Statewide hunt on for fake veterinarian hurting dogs

February 5, 2011 2:14:38 AM PST
He's accused of mutilating dogs by cutting off their ears and tails, all the while claiming to be a licensed veterinarian. Now, there's a statewide search for the man authorities believe may be hurting other animals. Just to warn you, the video contains some images that may be disturbing to see.

Anna is a 3-and-a-half month old pit bull. She and her brother had most of their ears cut off and when officers found her two weeks ago the ears looked badly infected.

"The stitches were holding the flesh together along here and it was monofilament fishing line," said Gary Tiscornia from the SPCA for Monterey County. "It's active mutilation of a dog. It's absolutely senseless."

The SPCA for Monterey County is looking for Damian Maldanado. He claims to be a licensed vet who can do ear cropping and tail docking -- surgeries that dog owners opt to do for cosmetic purposes.

But in five particular cases, the results were horrifying. Officers took photos of a Doberman's tail completely cut off and its ears taped to popsicle sticks post surgery.

Officers raided Maldanado's Salinas home Thursday, but couldn't find him. A neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, says he hears nonstop barking from Maldanado's house. He went onto say he knows the dogs are not playful, that they are claiming their territory and clearly are under distress.

Authorities believe Maldanado operated on animals all over the state, including Fresno and Santa Clara County. There is a $5,000 reward available to anyone who helps with Maldanado's arrest.