Miami vet admits to liveliness, ‘animal crush’ videos

Update: On Friday, October 8, Dr. Prentice Madden was sentenced to approximately 22 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed under sentencing guidelines, by US District Judge Jose Martinez.

Scott Bruch and his wife, Robin Tobias, referred dozens of friends and stray dogs to the Kering Hands Animal Clinic in Aventura and the care of Dr. Prentice Madden, hospital director. That is, until Madden was arrested in March on charges of animal abuse and possession of child pornography.

“I thought it was cool,” says Pruch. the new era. “At first, we thought no dogs had ever been hurt there. Then we found out it was much worse than we thought.”

according to Miami HeraldFile-sharing company Dropbox told authorities that someone with an IP address matching Madden had received more than 1,500 files of suspected child porn. This led to an investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security that led to agents searching Madden’s home in Miami-Dade County in February, when they discovered several devices containing image and text chats containing evidence of child pornography, and to the horror of the owners Madden’s patients. The four – sexual exploitation of animals.

When the news broke Madden arrested in March, Pruch began answering calls from pet owners who pointed out Madden. But there were scant details of exactly what Madden allegedly did until last week, when the criminal case against Madden was filed in federal court.

On Thursday, Madden pleaded guilty to charges of receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography and creating “animal crush” videos, a term referring to videos depicting animal abuse for sexual gratification. Madden is the first to be charged in South Florida under the federal Prevention of cruelty and torture to animalsNS, which Donald Trump signed into law in 2019.

In addition to depicting Madden’s preference for minors and a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy in Orlando, the criminal complaint describes in great detail online exchanges between Madden and unknown third parties, in which Madden admitted and shared photos and videos of performing sexual acts on dogs. One of the videos was filmed at Caring Hands.

The US Attorney’s Office has not released any images they recovered from Madden’s devices, leaving little recourse for former clients seeking to determine whether their pet has been abused.

Prosecutors in the Madden case were unable to confirm this the new era If the owners of the dogs identified in the photos are contacted and informed of what happened.

“This is the most disgusting thing,” pet owner Gina Silvestri says, referring to the clinic’s COVID-19 protocols, which have prevented pet owners from accompanying their animals to the facility. She is concerned about an animal Her service, Sasha, who was left alone with Madden without her supervision. “It’s terrifying.”

Silvestri was taking Sasha the hero dog To Dr. Madden since she adopted him in 2019. Sasha is known for his various humanitarian efforts, including rescuing a missing 10-year-old boy in Hallandale Beach and working as an emotional support animal for families at the site of a Surfside apartment collapse.

Since Madden was a good doctor for Sasha, says Silvestri, when people came to her for a vet recommendation from South Florida, she referred them to him. Now she is shattered with remorse.

“Do you know how many clients you sent him? Tons,” Silvestri laments. “I feel sorry, especially with the people I sent there. How can you make up for that? I don’t know.”

Regina Vlasik, president of Fort Lauderdale’s Sage Animal Rescue, has worked frequently with Caring Hands. She says she reviewed all of the animal records she brought to Madden with the dates listed in the criminal complaint corresponding to Madden’s admission of dog abuse. Although she was relieved not to find any engagement, she does not feel solace.

“It leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling about people in general — like, ‘Do you know anyone before? If they were able to do such terrible things, and they were hiding in plain sight,'” Vlasik says.

The complaint described a text exchange in May 2019 in which Madden told another person that a brown and white dog he was having sex with was keeping because he “needs a home.” Scott Bruch and Robin Tobias realized the timing coincided with the brown and white Shih Tzu – named Pamela Anderson – who nursed them at Caring Hands after the death of their previous owner.

“What made me angry was that there was a good chance it was Pamela — it fit the description,” says Brusch, taking long breaks to believe in himself.

When I called him later the new eraThe US Attorney’s Office confirmed that the white and brown dog pictured with Madden was not a Shih Tzu, and therefore could not be Pamela. Bruch was relieved when the new era He relayed the message, but was still concerned that an innocent animal had been mistreated by someone tasked with his care.

Since Madden’s patients can’t speak for themselves, it’s difficult for Madden’s former clients to know if their pet has been abused and, eventually, to sue for damages.

“I have two clients who have approached this, but I don’t know if I can file a case,” says Broward County animal rights attorney Lauren Turner. the new era. “A dog can’t tell me if it’s one of its victims. It’s a case of evidence.”

Turner says pet owners may be able to file medical malpractice lawsuits against Madden, although that may depend on obtaining photographic evidence of their animal being abused. Turner did not file a lawsuit against Madden Hospital or Kering Hands Animal Hospital.

At the time of Madden’s arrest, Caring Hands . was released Permit Saying it fired Madden when they learned he was under investigation for “heinous and unimaginable crimes,” and that the facility would cooperate with law enforcement.

reached by the new era Via email, a Caring Hands employee says the animal hospital handed over vets’ schedules and access to the computer system to federal investigators, but they haven’t been able to share security surveillance since the time Madden allegedly sent the videos because their cameras store the footage for 60 Just a day.

In a statement emailed to the new eraCaring Hands President Michelle Vittoli thanked the US Attorney’s Office and federal authorities for bringing Madden to justice. She called Madden’s plea of ​​guilt “an important step forward for our animal hospital family, and the community at large, in the process of recovery and closure.”

Madden was known by colleagues, pet owners, and animal activists as someone who cared deeply about animals and worked long hours to keep the animal hospital running. At least one service animal is named after him.

Previous clients considered Madden a hero doctor. Now they want to see him far away.

“I hope he gets the maximum punishment for someone who betrayed all his clients,” Vlasik says. “He’s a sociopath who has presented himself as someone who loves and cares for animals.”

Madden will be judged in October. He faces more than 20 years in federal prison.

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