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Saturday, June 22, 2024
All 16 animal abuse charges dropped against St. Catharines veterinarian

All 16 charges have been dropped against a St. Catharines veterinarian who was recorded punching animals in the head and slamming them on a table in his clinic.

Mahavir Rekhi, the veterinarian in question, made national news after videos of the abuse were made public in 2016.

Rekhi eventually plead guilty to professional misconduct at the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and received a 10-month suspension from practicing animal care. He was also ordered to take a retraining course and pay a fine of $10,000.

Rekhi’s suspension was then lowered to four months after he completed the retraining course. He re-opened his practice, Skyway Animal Hospital, in February of this year.

During this time, when crowds of people protested outside of Skyway Animal Hospital, the OSPCA investigated and charged Rekhi with eight counts of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal and eight counts of failing to provide suitable and adequate care for an animal.

On Friday, Judge Joseph Nadel dropped all of those charges in an Ontario Court of Justice after Crown attorney Michael Sokolski told him there were problems with the investigation.

Sokolski said the investigation was started and a warrant was received without a complaint.

He also said Rekhi should not have been charged because the College of Veterinarians already took disciplinary action.

Kevin Strooband, an investigator with the OSPCA and executive director of the Lincoln County Humane Society, said that wasn't the case and that a complaint was made in 2016 by an owner of one of the victimized animals.

As well, a complaint was made to the College of Veterinarians in 2016 by former employees of Skyway Animal Hospital who submitted videos of the abuse as evidence.

Rekhi reportedly has practically no clients left after his abuse was made public knowledge.

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