The San Diego Humane Society has referred an alleged Lemon Grove dog abuse case involving a local veterinarian to the California Veterinary Medical Board.
NBC 7 spoke exclusively with the dog owner Saleena Gallaegos, who said she brought her dog Roxy to the Lemon Grove Veterinary Hospital on Nov. 26 to get stitches removed by Dr. Anil Gowda.
“As soon as we walked out is when the door closed behind us, and that’s when we heard a loud thump, like something had hit the side of Roxy, and she screamed,” said Gallaegos. “That’s when I see the vet literally holding her up by the rope and kicking her in the process. He looked at me like he had seen a ghost, so I’m like ‘What are you doing to my dog?’ He says ‘No, you’re mistaken.’”
Gowda's attorney Jason Carr strongly denies the allegation.
Chief Stephen MacKinnon said the San Diego Humane Society has conducted an initial investigation.
“There was concern that would allow us, if we were on our own, we would continue to investigate further, but again we think the board would be the best body to do a more thorough investigation,” he explained.
Carr emphasized his client Gowda did not kick Roxy.
“Dr. Gowda sincerely denies all her allegations. The only hope is that the public does not rush to judgment and allows for a detailed and thorough investigation that has yet to happen,” he told NBC 7. “People all over the globe are calling for Dr. Gowda’s license and hospital to be closed without even hearing the other side of the story.”
Carr said the veterinary hospital has received more than 20 violent threats in the last three days.
Gallaegos said she does not know where those threats came from and never promoted any sort of violent response. She and her family have organized a “Rally for Roxy,” scheduled for Saturday Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. at Berry Street Dog Park in Lemon Grove.