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South Florida dog owners were shocked in March when the veterinarian they trusted to care for their furriest family members was arrested on animal abuse charges. Now, details of his horrific crimes were revealed, including sexual abuse of dogs, bestiality, and filming “animal crush” videos.
Dr. Prentiss Madden was well-liked and trusted by clients at the Caring Hands Animal Clinic, where he served as the animal hospital’s medical director. He was considered a hero among colleagues, patients, and animal advocates, even having a service dog named after him. Yelp reviewers described him as compassionate and caring, with rave reviews, like this one that reads “Dr. Madden is incredible and a very empathetic vet. He listens to us and really makes me safe when putting my dog’s health in his hands.”
But, just weeks after that 5-star review was posted, Dr. Madden was arrested on several horrific charges including child sexual abuse, child pornography, animal sexual abuse, bestiality, and filming and possessing “animal crush” videos, in which animals are tortured for sexual gratification.
In May of 2020, cloud-storage company DropBox tipped the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to more than a thousand files that it suspected as child pornography in Madden’s account between June 2018 and February 2020.
According to the criminal complaint against Madden, investigators used geolocation contained in metadata to discover some of the photos and videos were recorded at the animal hospital. The criminal complaint also describes disturbing conversations between Madden and unidentified third parties, in which the veterinarian admits to and shares photos and videos of himself performing sexual acts on dogs. One of the videos was filmed at Caring Hands. Now that details of Madden’s heinous and disturbing acts have been released along with his guilty plea, clients of the clinic are wondering if their own dogs were abused while in the veterinarian’s care.
Under the clinic’s COVID-19 restrictions, pet owners were not allowed inside the building for nearly a year before his arrest. “That’s the most disgusting thing. Nobody knows what happened in there,” pet owner Gina Silvestri, who has a service dog that was a patient of Madden’s, told the South Florida New Times. “It’s horrifying.”
Madden’s sentencing is scheduled for October 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 87 years in prison.