12-year-old bulldog dies after "unsterile surgery" at illegal vets, cops arrest fraudster and his girlfriend
The 12-year-old bulldog named "Royalty" died due to an unsterile surgical procedure by a fake vet. He was running an illegal veterinary clinic inside his apartment.
A man was running an illegal veterinary clinic inside the apartment he shared with his girlfriend, and now, law enforcement in Hialeah finally arrested the criminal after nine days.
On May 23, Sophia Gonzalez was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
After absconding for more than a week, her partner was finally taken in custody on Friday night.
Hialeah Lt. Eddie Rodriguez said, "This evening, Jose Alvarez-Marrero arrived at the Hialeah Police Department accompanied by his attorney and turned himself in to detectives."
58-year-old Alvarez-Marrero was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on three counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and animal cruelty with an intent to injure or kill.
Omarnestor Delrio had taken his 12-year-old American bulldog, Royalty, to Alvarez-Marrero to be neutered on April 23, after which, Hialeah police learned of the illegal veterinary practice establishment inside the inside the couple's apartment on East 50th Street.
The day in question Royalty was given anesthesia in the living room near the couch. When the medicine began to take effect, the dog was placed on a table that folded, an officer wrote in the report.
That’s when Gonzalez and Alvarez-Marrero “began to perform the neutering procedure," police say.
Delrio says he had brought his pets to the criminal makeshift clinic before as well. It was supposed to be a simple procedure.
During the procedure “the victim noticed a spurt of blood (into) the air,” the officer wrote in the report. “Next Royalty was sutured but began to swell around his removed testicle area. Due to the swelling, (Alvarez-Marrero) reopened Royalty and began to work in the area.”
Royalty showed no signs of pain and so was given more anesthesia, according to the report.
The owner was told to “place a pair of pants on Royalty to prevent him from licking the wound" among other instructions on how to care for the wound.
But Royalty wasn't eating or drinking two days after the "surgery". He wasn't “recuperating at the pace he expected him to recover" and so Delrio called Alvarez-Marrero out of concern.
Law enforcement authorities reported that Royalty was given two injections after Delrio took him back to the shady apartment. One injection was administered in the neck and other in the thigh, in the guise that they were antibiotics.
Again on Saturday, Delrio brought the dog back to the fake clinic after getting worried about his predicament. At the time, Delrio said, Royalty was placed on an intravenous bag with an “unknown liquid.”
On Sunday, the bulldog was not moving at all and so the fake veterinarian advised Delrio to bring him back yet again for further medical treatment.
Ultimately, realizing that the situation had gone beyond his "expertise", Alvarez-Marerro escorted Delrio to another veterinary clinic in Hialeah. When the duo reached the medical center, doctors said that Royalty was "in bad shape." Delrio had to then transfer the embattled dog to Knowles Animal Clinic.
His bulldog was in such bad shape after the numerous procedures he went through at the apartment that he had to take him to a Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami. Upon arrival, medical authorities informed Delrio that the neutering procedure performed on the dog "was beyond medical malpractice." The police report that came out immediately after said that it was "pure animal cruelty."
“The victim was advised by veterinary staff that whoever conducted the procedure on Royalty was beyond medical malpractice. That is pure animal cruelty,” an officer wrote in the report.
On April 30, one week after his surgery, Royalty succumbed to his wounds and died.
According to the veterinarian at Knowles, the bulldog had died due to an “unsteril(e) surgical procedure.”
A search warrant was secured by Hialeah police and Miami-Dade Animal Services on Wednesday, who conducted a thorough search and examined the duo's apartment in Hialeah. Upon arrival at the residence, officers were met by Gonzalez, who asserted that she lived there with her boyfriend, Jose.
On Thursday night, Miami-Dade Animal Services did not respond to a request for comment by Journal Star.
“Jose Alvarez-Marrero was not home at the time and spoke with detectives over the phone,” Hialeah police spokesman Eddie Rodriguez said in an email. “Alvarez told detectives he was on his way home to speak with them, but never arrived. Jose Alvarez-Marrero remains at-large.”
In a major effort to help locate the whereabouts of Alvarez-Marrero, Lt. Rodriguez urged the public on May 26 in a release to come forward and report other crimes of the fraudulent veterinary practice "to help hold Jose Alvarez-Marrero accountable for his actions."
"The Hialeah Police Department would like to thank everyone who covered this story and help expose Jose Alvarez-Marrero and his criminal acts," Rodriguez said. "Hialeah detectives have received numerous leads, which our detectives are currently following. This case continues to grow, as additional victims have come forward and have contacted our detectives."