Gary Samuel and his assistant/lover Rochelle McEwan, together, allowed eight cats and 24 dogs to starve in a dark dungeon underneath their veterinary clinic. When the police entered the establishment Samuel was sitting on a bed with a laptop on his knees. He was wearing headphones. He pointed to the trap door under a carpet leading to a secret cellar and told the officers that his partner owned the animals but never feed them. They were kept in that dungeon for several weeks without natural light.
Samuel and McEwan had a stormy relationship. On 24 February 2015 McEwan contacted the police to say that Samuel was threatening her with a hammer.
The police became concerned for the animals when they visited the surgery. First there was an horrendous smell of faeces and urine. Then, as mentioned, they discovered the dungeon in which there were dogs and cats in cages. It appears to have been a veterinary clinic of horrors. Samuel and McEwan lived above the clinic part-time it appears.
Samuel claimed that the dogs and cats belonged to McEwan and that she had asked him to treat them. Samuel therefore blamed McEwan for the animal cruelty. He said that the animals were nothing to do with him and he had ended his relationship and asked McEwan to take the animals with her.
In the criminal court both were found guilty of animal cruelty (six offences in all) including causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide a suitable environment or veterinary care.
McEwan was banned from keeping animals for life while Samuel was handed a suspended 12 week sentence.
At a further hearing with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Samuel’s governing body, he was banned for life from practising veterinary medicine according to the report on the Metro.co.uk website.
Of the 24 dogs, 12 were huskies. The veterinary practice was in Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire. Clearly both were unfit to practice veterinary medicine. This begs the question as to how many vets have similar mentalities. Arguably veterinary schools don’t examine the attitude of students carefully enough. Samuel should never have been a veterinarian.