Case Snapshot
Case ID: 5954
Classification: Beating, Kicking/Stomping
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull), dog (pit-bull)
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Person(s) in animal care
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Wednesday, Sep 21, 2005

County: Ocean

Disposition: Civil Case

Person of Interest: Gregory P. Kerrick, DVM

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

New Jersey's Attorney General is suing a Dover Township veterinarian, claiming he is continuing to care for animals despite being temporarily suspended from practicing medicine by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Gregory P. Kerrick, whose office is the Dover Veterinary Hospital at 877 Fischer Blvd., was suspended after the state board found he violated a consent order in which he agreed to stop working and get a psychiatric evaluation.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin R. Jespersen filed the lawsuit asking a judge to temporarily ban Kerrick from practicing, allow the state to inspect the veterinary hospital and impound records showing he worked in violation of the consent order and temporary suspension.

In addition he wants Kerrick ordered to repay clients he served after the temporary suspension; civil penalties imposed; Kerrick barred from the veterinary hospital, and the doctor ordered to reimburse the state for the cost of its investigation.

Dr. David P. Greenfield told the board Kerrick suffers from bipolar disorder and is an "imminent threat to the public and incapable for medical reasons of performing his responsibilities."

The board suspended him after finding he "engaged in violent and abusive conduct toward animals in his care," and toward clients and employees.

It also found him "grossly negligent" in his care of an animal.

Robert R. Levinson, Kerrick's attorney, said he was aware of the Attorney General's suit, but has been unable to communicate with his client about it because they keep missing each other's calls.

According to the suit, the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners began getting reports of "extraordinary and erratic behavior" by Kerrick in November 2004.

In one case the board was told he threatened to cut the heart out of a client.

In another he was reported to have picked up a dog by the tail and kicked and punched it until it howled.

On April 27, 2005 Kerrick agreed to stop practicing as of May 7 and get a psychiatric evaluation.

According to the suit, he resumed his practice "almost immediately," and his behavior continued.

On Oct. 6 the board ordered his license suspended retroactive to Sept. 21, the date of its hearing with Kerrick.

Despite that, the state claims Kerrick continued to treat animals, which amounts to professional misconduct and unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.

Case Updates

A Dover Township veterinarian found to have "an extensive pattern of violent conduct to animals, clients and employees" was given a year's probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment for defying a court order barring him from practicing veterinary medicine, state officials said Thursday.

Gregory P. Kerrick, 38, of Seaside Park, who was accused of animal abuse and threatening clients with physical harm, pleaded guilty Wednesday to contempt of court before Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grasso, who sits in Toms River.

Kerrick most recently worked at the Dover Veterinary Clinic at 877 Fischer Blvd., Dover Township. Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Consumer Affairs Director Kimberly Ricketts announced the sentencing Thursday.

Grasso sentenced the veterinarian to probation and ordered him to stay away from the veterinary hospital. In addition, Kerrick was ordered to undergo treatment by a psychiatrist who must submit monthly reports to the Ocean County Probation Department. The reports must detail Kerrick's compliance with the psychiatrist's treatment recommendations.

The contempt-of-court charge was brought by the state in February. The state alleged that Kerrick continued to practice as a veterinarian, and charged and collected fees for his services, despite a November court order and prior orders by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners dating back to September and May requiring him to stop practicing veterinary medicine in New Jersey.

"Dr. Kerrick showed an alarming disregard for the welfare of animals in his care and their owners," Ricketts said. "We will not permit him to continue practicing veterinary medicine in New Jersey in defiance of board and court orders."

A complaint by the state alleges that during a house call in January, Kerrick examined a cat, drew blood, provided medicine, and collected a fee of $248, all while being prohibited from practicing veterinary medicine.

Kerrick's license was temporarily suspended by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in September, pending a full hearing, after the board found that Kerrick's "erratic behavior demonstrates an extensive pattern of violent conduct to animals, clients and employees, gross negligence in his treatment of an animal and extremely poor judgment."

The state filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County to enforce the board's suspension order, after it discovered that Kerrick was still practicing.

In November, Superior Court Judge James D. Clyne issued a final judgment prohibiting Kerrick from practicing veterinary medicine in New Jersey. Deputy Attorney General Kevin R. Jespersen is handling the case.
Source: Asbury Park Press - March 17, 2006
Update posted on Mar 17, 2006 - 2:15PM 


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