NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — He called himself a veterinarian, but when Hector Menjivar, who owns a North Hollywood animal clinic, recently performed surgery on a cat, the pet died that same night.
The cat’s owner complained to authorities. After some digging, they found out Menjivar was a fraud, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who is going after him on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license.
“When we heard allegations of someone practicing medicine without a license we had to aggressively pursue them. And that’s what we’ve done here,” Feuer said.
Feuer says it happened in Dec. 2013 at the Holiday Humane Society, which is closed for two weeks and reopens Aug. 4.
He says a woman took in her sick cat after-hours and Menjivar, 52, posed as a doctor and said he needed to operate on the cat. It’s unclear what procedure was done.
An undercover state investigator posing as a customer was sent in with a dog – and also told to come after-hours – and prescribed medication for the animal even though it wasn’t sick, the City Attorney’s Office says.
(Editor’s note: A previous version of this story referenced Feuer’s office as the District Attorney’s Office. We apologize for the error.)
Feuer said: “Our office is very focused on protecting animals.”
A nearby resident in North Hollywood told CBS2/KCAL9’s Amy Johnson that he found the accusations surprising and scary.
Another man living in the area says Menjivar was an assistant at the office. He says the veterinarians at the clinic have treated his dog well in the past.
No one answered the door at Menjivar’s home in North Hollywood.
Menjivar is expected back in court Aug. 5. He faces up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines if convicted.