Judge upholds veterinarian's cruelty conviction

A Lancaster County Court judge today upheld the cruelty conviction against Chester County veterianian Tom Stevenson.

Judge Howard Knisely said Stevenson acted "unreasonably" and was "utterly indifferent" when he held a puppy under scalding water and cut off its a piece of its tail without anesthesia, according to the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. 

Stevenson, as operator of Twin Valley Veterinary Clinic in Honeybrook, was the veterinarian of record to most of the major commercial kennels in Lancaster County and responsible for the health of thousands of breeding dogs.

Defense lawyer Jeff Conrad contended that Stevenson was trying to help the puppy when he snipped off a piece of its injured tail in March 2009. The incident was witnessed by an undercover officer with the Pennsylvania SPCA who was conducting an investigation of the kennel operator, Samuel King (who has since had his kennel license revoked.)

Stevenson's medical license was suspended in December following his conviction on one count of animal cruelty by District Judge Stuart Mylin. The license was temporarily reinstated in July and the veterinary medical board has not made a final decision in the case, a spokeswoman for the Department of State said.

More on the case from the Intelligencer Journal here.