A VETERINARY nurse at an expensive private clinic in Scotland deliberately poisoned her pet dog in a bizarre case of animal cruelty.
The damage was so severe that the two-year-old dog could have ended up in a coma or even dead.
Vets at the out-of-hours practise where Bretman worked became suspicious after Florence was brought in for emergency treatment on several separate occasions — always suffering from the same mysterious symptoms.
Bretman was convicted after a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court of causing the animal unnecessary suffering.
Although no explanation was offered as to why the 28-year-old had harmed her pet, the court was told that she was an “attention-seeker”.
On one occasion her employer gave Bretman an evening off — then correctly predicted that, within a few hours, the dog would suddenly become ill and be brought back to the surgery requiring emergency treatment.
Sheriff Joan Kerr found Bretman guilty of injecting her own dog with insulin resulting in her requiring immediate treatment to “avoid coma or death”.
Florence the dog was rehomed after the allegations against Bretman came to light and the court heard she had returned to good health.
Bretman started working as a veterinary nurse in 2011 for Pet A&E — a clinic in the Kinning Park area of Glasgow which provided care for animals outside normal working hours.
Her former employer Lesley Herd grew suspicious after the dog needed emergency treatment on several occasions after collapsing, twitching and vomiting. Every time, tests showed a low glucose level.
During Bretman’s trial, Mrs Herd said: “The dog was fine between episodes so I really didn’t know what was going on with the dog at all, we couldn’t understand why she was having these episodes.”
In evidence, Bretman denied the charge and said she wasn’t responsible and only ever wanted to find out what was wrong with Flo.
Defence advocate Dale Hughes put to her: “It might be suggested you took a dislike to the dog, that’s why you harmed her.”
Bretman said: “Not at all, I put a lot of energy in. She was my companion.”
Since being taken out of Bretman’s care in 2013, Flo has been free of any problems.
Sheriff Kerr deferred sentence until next month for reports.
This story was originally published in The Sun and is reproduced here with their permission.