WAUNAKEE, Wis. – The former owner of a Wisconsin veterinary clinic is accused of abusing six animals in his care, according to court documents.
A criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court on Monday alleges that Wesley N. Arnett hit, kicked and aggressively handled several animals during his time at the Waunakee Veterinary Clinic, WKOW-TV reported.
“We have zero tolerance for such behavior,” the clinic said. “The current veterinary professionals at Waunakee have dedicated their lives to providing high-quality care of animals and are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all animals in our care.”
A spokesperson with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection confirmed that Arnett’s veterinary license was suspended in September, WISC-TV reported. The spokesperson added that they could not comment further due to an ongoing investigation.
The complaint details nine accounts given by employees, WMTV reported. They stated that seven animals had been abused, while the charges against Arnett are for six animals.
The seventh animal, a Great Dane, was allegedly slammed into a wall by Arnett, according to the television station. That led to an anonymous complaint to authorities, prosecutors said.
According to the criminal complaint, employees at the clinic said that from May 2020 to June 2022, they saw Arnett allegedly slam dogs’ heads into the wall and floor, hit dogs with his fists and a tool, and punch a cat in the head, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Video footage from the clinic reviewed by Waunakee investigators also showed Arnett allegedly hitting and kicking dogs, according to the newspaper.
Arnett has an initial court appearance on Monday.
If convicted of all charges, Arnett faces up to $60,000 in fines and 54 months in prison, WKOW reported.