SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital.
According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced age and deteriorating health. They did not stay for the procedure and did not want the rabbit’s ashes.
“They were charged $175 by the hospital to euthanize the animal and send it to the Regency Family Pet Crematory for its final resting place,” according to a press release issued by South Plainfield Detective Sergeant Gary Cassio.
The report goes on to state that on April 20 the residents contacted South Plainfield Police after receiving an anonymous letter with no return address stating that the rabbit had not been euthanized and was in the custody of one of the hospital’s technicians.
An investigation was launched and, according to Officer Melanson's report, the crematory had no record of the rabbit and a representative from the animal hospital confirmed to police that no animal surrender form had been filed. The officer's report also states that two animal hospital employees confirmed the rabbit was alive.
“Weeks later, the family learned that the pet rabbit was not euthanized but instead adopted by a worker from the animal hospital with approval from the hospital manager Kurt Roman,” stated Cassio. “Even though the pet rabbit was never euthanized or sent to the pet crematory, the family was still charged the $175 and never notified or refunded the payment.”
At the advisement of the investigating officer, the rabbit was surrendered to police headquarters and returned to the victims. Following the police department’s investigation, the victims signed complaints against Roman for ‘theft by deception.’ The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners was also notified.
Requests for comment from Plainfield Animal Hospital were denied; a representative informed TAPinto South Plainfield that the business ‘did not have any comment to share at this time.’
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Detective Thomas Rutter at (908) 226-7663