Thursday, February 09, 2006

Even your pets are watching you

Kitten Goes Undercover in Vet Scam Probe

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press WriterWed Feb 8, 6:09 PM ET

He came from the streets of Brooklyn, a cool customer on four legs, the perfect bait for a sting on a fake veterinarian.

Meet Fred, undercover kitten.

This sounds like the opening of a Disney pitch meeting.

Authorities on Wednesday introduced the 8-month-old former stray cat that posed as a would-be patient while police investigated a college student accused of treating pets without a license.

At a news conference, Fred sported a tiny badge on his collar as he posed for photos with owner Carol Moran, a prosecutor.

"He's pretty easygoing, a real Brooklyn guy," Moran said.

Fred shared the spotlight with Burt the Boston terrier, an alleged victim of Steven Vassall, 28, who was arrested last week and released on $2,500 bail.

Burt's owner, Raymond Reid, contacted authorities after the dog survived a botched operation. In hindsight, he said, he should have been suspicious of a veterinarian who only made house calls and treated animals at an undisclosed location.

Vassall "seemed like a genuinely nice guy," Reid said. "I'm glad they caught him, but at the same time I feel sorry for him."


Joyce Clemmons of the nonprofit Animal Care and Control, which rescued Fred, predicted the kitten had a future in law enforcement.

"He's going to be the detective for the animal world," she said.

Must...resist...easy joke...


A kitten with a badge. I bet he gets a lot of pussy.