“This isn’t an issue of medical malpractice,” said Veterinarian Janice Renfro. “This was torture plain and simple. This was an unskilled, barbaric act and that dog suffered mightily before he died. These people are butchers.”

Royalty, a 12-year-old American Bulldog, has died as a result of a surgery performed by two unlicensed people with no medical training.

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When Royalty’s owner, Omarnestor Delrio, made the appointment to have his dog neutered, he was told it was a simple procedure.

The only problem? Police say the veterinary clinic wasn’t actually a clinic, and the vet was a fraud. And unfortunately soon after, the botched procedure lead to the pup’s death.

Here’s more from the Miami Herald:

Now, Jose Alvarez-Marrero, 58, and his girlfriend Sophia Gonzalez, 40, are facing one charge of animal cruelty and another charge of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Gonzalez was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail on Wednesday.

Alvarez-Marrero is on the run, Hialeah police say. 

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According to the arrest report, the duo transformed their Hialeah apartment into a makeshift veterinary clinic. On April 23 Delrio took Royalty to the shady Hialeah apartment #4 at 380 E. 50th St.

Royalty died April 30, one week after his surgery. 

On Wednesday, Hialeah police and Miami-Dade Animal Services executed a search warrant at the apartment in Hialeah. Officers were met by Gonzalez, who said she lived there with her boyfriend.

“Jose Alvarez-Marrero was not home at the time and spoke with detectives over the phone,” Hialeah police spokesman Eddie Rodriguez said in an email. “Alvarez told detectives he was on his way home to speak with them, but never arrived. Jose Alvarez-Marrero remains at-large.”

Unfortunately, this situation is more common than most people realize. If you believe that illegal, unlicensed veterinary medicine is being practiced in your area, please contact your local authorities. Not only does this criminal activity harm pets, but it allows diseases to spread and threatens the overall safety of the community.

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Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Alvarez is asked to contact the Hialeah Police Department at (305) 687-2525.

Alternatively, they can contact Crime-Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

How much time would you give this shady pair behind bars?