Woosehill vet ‘kept dogs in filthy condition’By Laura Herbert
June 13, 2012
The owner of a Woosehill veterinary practice operated using dirty kennels, overcharged clients and failed to correctly treat animals, leaving one injured dog in a cage for 33 days, a court has heard.
Awuah Ohene-Gyan, 53, is standing trial at Reading Magistrates Court accused of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and four alternative counts of failing in his duty to ensure animal welfare at his Woosehill Vets practice in Emmview Close.
The charges relate to Red, a lurcher, who was lame in her left hind leg after rupturing the Achilles tendon in a hunting accident, and 10-year-old mastiff bitch Milly, who was taken to the surgery after losing the use of her hind legs.
She had cancer in the lower part of her spine, brain and kidneys, which Ohene-Gyan is accused of diagnosing as a possible infection.
He is also accused of failing to treat the ankle of a cat named Gus after he was injured in a car accident, and German shepherd Maisy who was kept in a cage too small for her and in filthy conditions.
Ohene-Gyan was not represented as the trial got under way yesterday (Tuesday) after he failed to turn up after sacking his legal team.
The court heard Red was admitted on February 22, 2010, and seized by police on March 27, having only received painkillers by way of treatment.
Veterinary nurse Shirley Schreiber, who has 20 years experience, visited the Woosehill practice before she worked there from July to October 2010.
Giving evidence yesterday she said: “I visited the practice and I was impressed – it was clean and very tidy.
“I started on July 22, 2010, at Woosehill Vets and it was the complete opposite, it was a shambles.
“The kennels were a mess and there was wet bedding with urine on them.
“Dr Ohene would be there overnight so he would move the animals into another cage with clean bedding so when I came in the morning the dirty kennel would be ready to clean.
“He often forgot to move the clinical notes so they would stay on the empty cage and the animal would be in a clean cage.
“Two Staffis came into the surgery over the weekend.
“I came in the next morning and they had been moved.
“They were the same colour and both females and we didn’t know which one was which.
“We would have to rely on what he told us as there was no way of knowing which animal needed which treatment.”
The court heard Ohene-Gyan also ran Ashlyn House veterinary practice in Binfield, which opened in August 2010.
Malwina Basinska joined the practice as a newly-qualified vet in September 2010 for six weeks before leaving and returning between January and March 2011.
Of his charging methods, she said: “Mr Ohene-Gyan said I had to charge a lot at Ashlyn House as Binfield was quite a wealthy place.
“At Woosehill I believe prices were lower perhaps because Mr Ohene-Gyan believed it wasn’t as wealthy.”
Ms Basinska said for insured animals Mr Ohene-Gyan would charge per day.
“He treated the insurance companies as a bucket of money,” she told the court.
“He would try to persuade me to charge more. He said he needs the money to run the business and to pay his staff.”
The trial continues.