Vet Accused of Hiding Dogfighting

Dr. Gary Friederich, owner of Park Forest Animal Clinic, was arrested Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr. Gary Friederich

    A suburban veterinarian is accused of failing to report suspected dogfighting and lying about administering rabies vaccines.

    Dr. Gary Friederich, 64, was arrested at his Palos Park home on Thursday following a five-month undercover investigation, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

    Friederich, the owner of the Park Forest Animal Clinic, was charged with violating the Illinois Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act and his his veterinary license has been suspended, Dart said Friday.

    According to the sheriff's department:

      On multiple visits to see Dr. Friedrich, undercover investigators presented dogs to him that were in need of care, including rabies vaccines and treatment of injuries consistent with dogfighting.  Follow-up tests showed that while Dr. Friedrich charged a fee and provided a certificate of vaccination, no vaccines were in any of the dogs’ systems.

      When Dr. Friedrich learned a dog which was injured in a fight was coming into his clinic, he instructed the officer to enter the rear of the building so no one would see the dog or the extent of its injuries. In a room at the clinic, the officer then discussed the fight in detail with Dr. Friedrich, who assured the officer he would treat the dog for a number of days and return it to a condition so it could again be used in dogfights. When the officer returned for the dog as scheduled and asked for a rabies vaccine, Dr. Friedrich handed the officer a certificate, winked and asked for $55 for the “vaccination” and $145 for the stay.  A follow-up check by another veterinarian showed that during those days, the dog contracted kennel cough and was infested with fleas after its stay in Friedrich’s kennel.

    It's unknown whether Friederich had an attorney. He is scheduled for a Jan. 31 court date.

    Public records show Friederich has a history of license suspensions and reprimands.

    His license first was suspended from September 1988 until March 1989, and he was put on probation from March 1989 until September 1991. 

    Friederich was reprimanded in 1992 for failing to provide a pet with 24-hour intensive care as well as failing to keep complete patient records, and he was on probation from January 1997 until July 1999.

    Friederich was put on probation again from April 2002 until April 2004 for failing to keep adoption records for two cats and failing to provide documentation about the care of a 15-month-old Shih Tzu.