Vet tech caught on video slamming dog into wall could be charged

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

WFTV obtained video Thursday of a worker at a local animal hospital caught on camera swinging a dog by a leash and even slamming it into a wall.

WFTV confronted the clinic's owner. He said he stands behind his employee.

The video was captured at the Emergency Pet Hospital of Orlando, on White Road near Good Homes Road.

Channel 9's Renee Stoll talked to the woman in that video handling the dog. She said the same thing as her boss did at the hospital: The video was stolen, posted as revenge, and doesn't show the whole story of what happened.

In the video, vet tech Stefanie Stasse picks up the small dog by the neck using its leash.

Veterinarian Dr. Mohammad Hassan, owner of the emergency pet hospital, said not only did Stasse ask someone to take the video, but it's not what it seems.

"She was actually asked to record the video by the person who was handling the dog because this dog already became very, very aggressive," Hassan said.

Hassan said the person who posted the video on YouTube omitted several minutes of it showing Stasse trying to help the dog.

"Two people were injured by this dog minutes before that," Stasse said.

Despite the video being posted Wednesday, Hassan said it's actually from a year and a half ago, before he became the owner of the hospital.

"How do you feel about the way your employee handled that?" asked Stoll.

"I wasn't happy about it overall there," Hassan said.

Hassan said it's not a common practice to deal with an aggressive dog, but sticks up for his employee.

"Why didn't she handle it one of the ways you mentioned, instead she handled it more aggressively?" said Stoll.

"I think eventually it got to that point," Hassan said.

Hassan said it was an aggressive dog and she had to take extreme measures trying to control it

Hassan said the dog did not have any injuries, but also claimed all of his information came second-hand from his staff because he wasn't working at the hospital at the time.
However, the Department of Business and Professional Licensing and Records shows he's been the owner and main veterinarian since 2008. It could not confirm or deny if they are investigating Hassan's license.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Friday it is aware of allegations of animal abuse at the pet hospital.

The state attorney's office said it will be looking into what was captured on the video.

WFTV learned there have been other complaints made about the emergency pet hospital.

The Orange County Sheriff's Agricultural Crimes Unit said it has investigated the alleged animal abuse.

Investigators plan to hand their information over to the state attorney's office, and charges of animal abuse could be forthcoming.

A representative with Orange County Animal Services said they have received two complaints about the hospital and the doctor.

According to the report, an officer with OCAS found complaints of mistreatment and abuse unfounded.

It's not stopping thousands of people from signing a petition online to close the hospital and charge Stasse.