Man charged over dog operation
A US man who said he could not afford veterinary care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet.
Alan MacQuattie, from Barrington, Rhode Island, recently removed a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old Labrador mix. The dog was operated on again by professionals to deal with an infection from the first surgery.
MacQuattie, 63, who is retired, said he is disabled and living on Social Security benefits. He said he used local anaesthetic to operate on the cyst and removed it on his own.
"In the economy as it is right now, especially in Rhode Island, who is going to give you a little extra helping hand?" he said.
E.J. Finocchio, a vet and president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the surgery a "heinous crime".
He said the procedure was medically unnecessary as the cyst was benign and did not appear to be hurting the dog, although MacQuattie said she was irritated by it.
"The dog was not suffering, the dog was not in pain," Finocchio said. "We know that from the nature of the cyst and the condition of the dog that we looked at."
Finocchio said the procedure would probably have cost less than $200, and that his organisation could have helped foot the bill.
Court records show MacQuattie pleaded no contest to misdemeanour charges of animal cruelty and unauthorised practice of veterinary medicine. He was ordered to make restitution but was allowed to keep the dog, and does not believe he did anything wrong.
"My trying to help an animal, I don't believe it's animal cruelty," MacQuattie said.