According to WYFF4 News, a Pickens County veterinarian has been arrested and charged with ill treatment of animals after a Facebook video showing him striking a dog went viral. There is a lot of anger on Facebook because people rightly expect decent standards of animal welfare by veterinarians.
Dr. Robert McKee, 64, has been a veterinarian since 1986. McKee, who practices veterinary medicine at Foothills Animal Hospital on Moorefield Memorial Highway in Liberty, was secretly recorded using a cell phone by a witness as he struck a dog named Micah.
Word quickly spread and Micah’s owner came to the clinic to pick up the dog. McKee claims he took Micah in after employees found him outside the clinic.
McKee, who turned himself over to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning, defended his actions stating
“I was walking it about 10 times a day, I was feeding it, and trying to care for it. I was trying to break it of barking. It was an 18- 19-week-old puppy that had just started sprouting its teeth.
I went back and asked it to be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, that did not work, McKee said. “I hit it, or whatever term you want to use, with three fingers on its forehead three times, is what the report said, I thought it was four. And said ‘no’ each time, I was trying to reinforce that.”
McKee stated in an interview with Fox Carolina News that he’d just brought Micah in from playtime and the dog was barking at other pets. He doesn’t consider what he did as being wrong or cruel.
CAUTION: VIDEO MAY BE CONSIDERED VIOLENT
Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said the Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit began an investigation after viewing the video. Hash stated in a press release their office “have not uncovered any evidence that would indicate that the physical striking of the animal was in the course of any veterinary practice or pursuant to a medical procedure.”
While Micah didn’t suffer any physical signs of abuse, some clients have already asked for their animal’s records be transferred to another clinic. Others have supported Dr. McKee who added
“I do work very, very, very hard at trying to help animals. I’m a believer in doing the right thing. I believe, seriously, that I was trying to help this dog. It is heartbreaking to have this happen, but I know that either I’ll get through it, or I won’t, and I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other.”
McKee was arraigned in front of a Pickens County Magistrate and was released on a $3,000 recognizance bond. Since the ill treatment of animals is a misdemeanor in South Carolina, the maximum punishment is up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine.
Most likely the damage to his reputation will be a far greater punishment than anything the legal community can hand down.
Those closer to the situation and former and current employees and clients please feel free to comment.
Facebook Rating of 1.3
Because of him the hospital where he works has a 1.3 out of 5 rating on Facebook! This demonstrates the power of viral social media. And one former employee says the following on FB:
Sonya Brightman —1 star – I see you have gone back to being abusive. I worked for you 20 +years ago and left because of your abuse and threatening me. I am so happy that Karma has finally came to you. Thank goodness for technology and the person who took the video. Anyone who has seen behind the scenes knows you are Dr. Jeckel Mr. Hyde…I am just sorry that I and other employees were not mature enough then to file charges against you for the abuse.
NOTE: There are other clinics in the upstate area around Greenville County who are being bashed by people who don’t realize the veterinary clinic involved in the incident is solely the one located in Liberty.