AKRON -- A convicted heroin addict is in jail on charges of pretending to a veterinarian who treated people's pets for months.
Brandi Tomko, 35, faces a 33-count criminal indictment and is being held on $10,000 bond. Charges include practicing without a license, cruelty to animals, and injuring animals.
"I'm disgusted I fell for some fake, acting like a vet and leaving my dog there," said Holly Denavich, who took her dog, Teddy, to C & D Animal Hospital last Memorial Day weekend when the dog got sick.
She looked for a vet in the phone book and travelled to C & D where she was greeted by Tomko.
"She said she was a veterinarian," Holly told WKYC. "The thing that was strange to me was she was in street clothes and I really didn't see any credentials hanging on the wall."
Authorities say the reason there were no credentials is because Tomko has none. She was an office worker at C & D who stayed on when the veterinarians who practiced there moved and left the office in her care.
The indictment says Tomko posed as a veterinarian from April through October, 2011, when she "treated" an unknown number of animals.
A cat died after a botched de-clawing and an Akron man says his dog died after spending three days at Tomko's clinic.
Denavich says when Tomko first told her she was a veterinarian, she believed her, but became suspicious when she only took cash and had to go to her car to make change.
Denavich looked up Tomko's veterinary license on the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board's website and found she was not licensed.
"I confronted her and she said she was a vet tech. I told her I did not find that either, then she told me she was training to be a vet tech."
"I told her she had lied to me, that she told me she was going to be the vet seeing my dog," Denavich continued. "I never would have left him with her. I would have went somewhere else and I wanted my money back."