Veterinarian accused of animal abuse says there is no proof

(WISH Photo, file)

PINE VILLAGE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Pine Village veterinarian said a disgruntled employee is responsible for allegations of animal abuse being filed against her.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint against Dr. Catherine Alinovi to the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

On Wednesday, Dr. Catherine Alinovi’s Pine Village practice Healthy Pawsibilities was open for businesses. It offers standard veterinary care, but specializes in holistic treatments.

At the same time, Alinovi is dealing with allegations of animal abuse, fraud and poor business practices.

“I take it really seriously,” Alinovi said. “That’s why I’m kind of at a loss for words. These are some really damning allegations.”

The complaint filed by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office said Alinovi hit, kicked and yelled at animals in her care. It said at times, she gave too much anesthesia to pets during surgery causing paralysis and death.

More specific allegations say one time she put a shock collar too tight on a dog and caused burns, and she replaced a cat who had run away with a dead cat from her freezer.

“It’s an amazing story,” Alinovi said.

According to the document, all the abuse happened between 2010 and 2013. It’s the time period, Alinovi said, an employee worked for her who left disgruntled. She said that employee went to the Attorney General’s Office.

“This one was out of the blue,” Alinovi said. “I had absolutely no idea. She had given everyone here this perception of being one person, then one day she snapped with all these allegations.”

Michele Hennessey has worked for Alinovi for three years. That includes the time the other employee was there. Hennessey wouldn’t go on camera, but told News 18 she’s never seen Alinovi abuse an animal, and if she had she wouldn’t be working for her.

She said Alinovi is a great vet.

Alinovi said she will fight the allegations.

“I’m innocent until proven guilty, in spite of what things look like right now,” Alinovi said. “I think we’re going to come to the end of this and find that this is a disgruntled employee.”

The Attorney General’s Office released a statement about the case. In it it says this is a licensing case so The Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will act as judge and jury. The statement did not say where or who from the allegations came.

The Board has a hearing on this case scheduled for Sept. 30.

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