Thanks to Lynn H. for forwarding in this article from KMBC-TV9.
State Suspends License Of Local VeterinarianDr. Lesslie Accused Of Hitting Animals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Your pet may be a victim of abuse and you might not even know it, KMBC’s Lara Moritz reported Monday.
“He punched and he kicked dogs,” Melody Solace said.
Solace used to work with veterinarian Dr. Kevin Lesslie. Moritz reported that the documented allegations against Lesslie date back to 2002, when he owned part of Mill Creek Animal Clinic in Wamego, Kan.
Solace said the Lesslie could be charming and charismatic, but that he had another side to him, which forced those in the clinic to document his behavior.
“Things that were documented were animals being kicked, animals being hit, being thrown, cursed at, punched. It wasn’t a rare occurrence, it was a regular occurrence,” Solace said.
Moritz reported that there were more than 100 cases documented of physical abuse, neglect and testing that was never done. Solace said she was told by Lesslie to contact the pet owners with false results.
“That was difficult to have to call the owner, when I know that I’m lying, and I would say, ‘Dr. Lesslie wanted me to tell you the heartworm test was negative.’ Very difficult,” Solace said.
Amanda Minkler said she witnessed the abuse first hand.
“There was one incident when a dog was in a run and we went to take it out. The dog was cowering in the back. (Lesslie) was trying to clean up the stool the dog had made. He ended up beating the dog with the scraper, and that was one of the most detrimental ones I had seen,” Minkler told Moritz.
In March of 2002, the staff at the Mill Creek Animal Clinic wrote a letter to Lesslie. Among the concerns outlined were inhumane euthanasia and an apparent lack of compassion.
Moritz reported that the staff sent a second letter in October 2002 reiterating the same concerns. This time both veterinarians and five staff members signed it and sent a copy to the Kansas State Board of Veterinarians.
The board fined Lesslie $10,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.
Lesslie left Mill Creek and opened his own clinic in Leawood in 2003.
Employees at his Leawood clinic accused Lesslie of attempting to spay a male kitten. The complaint stated that the doctor had trouble locating the ovaries and uterus, closed the incision and proceeded with a neuter.
Moritz said that Lesslie is also accused of never checking the heart beat after euthanizing an animal. Instead, he placed the animal in a bag for disposal, the complaint stated.
“It’s not fair. It’s not true,” said Lora Hudson, who used to work with Lesslie.
Hudson came to Lesslie’s defense while video was being shot of his closed clinic, Moritz reported.
“I haven’t witnessed anything, and I don’t believe any of this to be true. He’s just had a bad, bad deal from the word go on everything,” Hudson said.
On Nov. 17, the board of veterinarians released its findings in two more cases filed against Lesslie in Wamego. Lesslie’s license was also suspended at that time.
“The No. 1 thing we wanted was Dr. Lesslie out of practice, not seeing the public period,” said a member of the board of veterinarians.
Some former employees of Lesslie said they are frustrated over how long it took the board to make a decision, and that Lesslie can participate in other areas veterinary medicine, such as research.
“We’ve wound up with four more years of horrendous animal treatment, abuse and defrauding the public, which did not need to happen,” said Marilyn Moore.
“I’m disappointed that he’s getting to keep any part of his license — very disappointed in that — but that’s the wheels of justice,” said Mariann Thayer.
Clients of Lesslie’s who would like their pets’ records will need to contact the Kansas Board of Veterinarians at 785-456-8781 or at P.O. Box 242, Wamego, KS 66547-0242.
The board told KMBC that Lesslie took all of the records home with him.