LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a conviction and jail sentence against Hector Antonio Menjivar for posing as a doctor and operating an unlicensed after-hours veterinary clinic in Van Nuys.
"My office takes very seriously protecting the safety and welfare of animals,” said Feuer. “This conviction sends a strong message that those who would place our pets in danger will be held accountable. I urge all residents to be vigilant in only taking pets to licensed vets."
Menjivar, 52, pled no contest to one count of unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine. Judge Leland Harris sentenced Menjivar to 36 months of probation, 30 days jail, 500 hours of community service and 16 sessions of animal cruelty counseling. Menjivar is scheduled to surrender on October 16, 2015.
In February, 2014, the Board of Veterinary Medicine received a complaint from a woman who had her sick cat treated at the Holiday Humane Society in Van Nuys in December, 2013. The victim was instructed by Menjivar, the owner of the business but not a licensed veterinarian, to bring her animal in after 6:00 p.m., an hour after the clinic closed. Menjivar introduced himself as a doctor and performed surgery on the cat, charging $300 in cash. The animal died later that night.
An undercover State investigator posing as a potential customer contacted Menjivar in December, 2014 and made an appointment to bring in her dog. Menjivar again made the appointment after the clinic had closed and introduced himself as a doctor. Menjivar examined the dog, who was not sick, and prescribed pills for an infection.
Deputy City Attorney Don Cocek, Supervising Attorney of the City Attorney’s Animal Protection Unit, successfully prosecuted the case.