Joel Leroy Prince, John A. Young, Debbie Borys, Debbie Boris, Daniel Zehr animal cruelty casefile

Joel Leroy Prince

John A. Young

Kathleen Puerling and     Daniel Raymond Zehr

Veterinarian misconduct Munster, IN May 4, 1993
Debbie Boris (also known as Debbie Borys) hanging a cat by the neck killing it Munster, IN October 13, 1992

4 veterinarians were given a 90 day license suspension by the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and civil charges were filed against them by the Indiana attorney general for numerous misconduct violations, including allowing 2 non-licensed persons to practice and cruelty to animals.

2 workers at the Munster Animal Hospital at 9460 Calumet Ave have also been charged by the Lake County prosecutors office with criminal misdemeanors.

Boris of Lansing, IL is accused of torturing, mutilating or killing an animal and practicing without a license for the hanging death of a clients cat on October 13, 1992.  The black and white male cat had been brought into the clinic for vaccinations and leukemia testing.  The cat had bitten another employee on the hand and then escaped into the false ceiling via the water heater pipes.

The cat was still in the alive and in the ceiling the next day, but the cats owner was told the cat had been euthanized.  Boris told employees the cat was wild and that it would be euthanized when caught and its head would be removed and sent the the Health Department to check for rabies.  The cat was not euthanized humanely, but rather strung up and dangled by the neck about 1 foot from the floor.  The cat's mouth was opened and blood was oozing from it, its eyes were bulging and it was making sounds is if it were in desperate need of air.  The cat was trying to free itself from the leash with its front paws around its neck.  Boris was witnesses as screaming obscenities at the cat.  The office manager (Dr. Young's wife) was called in an attempt to have Boris stop but the witness was instead told to keep her voice down because there were clients in the waiting area.  Borys' then dragged the cat from the neck to the kennel area, struck the cat, swung it off the floor in a pendulum fashion and held the cat up in front of the dogs stating "Here's your lunch @@@####!".  Borys' was asked to stop but she replied the cat would be dead in 5 minutes.  Later she informed the witness that she had done the cat a favor by injecting it with phenobarbital.

The cats body was taken to the freezer where it remained until it was picked up the crematory.  The cats head had not been removed nor sent to the Health Department as the witness had been told would happen, nor was any record of the euthanasia recorded in the Journal of Controlled Substances as was standard practice when using a controlled drug.

Dr. Young knew Boris was not licensed as a veterinarian nor registered as a veterinary technician and had authorized and supervised Boris performance of surgeries as stated in the affidavits provided by the Indiana State Board of veterinary Medical Examiners.  On May 8, 1993, criminal charges were filed against Boris by the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor (Case # 45D09-9305-CM-05158-0A1 for 1 count of torture, mutilation or killing of an animal, a class A misdemeanor and 1 count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, a class B misdemeanor.  Dr. Young began working at the Munster Animal Hospital on August 24, 1989 under a special temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine in the State of Indiana under the direct supervision of an Indiana licensed veterinarian.  This permitted Young as a qualified applicant to take the veterinary licensing examination.

Joel Leroy Prince hired Dr. John A. Young as manager of the Munster Animal Hospital.

Dr. Zehr of Joliet, IL has been charged with practicing without a license in Indiana (case # 45D09-9305-CM-0513-0A1).  A former employee at the animal hospital witnessed Zehr perform surgical procedures for which a license is required.  Dr. Zehr was witnessed using the same surgical spay pack for at least 6 spays and castrations and rotating the same pack on both dogs and cats.  By not sterilizing the instruments between surgeries, this practice of sharing surgical spay packs violates the appropriate sterile techniques requirement of veterinary medicine.  On February 23, 1993 the witness was fired by Dr. John Young.  Dr. Zehr was hired to perform unlicensed veterinary services at the Munster Animal Hospital from April 1992 to December 1992.  The Lake County Prosecutor filed criminal charges against Zehr on May 18, 1993 for 1 count of practicing without a license, a class B misdemeanor  According to records from the Illinois Division of Professional Regulations, Dr. Zehr's veterinary license expired on 1/31/99 and was not renewed.

Dr. Young, age 29, has admitted that Zehr mistakenly was allowed to practice but said the hospital believed that Zehr held a temporary permit for IndianaZehr is licensed in Illinois and Louisiana.  Dr. Young also allowed and directed at least 2 unlicensed and unregistered staff members to perform rabies vaccinations and authorizations.

Kathleen Puerling, DVM had her licenses suspended initially but she was cleared of charges by the veterinary board and her license reinstated.  The suspension was originally issued because Borys' performed the killing of the cat when Dr. Puerling was the only veterinarian on duty.

In April 1992, Dr. Joel Leroy Prince hired Daniel Zehr to perform veterinary serves at the Munster Animal Hospital owned by both Dr's. Prince.

On May 3, 1993, Dr. Joel Leroy Prince's veterinary medical license was again suspended for 90 days for allowing unlicensed staff to practice in his veterinary clinic.  This conduct constitutes fraud or material deception in the course of professional services in violation of IC 25-1-9-4(a) (1) (B) and allowing practitioners name or license to be used in connection with an individual who renders services beyond the scope of that individual's training, experience or competence in violation of IC 25-1-9-4(a) (6); and fraud or material deception in order to obtain a license to practice in violation of IC 25-1-9-4(a) (1) (A).  The board further stated that Dr. Prince as part owner of Munster Animal Hospital knew or should have known that Dr. Young and Zehr practiced veterinary medicine without a license and that Debbie Boris was not and had never been licensed as a veterinarian or veterinary technician in Indiana and that Dr's Puerling and Zehr were not following proper sterilization techniques of instruments when performing surgeries.

On November 8, 1993, Dr. Joel Leroy Princes' license was put on indefinite suspension.  Dr. Prince requested reinstatement of his license on 4/4/94 after making policy and procedural changes at the Munster Animal Hospital and by completing 40 hours of continuing veterinary medical education.  Dr. Princes license was reinstated and placed on indefinite probation on 6/2/94.  Dr. Prince has since not practiced veterinary medicine in Indiana since July 1987 and his Indiana Veterinary Medical Licenses is in non-renewed status as of 1/8/96.


Northwest Indiana News

Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

The Florida Veterinary Board

The IL Division of Professional Regulation