By Amanda Orr
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A 26-year-old Houston man has been arrested for practicing veterinary medicine without a license after he dispensed medicine and performed makeshift treatments on at least 50 animals, police said on Monday.
Wilfredo Gutierrez, who worked as a technician at a veterinary clinic, supplemented his income by posing as a licensed vet. He gave his mobile clinic names such as DogSmart, they said.
Pet owners "really believed that he was a veterinarian,” said Suzanne Hollifield of the Houston Police Department's Animal Cruelty Squad.
A lawyer for Gutierrez was not immediately available for comment.
As part of his illegal practice, he dispensed antibiotics, morphine and vaccinations believed to be stolen from his employer and purchased online, police said.
Owners said he offered to spay and neuter pets, taking them for a few hours and returning them with stitches. He treated one dog with a broken bone by wrapping a bandage around the limb, police said.
Animal welfare agents are advising owners of pets seen by Gutierrez to vaccinate their animals again because medicine he used may have been fake or inadequately administered.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Beech)