Earlier this week, a video surfaced showing worker at Emergency Pet Hospital in in Orlando, Florida, swinging a dog by his neck and slamming him against the wall five times, as the dog yelped.
We’re not going to show to video because it’s really graphic. But if you want to, you can watch it here.
At first, veterinarian Dr. Mohammad Hassan, the owner of the hospital, defended the employee, vet tech Stefanie Stasse, saying that the video doesn’t include the actions leading up to the abuse, in which Stasse tried repeatedly to help the dog. He told WFTV.com, who obtained that video, that it was an aggressive dog and the tech had to take extreme measures to control the dog.
Plus, Hassan said that the incident occurred before he even owned the hospital.
Both reasons are terrible defenses, and it’s outrageous that a vet could believe such things. Hassan soon realized as much. After WFTV aired its segment on the abuse, Hassan fired the employee.
Hassan now wants her prosecuted. He said he was under the advisement of a lawyer when he made the earlier comments, and that he was relying on employees’ versions of the events, because he did not own the hospital at the time.
He might have changed his story also because his business was being threatened. A petition prompting officials to charge Stasse and shut down the hospital was posted on the Care2 Petition Site after the news segment aired, and it quickly reached more than 13,000 signatures.
“We are going to work with the lawyers and with the prosecution to press charges,” Hassan told a reporter after he had his change of heart. “If she should spend time in jail, I don’t mind that.”
After the original broadcast aired, in which Hassan defended the employee, former employees contacted WFTV.
One said that she had quit after seeing abuse and mistreatment of animals: “I walked out. He was angry with me because I told him, ‘Listen, this cat has been here all day without treatment.'”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the case against Stasse and has turned it over to state prosecutors.