Charged with felony animal neglect in December 2012, Patricia Schenck, DVM, PhD, assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, pleaded no contest to a lesser charge in Clinton County District Court March 15. Schenck was found guilty on a misdemeanor charge of malicious destruction of personal property between $200 and $1,000.
Judge Richard Wells sentenced Schenck the same day to two years’ probation and more than $10,000 in fines, costs and restitution. Although Schenck avoided jail time, she will pay $1,475 in court costs and fines, $10,000 to the boarding facility Animal Lodge, $1,200 to the Humane Society and $800 to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities seized 17 dogs and two cats in poor condition from Schenck’s home in Olive Township, Mich., on Dec. 12, 2012. One dog was euthanized; the rest were taken to local animal shelters. Schenck was ordered not to have any animals in her possession when charged, but an agreement was apparently made with the judge in chambers for Schenck to possibly regain possession of some animals in the future.
The university confirmed March 22 that Schenck has not returned to work. She continues to be suspended with pay from her position as section chief of the Endocrine Diagnostic Section of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Schenck did not treat animals at her job.