NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A local dog spa owner is denying all allegations against him that he pretended to be a veterinarian, telling Eyewitness News the reports are putting decades of his livelihood down the drain.
John Froais, owner of “Doggie Styles” in North Smithfield, said not only is he facing charges, but he’s now stuck facing the court of public opinion.
“I strongly feel I have done nothing wrong,” Froais said.
Froais, 54, was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, four counts of inadequate care of dogs, five counts of unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine, and one count each of obstructing a police officer and simple assault.
He said the past 24 hours have flipped his life around and destroyed the reputation of his business.
“I refuse to go on Facebook and read anything and if someone is bringing it to me, I try not to deal with it. I’m not a criminal. I have been in business 28 years,” Froais said.
The investigation into Froais began when the Rhode Island Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) received a report about a stolen French Bulldog. According to an affidavit from the RISPCA, the dog’s alleged owner said she initially went to Froais for help with her dog’s pregnancy.
The owner claimed Froais had told her: “I’m a veterinary nurse.”
Froais claims he never said that.
“I never once said I was a vet. I have been a vet tech for over 30 years and have been trained,” Froais said.
The bulldog’s alleged owner claims Froais wouldn’t give her dog back to her. But he says he never kidnapped any dog and that the bulldog in question, named Tula, was actually his. He claims the alleged owner was fostering Tula.
The affidavit said Froais told the alleged owner that her dog gave birth to nine puppies, which he was going to treat after they’d become sick. All the puppies, according to Froais, ultimately died.
The RISPCA says Froais was diagnosing and treating the puppies without a medical license. He ended up being arrested on Thursday after an RISPCA officer pressed him several times to return the dog to its alleged owner.
“I didn’t know I was going to be arrested,” Froais said. “It was very traumatic.”
A Kent County District Court judge ordered Froais to have no care, custody or control of any animals. He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance.
Froais said he has hired someone to take care of his animals in the meantime. He’s due back in court on April 22.