The fur flies over cat’s untimely death

A group of Throggs Neck residents protested Throggs Neck Animal Hospital on E. Tremont Avenue and Lamport Place over the death of pet cat, Kittonalina.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

A local veterinarian is threatening to sue a group of protesters who are charging that his local animal hospital is not up to snuff.

Throggs Neck local Rob Giuffre led a protest Saturday, August 16 across the street from the Throggs Neck Animal Hospital on E. Tremont Avenue and Lamport Place.

Giuffre claims that the site’s veterinarian, Dr. Andrew Manesis, mistreated his one-year-old cat “Kittonalina” earlier this month. Giuffre brought the cat to Manesis’s office on Saturday, August 2, with a suspected urinary tract infection. A week later, the cat died.

On the review site Yelp, Giuffre slammed Manesis for “killing” his cat with an overdose of medication.

Manesis: I’m innocent!

But Dr. Manesis, 69, said in an interview from his home in Connecticut that Giuffre’s charges unfairly defame his business. The doctor said that he perscribed the cat a reasonable dose of medicine, and that Giuffre was supposed to administer it himself.

Giuffre stormed into his office after “Kittonalina”’s death, and physically threatened him, said Manesis.

“After he physically threatened me, I said this man is a maniac and I am not dealing with him any longer,” said the doctor.

Q’s about vet past

Manesis, who has operated in Throggs Neck since 1981, does have a history of run-ins with the law.

He was arrested in 2012 for allegedly dumping dead pets, which he was hired to cremate, at Hutchinson River Parkway exit ramps. Prosecutors in Westchester charged Manesis in Harrison Town Court with mismemeandor counts of fraud, violating environmental conservation law and petit larceny.

But Manesis ended up pleading guilty in June 2014 to just one charge of disorderly conduct, according to court records. His punishment was a $375 fine, and some community service.

He is currently licensed as a vet in New York and Connecticut, according to state records.

The only blemish on his record is a 1993 Connecticut case, in which Manesis pled guilty to negligence in treating a cat named “Heather,” according to records.

Manesis admitted in that case to not properly recording the cat’s lethargy and labored breathing, and not taking the proper x-rays. He paid a $1,500 fine and was back in business by early 1994.

Lawsuits en route

Guiffre says he won’t rest until the whole neighborhood knows his story.

“People are walking into his office not knowing that he did this,” he said.

Manesis said he was considering hiring a lawyer to sue Giuffre for libel and slander. He also said he was working on getting a court order to keep the protesters at bay.

“Imagine wild people screaming and taking photographs outside of your office, yelling at your customers,” Manesis said. “I’m well above that. I’m civilized, I’m cultured. I don’t need this.”

(Editor’s note: Updated Thursday, Aug. 28 to reflect two clarifications. In the original story, Dr. Andrew Manesis stated that his 2012 charges of fraud, violating conservation law and petit larceny were thrown out for lack of evidence. In fact, Manesis pled guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, for which he paid fines totaling in $375 and community service, according to court records.

Also, it was reported that according to state records, a cat named “Heather” died soon after being treated by Manesis in 1993. In fact, state records do not say whether that cat died or not.)

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkoch‌man@c‌ngloc‌ Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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