A Chester County veterinarian was convicted of animal cruelty Wednesday after he removed part of a puppy's tail without anesthesia while holding it under scalding water.

District Judge Stuart Mylin in Lancaster County said Tom Stevenson of Honey Brook neglected an animal he had a duty to care for when he performed the procedure on the nine-week-old puppy in the wash room of a kennel.

A prosecutor said Stevenson acted against all "reasonable veterinary judgment" when in March he used unsterilized scissors in an unsanitary setting and failed to give the animal pain medication or proper treatment for the wound.

Stevenson, whose medical license was suspended by the state veterinary board in May as a result of the cruelty charge, testified that he was performing first aid on a previously injured dog and used the tools he had on hand. Stevenson's attorney said he would appeal the decision. - Amy Worden