An epilogue in the story of Fred, the kitten who was deputized by the Brooklyn District Attorney after helping sting a fake veterinarian last year: Steven Vassall was sentenced to psychiatric treatment and avoids prison. A bull terrier owner had contacted the authorities after he became suspicious of Vassall's lack of post-surgery treatment for the pet.
Last month, NY Times had suggested that Vassall would get a plea deal, as he claimed "serious and persistent mental illness." Vassall, who pleaded guilty to "one count of scheme to defraud and one count of unauthorized practice, both felonies," cried during yesterday's sentencing. His five-day-a-week psychiatric program will take 2-3 years, but the Post reports that Vassall can be sent to prison if he doesn't perform well.
And Fred the cat died a few months after his moment in the sun; he was hit by a car when he ran into the street. But his inspiring story reminds us that there are many wonderful pets with crime-fighting potential that can be adopted through Animal Care & Control of New York.