SAYLORSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local veterinarian is under fire after a viral TikTok video alleging a dog was mistreated under her care.
The video inspired others to come forward with similar stories on social media, and file complaints with the Department of State.
In the last week, more than 1,500 people have signed a petition to shut down Creature Comforts for alleged “negligence and malpractice.” The veterinarian in question, Karin-Susan Breitlauch says she’s being harassed.
Kimberly Versteegde Folsom says she was adopting Moose from a friend because he got too big for his house. On February 11, Moose was to be neutered at Creature Comforts veterinary services so she could take him home.
While he was there, she says she got a call from the vet’s office telling her Moose is aggressive. She was surprised. She claims she heard the veterinarian, Karin-Susan Breitlauch who owns Creature Comforts, screaming in the background.
“Saying that ‘this dog needs to be euthanized, he is capable of killing someone’. As soon as I heard that, I said I don’t want the surgery, I opt out of the surgery and I had the previous owner go within minutes to pick him up,” Versteegde Folsom said.
She claims Moose came home covered in blood, urine and feces. He had welts on his face and his mouth was bleeding. She contacted the PSP animal control officer and filed a complaint with the Department of State.
She says she made a TikTok about it to spread awareness, and it got a lot of attention. After she posted it, around 1,500 new members joined a Facebook group called “Shut Down Creature Comforts” which was started in June.
“I didn’t know there was so many people, and it makes me feel better knowing that there’s strength in numbers, that Bean is not the only one,” dog owner Doreen Camplone said.
One member of the group, Camplone of Mount Pocono, says a friend showed her the video and it reminded her of her own experience at Creature Comforts. She says after Breitlauch preformed emergency surgery on her dog Bean for pyometra, Bean suffered blood loss and a horrifying complication.
“She has what I thought was an organ hanging out of her abdomen. When I get there, she goes ‘oh no, that’s just her intestines’,” Camplone said.
The image was too shocking to show here. Camplone claims she never got an explanation of what went wrong.
She claims she asked a dozen times but never got to speak with Breitlauch herself. She says Bean eventually came home with staples. She says they looked careless and made Bean very uncomfortable.
“It’s just heartbreaking that this is how an animal was treated,” Camplone said.
Camplone and Folsom filed complaints against Breitlauch with the Department of State.
Pennsylvania State Police released a statement confirming they received several complaints about Creature Comforts and are looking into them.
Breitlauch denies the accusations, saying she is being bullied.
“I’m really sad that people don’t know what happens back here. And as for the TikTok I, again, to be truthful, we’ve had some negative, we had some negative reviews. What if you look back, it’s, it’s, you know, in general, we were, we’ve taken very good care of our patients and our clients,” Breitlauch said.
She also claims Moose was aggressive and said “he did it to himself”. She says Moose was triggered when they tried to put him in this cage and they needed to use catch poles. She says she considered putting him down.
“All I could see was some child getting killed by a 110-pound dog that was lunging at strangers,” Breitlauch said.
Hundreds of posts from members on the Facebook group claim their animals allegedly suffered mistreatment, injury or even death at the hands of Breitlauch. The posts call for answers and accountability.
“I think she needs to be closed, I think she needs to have her license revoked and I think she needs to be investigated,” Camplone said.
In 2014, Breitlauch admitted to incompetence, negligence or malpractice when she was fined by the state Board of Veterinary Medicine for allegedly leaving a sponge in a dog’s leg.
“To say that people don’t make mistakes, that would be, that would be so arrogant. You, it’s, it’s, doctors every day and you make decisions every day. You make it with the best of intentions, in the best of the best of knowledge. You don’t know,” Breitlauch said.
Breitlauch denies any wrongdoing and says she still has many happy clients.
Breitlauch is facing charges of tax evasion for allegedly failing to turn over withholdings from employees’ paychecks. Court documents state she owes more than $800,000 to the IRS.
You can view the extended interview with Karin Breitlauch in the box below. The video begins when reporter Caroline Foreback questions Karin-Susan Breitlauch about the TikTok video and the allegations against her.
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