Granger veterinarian accused of abusing dozens of animals
GRANGER, Ind. -- A local veterinarian allegedly mistreated dozens of animals while they were in her care.
Dr. Jennifer Perusek Scheller of the Animal Clinic of Granger is accused of dozens of violations and instances of abuse to dogs and cats over the last six years.
In a complaint filed in June by the Attorney General Dr. Perusek, who got her license in 2004, is accused of hitting, kicking and choking the animals.
She allegedly often over medicated them, sometimes using expired drugs and administering them through used needles and syringes.
Stefanie Barnett has been taking her two dogs, Bree and Radan, to Dr. Perusek for the last ten years. Monday night, when the complaint started circulating on social media was the first time she saw it.
Her dogs are named on the complaint, citing an instance when she boarded the dogs there while on vacation in 2014.
“When I picked them up one of the vet techs told me that she had hot spots and it was most likely from allergies and it was really common,” says Barnett.
Dr. Perusek allegedly instructed her staff to use that lie when animals were burned from shock collars they weren’t supposed to be using.
“I was really angry and I was really sad and it was really deceitful and I trusted her a lot and hoped for the best,” says Barnett.
For other pet owners who went to Dr. Perusek, those allegations are validating suspicions they’ve had.
Frances Nagy took three of her dogs there, but says she changed veterinarians after becoming incredibly unhappy with the care. But, Nagy says her experience started off much different.
“To me she was a super vet. I loved her she was probably one of the best vets I had ever been to,” says Nagy.
Dr. Perusek took care of her dogs Sammy, Iggy and Moses.
“There’s some unanswered questions maybe we will never get the answer to,” says Nagy.
In 2014, Moses needed a simple procedure for kidney stones. The clinic told Nagy to expect him to be drowsy for the remainder of the day. Nagy was concerned when Moses was bleeding more than she expected and was still acting sedated the next day.
When she brought him back to the clinic for help, the vet said there wasn’t anything else they could do. At the clinic’s recommendation, Nagy said goodbye to Moses and he was put to sleep.
Iggy was also put down at Dr. Perusek’s recommendation.
“I’m haunted by the fact that my animals are gone and I really don’t know what the truth is. I don’t know if I’d taken them somewhere else if they would have had a chance,” says Nagy.
When we reached out to the clinic for comment Tuesday afternoon, their phone was disconnected.
When we went stopped by the offices, St. Joseph County Police were responding to their second call on the property that day. One was for a reported harassment and one for a report of an unwanted party.
Police say the first time they heard about the complaint was on Wednesday and they are not involved in an investigation at this time.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office also found out about the complaint Tuesday. Prosecutor Ken Cotter says they subsequently requested the information from Attorney General’s office.
We sent a list of questions to the Attorney General’s office Tuesday morning and as soon as they answer we will pass the information along.
Dr. Perusek's lawyer released this statement:
"Dr. Jennifer Perusek vehemently denies the claims that her former employees have made against her. She has been committed to loving and caring for animals her whole life, and she continues to build a veterinary practice where animals are treated with respect and given the highest possible level of care. Her accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association speaks volumes for the high standards she has set at the Clinic, and she is grateful for those who have continued to stand by her throughout this difficult situation."