Report: West Palm-area teen cropped dog’s ears without vet license

With fishing line and a Xanax-like drug, a suburban West Palm Beach, Florida, teen cropped a 10-week-old pit bull’s ears.

Brandi Seipe assured King’s owner she was experienced. Palm Beach County officials say otherwise, and now she’s facing an animal cruelty charge.

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A county Animal Care and Control investigation showed Seipe was neither experienced nor legally licensed to perform such an operation. The 19-year-old was arrested for practicing veterinary medicine without a license as well as for animal cruelty, according to court records. She is due to appear before a judge on the charges Wednesday morning.

The puppy's owner told Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control officials she bought King from someone in Broward County. She was looking for someone to crop the puppy's ears, a practice that helps the dog's ears stand upright.

That’s how she crossed paths with Seipe. The teen, who operated out of a suburban Lake Worth home, would crop dogs’ ears cheaply, the owner was told.

On a July afternoon, Seipe took the puppy, but wouldn’t let King’s owner inside to see the ear cropping, the owner told animal control. She had paid Seipe $80.

The owner was concerned when she came to pick up King. His ears were too short, she said, and he was more sedated than before the procedure.

Seipe told the owner she gave the puppy a sedative similar to Xanax, something she said she had done many times as a veterinary technician. Normally, Seipe had her boyfriend hold the puppies down while she cut their ears, but she tied King’s legs together because her boyfriend wasn’t available, she told the puppy’s owner.

Seipe told the owner she had no reason to worry.

But she worried anyway, so much so that she took King to a veterinary office. That office reported the incident to Animal Care and Control.

An animal control official said the puppy’s ears were cut extremely short. The edges were raw and open, and a fishing line was used to stitch up King’s ears, according to the report. The 10-week-old puppy cried whenever someone came close to its ears, according to an animal control report.

When animal control asked Seipe about the incident, she denied cropping King’s ears. She told them she used to be a veterinary technician.

“Ear cropping is a painful unnecessary procedure that is slowly being eliminated as an acceptable practice,” wrote the veterinarian who saw King shortly after the illegal cropping. “If done, it needs to be done by a highly skilled veterinary professional in an aseptic hospital environment.”