they punted to the Pharmacy board who sent a class mate of his down to investigate....came by the clinic while I was out on a farm call...told my receptionist that the only thing he found wrong was the pharmacist had a bottle of veterinary pyrantel and was dispensing it to children because it was cheaper than the human label. Inspector said I apparently was afraid of the competition and he was reporting nothing wrong. Competition? I don't sell makeup and sandwiches...I'm not competing with his drug store!!!  I then reported him to the DEA. They sent an agent who sat down and talked to me about it...I gave them samples and copies of all my files on the cases. She contacted me later and said they were putting together action and to call her in a month. I had her card...called and talked to her again and she said to give them a couple of months because things moved slow. I forgot about it for a while until the pharmacist pulled another stunt (he had laid low after the pharmacy inspection for about 2 months) and I pulled out the agents card and called Atlanta DEA...I asked to speak to her...they denied ever having an agent there by that name. I told them I had her card and had called this same number 3 months ago and talked to her...they denied again and hung up. I gave up. People in this town even made him Grand Marshal in their Christmas parade that year for all the good he was doing. I was happy the day I sold the practice and got away from that.

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