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Ohio woman charged with posing as veterinarian

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of posing as a veterinarian and causing the death of a service dog is standing trial in northeast Ohio.

As the trial opened Tuesday, a prosecutor called 36-year-old Brandi Tomko a "con artist" who left many of the pets who came to her clinic for treatment maimed or dying.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Tomko is standing trial on felony counts of forgery and identity fraud. She's also facing multiple misdemeanor charges, including animal cruelty, and assaulting or harassing a service dog.

A prosecutor said the offenses occurred at an Akron clinic in 2011 after the clinic's licensed veterinarian already left as conditions there deteriorated.

Tomko's attorney told the judge that prosecutors can't prove that she hurt any animals brought to the clinic.