On the one hand, this story sucks. On the other, it's awesome.
But I'm left wondering what sort of pension benefit Fred will get.
Undercover Agent in Fur Snares a Fake Veterinarian - New York Times
The place was New York City. Crime was the dish of the day, and the main course was injury to an animal with a side of petty larceny. The victim was Burt. Burt was a Boston terrier. He was about to find a friend who looked more like a foe.
Fred was an alley cat in Brooklyn before he went undercover with Carol Moran, an assistant district attorney. The case involved Burt, a terrier, and a sham veterinarian.
The case unraveled over six months, with an indictment this week. The details spilled from court documents and interviews with investigators and Burt's owner, Raymond Reid.
For four years, Burt had been under the care of Steven Vassall, 28, an unemployed lab technician who styled himself a licensed veterinarian. Mr. Vassall gave Burt vaccinations and heartworm treatments and sometimes boarded him. Mr. Reid liked Mr. Vassall. Mr. Vassall made house calls.
Mr. Reid left for vacation in August, but he got an urgent call from Mr. Vassall. Burt was in a bad way. Burt had swallowed a foreign object. Burt was going to die.
Mr. Reid came home and said he wanted to see Burt. Mr. Vassall let Burt out of the car and drove away. Burt had an open wound along his abdomen, and he was licking the blood.
Mr. Vassall sent Mr. Reid a bill for $985. Mr. Reid called the Brooklyn district attorney.
The district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, put his top investigators on the case. Rackets Division. Senior people. A sting was arranged. An apartment was wired. But this mousetrap was all spring and no cheese.
Carol Moran was working a steady 9 to 5 in the district attorney's office. She had 22 years on the job. For this case, she was going to need a sidekick. That's where Fred came in.
Fred was the strong, silent type with no place to come in out of the rain. He was an alley cat from the streets of Brooklyn, long and lean with thick black stripes. Ms. Moran took a shine to him right away. She adopted him from Animal Care and Control.
Fred never asked to be a hero, but he needed work. And neutering. Mr. Vassall agreed to end Fred's sex life for $135. Last Friday, he picked up Fred and the payment. Fred was in a carrying case. The payment was in cash.
Mr. Vassall was charged with unauthorized veterinary practice, criminal mischief, injuring animals and petty larceny. He was free on bail but could not be reached; his phone was disconnected. His lawyer, Royce Russell, declined to comment.
The victim was stitched up. The hero wore a badge to meet the news media. His big green eyes looked past a dozen TV cameras. A dozen camera operators made kissy noises.
A tabloid reporter asked the district attorney a tabloid question.
"This is the first, Nance," Mr. Hynes said. "First undercover cat."
Then Fred took a nap in the corner. Tomorrow was another day. His owner said neutering was still in the works.