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Thursday, Jun 30, 2011County: Summit
Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Alleged: Brandi Ann Tomko
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
A convicted heroin addict is in jail on charges of pretending to a veterinarian who treated people's pets for months.
Brandi Tomko, 35, of Tallmadge, Ohio faces a 33-count criminal indictment and is being held on $10,000 bond. Charges include practicing without a license, cruelty to animals, and injuring animals.
"I'm disgusted I fell for some fake, acting like a vet and leaving my dog there," said Holly Denavich, who took her dog, Teddy, to C & D Animal Hospital last Memorial Day weekend when the dog got sick.
She looked for a vet in the phone book and travelled to C & D where she was greeted by Tomko.
"She said she was a veterinarian," Holly told WKYC. "The thing that was strange to me was she was in street clothes and I really didn't see any credentials hanging on the wall."
Authorities say the reason there were no credentials is because Tomko has none. She was an office worker at C & D who stayed on when the veterinarians who practiced there moved and left the office in her care.
The indictment says Tomko posed as a veterinarian from April through October, 2011, when she "treated" an unknown number of animals.
A cat died after a botched de-clawing and an Akron man says his dog died after spending three days at Tomko's clinic.
Denavich says when Tomko first told her she was a veterinarian, she believed her, but became suspicious when she only took cash and had to go to her car to make change.
Denavich looked up Tomko's veterinary license on the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board's website and found she was not licensed.
"I confronted her and she said she was a vet tech. I told her I did not find that either, then she told me she was training to be a vet tech."
"I told her she had lied to me, that she told me she was going to be the vet seeing my dog," Denavich continued. "I never would have left him with her. I would have went somewhere else and I wanted my money back."
Kenny Reymann took Charlie, his dog of 13 years to C&D. Brandi did the exam, drew blood even diagnosed Charlie.
"She sounded like she knew what she was talking about," said Kenny Reymann.
"That's what she told me was wrong with him. She told me she could save him, could give me 3 more years," said Kenny Reymann.
After four days Kenny took Charlie home. Brandi said he would be fine.
"I gave Charlie a long hug and kiss that night. I felt pretty good cause I thought he was going to be alright. I woke up the next morning. My other dog was lying next to him trying to wake him up, and he was gone," said Kenny Reymann.
Brandi ran the clinic for four months -- only accepting cash. Some reports she did it all even spaying and neutering pets. One cat she declawed had to be put down because she messed it up.
"She wasn't a doctor at all. She's a monster and she needs to be stopped," said Kenny Reymann.
Court records show Tomko has faced criminal charges in Summit, Portage, and Medina counties. She pleaded no contest to possession of heroin in Medina County in 2003.
Tomko pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Tomko's next court hearing is scheduled for April 9 at 9 a.m. in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
If you are a victim of Tomko's alleged crime, contact Akron Police at 330-375-2490.
[WEB EXTRA: Read the secret indictment filed against Tomko]
|A September trial date has been set for the Medina County woman accused of posing as a veterinarian and causing the death of an Akron man's service dog.|
Brandi Ann Tomko, 35, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 11 in the court of Summit County Common Pleas Judge Paul Gallagher.
Tomko appeared before Gallagher on Monday morning for arraignment on six additional charges prosecutors filed last week in a supplemental indictment. One of those charges is a third-degree felony for assaulting or harassing an assistance dog, resulting in its death last October.
Tomko would face up to three years in prison if she were convicted of that charge.
The dog, an 8-year-old Samoyed, was trained to help disabled U.S. Navy veteran Bob McGee, who served in the Persian Gulf war in the early 1990s.
Tomko, who is free on bond, is accused in a 39-count indictment of injuring animals, animal cruelty, practicing veterinary medicine without a license, felony theft and numerous drug offenses.
Prosecutors said the incidents occurred in a period between February 2010 and April 2011 while Tomko was treating pets at the C&D Animal Hospital on Brittain Road in East Akron.
The clinic has since closed.
Prosecutors contend Tomko used money she took in at the clinic to support a drug habit.
John Greven, Tomko's attorney, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Update posted on May 14, 2012 - 9:11PM
|A Medina County woman accused of animal cruelty and posing as a veterinarian is facing her most serious charge in connection with causing the 2011 death of a Persian Gulf war veteran's service dog.|
In a supplemental indictment a Summit County grand jury returned last week, Brandi Ann Tomko is charged with assaulting or harassing the assistance dog belonging to Bob McGee of Akron, resulting in its death last October.
That charge is a third-degree felony, the most serious in what has become a 39-count indictment, and carries a maximum prison sentence of three years in prison.
Tomko, 35, who was released from the county jail April 20 after posting a $10,000 bond, also was charged in the latest indictment with one count of felony theft and four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
April Wiesner, chief spokesperson for the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, said the charges in the supplemental indictment arose from formal complaints local pet owners filed after widespread media coverage of Tomko's court appearance April 10.
Akron police detectives investigated those complaints, and their investigation led to the new charges being presented to a grand jury.
Tomko had been charged with 33 crimes related to multiple drug offenses, injuring animals, animal cruelty, theft and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
Authorities said Tomko, who had no formal veterinary training, treated pets at the former C&D Animal Hospital on Brittain Road. They said she used the money she collected to support a drug habit.
McGee, a disabled Navy medic who served in the gulf war in the early 1990s, had an 8-year-old Samoyed named Allie that was trained to pull groceries from low shelves, open doors and retrieve things he dropped.
When Allie became ill with bladder problems in January 2011, McGee said, he took her to the clinic where Tomko worked. He said she prescribed treatment with insulin and that he gave the prescription to Allie through the summer.
After a succession of seizures that would not abate, and despite assurances from Tomko that Allie was simply adjusting to the medication, the dog died, McGee said.
He said Wednesday he was "ecstatic" Tomko finally has been charged in connection with Allie's death.
"This is going to be more than just a slap on the wrist than the misdemeanors she's facing. Now it's going to be a felony," he said.
But the filing of charges does not make Allie's loss any easier, he said.
"Right now, I'm without a service dog, and I really miss her. I have some [post-traumatic stress disorder] issues going on," McGee said, "and I don't have my dog with me to help me get through them. It's hard."
He said he hopes the new charges will result in Tomko "going away for a few years."
Tomko's next scheduled court appearance is Monday, the county prosecutor's office said.
Update posted on May 11, 2012 - 12:17AM
- fox19.com - Apr 7, 2012 ohio.com - Apr 7, 2012 woio.com - Apr 4, 2012 wkyc.com -Apr 4, 2012 newsnet5.com - Apr 4, 2012 fox8.com - Apr 3, 2012
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