A Des Moines veterinarian and one of his employees faces several charges Wednesday night for having too many animals. Dr. Michael Anderson from Anderson Animal Hospital in east Des Moines faces three misdemeanors, including failure to report dog bites by two dogs that were not vaccinated.
The women were allegedly encouraged not to report it.
According to the practice's website, the staff is committed to responsible pet ownership.
Des Moines police, however, say there were 20 dogs and cats living at the animal hospital. The city allows a maximum of six.
Anderson explained the animals were strays or abandoned by owners.
“We certainly explained to them that they are not a stray holding facility,” said Sgt. Jim Butler.
In addition to being cited for too many animals, Anderson was also cited for failure to vaccinate after the Iowa Department of Agriculture performed an inspection and determined the majority of the cats and dogs living at the animal hospital were also not vaccinated, posing a risk to other animals being treated.
“I would have thought that they were properly vaccinated which, in fact, we discovered they were not,” Butler said. “That was a surprise to me.”
According to police reports, one of the dogs, a PIT BULL, bit an employee from a neighboring business. On a second occasion, the dog bit an employee at the animal hospital.
Police said both women were encouraged not to report the bites – something Anderson admitted.
“They were fearful that particular dog would have been euthanized because it was involved in a bite,” Butler said.
An employee at Anderson Animal hospital also faces charges for having nine dogs in her south Des Moines home, most of which did not have vaccinations or licenses. Some were hers, some belonged to the clinic.
KCCI reached out to Anderson, but an employee at the animal hospital had no comment.