The arrest of a local veterinarian charged with illegally dumping euthanized house pets off a highway came as no surprise to a number of Throggs Neck locals.
Dr. Andrew Manesis, 66, of New Canaan, CT, owner of Throggs Neck Animal Hospital at 3800 E. Tremont Avenue, was charged May 29 with petit larceny, scheme to defraud and violating environmental conservation law.
Officials say Manesis was paid by pet owners to dispose of the animals in a dignified manor.
Throggs Neck local Amanda Morley said she was not completely surprised when she heard about the charges against Manesis.
“Growing up, I always had cats, and so there were times when I needed to bring them there,” Morley said. “He was a miserable human being and he just seemed mean, like he had no care for the animals he treated, so when I heard about the story I wasn’t completely surprised. But it’s heartbreaking.”
Morley said she will not be bringing her cats to that hospital any more.
“As convenient and close as that place is, I will not be going back,” she said.
Mari Aponte, a Throggs Neck resident who brings her dog Kobe to the animal hospital, said she always liked Menasis and thought he was very friendly, and although her husband thought he was very “money hungry”, she continued to use his services.
After she learned of the allegations brought against the veterinarian, Aponte said she was shocked.
“I was uncomfortable when I heard what happened,” Aponte said. “You feel like you can’t even trust a doctor.”
Aponte said she started using the hospital five years ago, when she decided to switch veterinarians.
“I used to bring my pet to Manhattan, but this place was closer, so it was easier,” she said. “But now, I am going to take him back to Manhattan.”
Some 35 euthanized pets were found by a NYS Department of Transportation worker in black plastic garbage bags along the Hutchinson River Parkway in Westchester County.
Manesis, who has been in business in the Bronx since 1981, was arrested on Friday after being pulled over in Portchester.
According to police, the motive for Manesis dumping the euthanized animals along the highway is unknown.
The arrest came as a result of an investigation by the Westchester County police and the Humane Law Enforcement Division of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Westchester.
The investigation began April 5 when 26 dead cats, eight dogs and a lizard were found in brush along the highway.
After determining all of the animals were individually owned, detectives used indentification from one of dead cats to track down the owner, who then led them to Menasis.
Police also used evidence from the scene to track down two other owners and link the cases to Manesis’ animal hospital.
Pitbull owner James Chiu, who was shopping for his pet at the Schuyler Pets store on E. Tremont Avenue, said he felt Menasis was just out to make money and didn’t really care about the animals he was treating.
“I’ve been there twice, and his services were less than mediocre for the amount of money he charges,” Chiu said. “I was not impressed with him for what I paid for.”
The owner of a pet store, who asked not to be identified, said he has heard a number of people complain about the vet.
“A lot of people talk about him,” he said. “I have heard a lot of negative things about him.”
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394