Dr. Haydee Perez-Tirse invited the Team 6 investigators inside her clinic for a tour. She refuted all the claims made by those ex-employees insisting they have a personal vendetta against her. Myriam Masihy reports.
A Team 6 Investigation previously reported claims of more than half a dozen ex-employees of a Hialeah veterinarian alleging the clinic used dirty needles, took blood from animals without their owners consent and also fed animals discarded body parts from other pets.
On Thursday, Dr. Haydee Perez-Tirse, invited the Team 6 investigators inside her clinic for a tour. She refuted all the claims made by those ex-employees insisting they have a personal vendetta against her.
During the tour, Dr. Perez-Tirse, who has been licensed as a vet for 25 years, says the public should look at her track record.
“I would never harm or compromise any animal under my care under any circumstances,” said Perez-Tirse.
As the doctor escorted the crew down the clinic hallway she opened up a clear container opening it’s red lid and said, “The famous container that came out on TV, again, you look in, there’s no needles.”
Our undercover camera captured that same container during a previous tour of the clinic. It seems similar to a picture provided by a former employee that showed needles and syringes inside.
The doctor adamantly denies she reuses needles, only syringes because she’s concerned about the environment. As for the picture sent to us by the former employee, Perez-Tirse said, “That looks to me like that was staged…staged to make me look bad.”
More than half a dozen former employees told The Team 6 Investigators needles were reused, some asked we conceal their identities.
One of these former employees said, “We had certain animals come back that had reactions to vaccines that were given with these needles.”
But the doctor, supported by a group of current employees and clients say claims that her clinic reuses needles are a lie.
Jeannette Cremades, who has been taking her dog Misty to Panda for nine years, says Dr. Perez-Tirse doesn’t use old needles because she’s seen her give injections firsthand.
“She takes it out of a little sterile plastic -- She does whatever she has to do and she throws it away in the garbage,” said Cremades.
We asked Milagros Gonzalez, Panda’s office manager, about a worker’s comp claim filed in 2001 which Team 6 reported in the first part of this investigation. The claim states “claimant was sterilizing needles in clinic, pinched her right hand by an unsterile needle?”
“She couldn’t have done that because we don’t do that,” said Gonzalez responding to the worker’s comp claim.
At least a half-dozen satisfied clients reached out to Team 6 to defend Dr. Perez Tirse’s work. During the tour of Panda current employees also defended the doctor. Following the NBC 6 investigation, more than a dozen dissatisfied clients also reached out to Team 6. Among them Sylvia Membreno.
In tears, Sylvia Membreno, remembered her deceased dog Macho.
Membreno said, “…my son, he’s like why? He was perfectly healthy mommy. Why?”
Membreno says she took her two healthy yorkies to Panda on Aug. 31for routine vaccines and a dental cleaning. A day later, Macho died and four days later, Tinka developed an aggressive infection.
“They had to actually completely open her up, flush her, clean her everything out and put about five drainages all over her,” Membreno said.
Membreno’s attorney, Emmanuel Perez, has filed a claim with Panda’s insurance after he says the vets who ended up saving Tinka’s life told Membreno something must have happened at Panda.
Perez says, “It was either a dirty needle or some type of infection that was injected into the dog as a result of something that occurred at the first facility.”
Dr. Perez-Tirse says she can’t comment on this case but stressed that in any clinic, some cases go well and some don’t and it’s not the fault of the veterinarian.
“Sometimes animals can get infection just like a person when their immune system is compromised,” said Perez-Tirse.
The doctor rejected all of the claims made by the former employees saying she would never do anything to put her license at risk.
As reported in the first part of the Team 6 investigation, another South Florida woman has filed a state complaint against Dr. Perez-Tirse for the death of her cat.
The Team 6 investigators also checked with the state and Dr. Perez-Tirse has never been disciplined.