Baltimore veterinarian charged with animal cruelty
A veterinarian at the Boston Street Animal Hospital has been charged with several counts of animal cruelty, Baltimore police reported.
On Nov. 20, police detectives responded to complaints of abuse by Gregory Burbelo while he was working at the animal hospital, in the 2400 block of Boston Street. The 57 year old Burbelo was arrested Dec. 12 and charged with animal cruelty, aggravated animal cruelty and witness intimidation.
Burbelo’s attorney, Gary H. Gerstenfield, called Burbelo a tremendously gifted vet and giving person who became frustrated by health problems that diminished his ability to work the long hours he scheduled for himself. The stressful situation combined with a pressure filled profession made him “very short tempered. He just snapped a little.”
Gerstenfield added that none of the animals was hurt or required medical attention. Still, he said, many of Burbelo’s clients will be shocked by the charges.
The FBI will begin tracking cases of animal cruelty nationally in 2016, a move advocates hope will bring more attention to the crime among law enforcement agencies and underscore the link between animal abuse and other violent crimes.
Police said there were at least three instances of abuse. During the first instance in early November, Burbelo used his hands to attack a dog at the hospital. The same day, he used a clipboard to attack another dog. In late October, police said he attacked a third dog while the animal was under his care at the hospital.