Christopher J. Carrier, D.V.M, along with his wife, Wendy Carrier, were arrested on third-degree felony charges last week following an investigation that the two were involved in issuing fraudulent health certificates for pets, Bay News 9 reports. Dr. Carrier owns Care Animal Clinic and Ms. Carrier owns the now closed down Petland, a local pet store. Both establishments are located in Lakeland, Florida.
Before pets are sold in the state of Florida, the must receive an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Dr. Carrier allegedly altered the veterinary documentation for the pets sold at his wife’s store, WPTV reports. The altered certificates did not include information regarding each dog’s vaccinations, according to Bay News 9.
“People thought they were buying healthy pets, when in reality, the Carriers were altering the dogs’ health certificates,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam told Bay News 9. “Consumers had no way of knowing that the dogs had not had proper vaccinations and could become ill.”
Pet owners who purchased dogs from the Petland pet store have complained of illness and even death of their pets. They shared their stories and concerns with ABC Action News in the video below.
The couple, both 40, was charged with forging Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection. Dr. Carrier was charged with 53 counts, while Ms. Carrier was charged with 51, Bay News 9 reports. Both admitted to authorities their involvement in the fraud. Ms. Carrier said she altered the certificates on her computer and Dr. Carrier said he willingly signed the altered certificates, according to Bay News 9.