Prominent dog activist charged by city attorney’s animal protection unit following L.A. Times investigation

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Celebrity-backed animal activist Marc Ching, seen in this undated photo, was charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license and engaging in false advertising at his pet food store. (Angela Weiss via Los Angeles Times)

Celebrity-backed animal activist Marc Ching, seen in this undated photo, was charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license and engaging in false advertising at his pet food store. (Angela Weiss via Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles prosecutors have filed charges against prominent animal rescuer Marc Ching, alleging that the Hollywood-backed activist practiced veterinary medicine without a license and engaged in deceptive advertising at his for-profit pet food store.

The criminal case comes after a Times investigation earlier this year uncovered years of complaints by veterinarians that Ching persuaded pet owners to abandon prescribed treatment regimens and instead give their ailing dogs and cats products he sells at his business, the Petstaurant.

The Times also exposed troubling financial practices by Ching’s animal rescue charity, the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, and raised questions about his rescue efforts overseas. The newspaper found evidence contradicting claims about the authenticity of some of the gruesome videos he shot of animals being tortured and killed in horrifying ways, including by blowtorch, at slaughterhouses in Asia.

The animal protection unit of the city attorney’s office charged Ching with one misdemeanor count each of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, false advertising, and packing horsemeat or other meat as pet food without a license. Ching, who operates Petstaurant stores in Sherman Oaks and the Westside, is scheduled to be arraigned in December, court records show.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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