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Vet Tech Charged with Animal Cruelty After Keeping Dog Said to Have Been Euthanized

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The New Jersey vet tech accused of taking home a sick dog that was supposed to have been euthanized and keeping him alive for five months without the owner’s knowledge has been charged with animal cruelty.


Last May, Keri Levy took her 15-year old Miniature Pinscher, Caesar to Briarwood Veterinary Hospital for a second opinion after being told he was suffering from an endocrine disorder called Cushing’s disease.

Veterinarian Dr. George Menez recommended Caesar be euthanized and Levy said goodbye to her senior dog. Hours after paying for the procedure to put Caesar to sleep, Dr. Menez phoned Levy to offer condolences and assure her that he was “at peace.”

Then, last week, 5 months after saying goodbye to her dog, Levy received an anonymous message that Caesar was still alive and was being cared for by an employee of the veterinary hospital.

Levy immediately confronted employees at the Briarwood Veterinary Hospital, which had since changed to new management. Menez and the vet tech that reportedly had Caesar no longer worked there.

After contacting Howell Police for help, Dr. Menez admitted to allowing Andrea Oliveira, a 45-year old veterinary technician at Briarwood to take Caesar home, without his owner’s knowledge or consent, while continuing to allow Levy to believe her pet was euthanized.

Ross Licitra, chief of the Monmouth County SPCA, said Oliveira acted out of compassion for the dog, believing that she could nurse him back to health. But the SPCA lodged an animal cruelty charge against her after she failed to prove that the dog had received veterinarian care during the five months she had him.

Caesar was briefly reunited with his rightful owner who claimed his health had deteriorated drastically since the last time she saw him, but police said the dog was in good spirits and didn’t appear to have been neglected.

Levy was reimbursed for the clinic charges and, under the supervision of another veterinarian, Caesar was finally euthanized on Monday.

No charges were filed against Dr. Menez. Andrea Oliveira was charged with animal cruelty and issued a summons to appear in municipal court. No court date has been set.

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  1. Avatar Of Laura K Laura K says:

    Why would you get mad that someone was caring for your sick dog, and then demand to have it back just so you can euthanize it? What is wrong with people…

  2. Avatar Of Alyce



    Cushings disease is completely treatable! My 12 year has had it for 2 years. The owner just didn’t want to pay for treatment. A lot of pet owners don’t seek treatment because of the cost and their pet is still fine. LOOK IT UP. Owner sure went to a lot of trouble to find a dog he discarded and cause problems for those who cared more than he did! He surrendered the dog, he has no rights. Hope the vet tech at least gets to keep the little guy. What a waste of the courts time.

  3. Avatar Of Terri Hardy

    Terri Hardy


    Arresting the one who cared for the dog is a travesty of justice. Leave her alone. Shame on people for hurting the one who rescued the dog.

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