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Ontario vet faces 16 animal cruelty charges: OSPCA

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — A southern Ontario veterinarian who was found guilty of professional misconduct last year is facing 16 charges following an animal cruelty investigation.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says a criminal investigation was launched on Sept. 14, 2016, by the Lincoln County Humane Society after it received allegations of animal cruelty against Dr. Mahavir Rekhi of St. Catharines, Ont.

The OSPCA says Rekhi has been charged with eight counts each of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal, and failing to provide suitable and adequate care for an animal.

It says the alleged abuse occurred in 2013.

Rekhi is scheduled to appear in court in St. Catharines on July 14.

Ontario SPCA regional inspector Carol VanderHeide says a great deal of information was brought forward during the investigation.

“The investigations team thoroughly examined all relevant evidence, which allowed us to proceed with 16 charges against the accused,” VanderHeide said Thursday in a release.

Rekhi was found guilty of professional misconduct, reprimanded and his licence was suspended for 10 months by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario in July 2016.

Rekhi’s licence status is listed as active until December 2017 by the college but it states he is subject to three unannounced inspections each year for two years following the end of the suspension.

Rekhi could not immediately be reached for comment on the charges.