Florida veterinarian Prentiss Madden will spend 22 years and eight months behind bars on charges that he sexually abused dogs and accessed child pornography, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

“[M]adden is guilty of producing videos of himself engaged in sexual activity with dogs and sharing them with others in chats,” said the office for the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida in an online post.

At least one of the bestiality videos appeared to show Madden, 40, abusing dogs at the Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Aventura, Florida, where he worked, authorities said. Another was described as an “crush video,” in which the veterinarian appeared to purposely crush a small, unidentified animal to death.

“Madden also is guilty of accessing a Dropbox account containing images of child pornography, receiving child pornography photographs and videos through social media chats, talking about child sexual abuse during chats, and storing thousands of child pornography images in his Dropbox account and cellular telephones,” prosecutors added.

The federal investigation reportedly began after law enforcement received a tip from file-sharing service Dropbox that a user with Madden’s IP address had accessed more than 1,600 files suspected to contain child-abuse materials.

Homeland Security agents raided the veterinarian’s Aventura home in February, where they said they discovered both the child pornography and explicit videos depicting the sexual abuse of dogs. He was fired from his job after staff at Caring Hands learned of the investigation, and was arrested two weeks later in March.

In July, Madden pled guilty to three counts of receiving an one count of possessing child pornography, as well as one count of creating a depiction of animal abuse.

Prentiss Madden will serve 22 years in prison for recording videos where he sexually abused dogs and for accessing child pornography, authorities said Friday. Photo credit: Caring Hands Animal Hospital
Prentiss Madden will serve 22 years in prison for recording videos where he sexually abused dogs and for accessing child pornography, authorities said Friday. Photo credit: Caring Hands Animal Hospital

Federal prosecutors said they believe Madden began collecting child pornography in May 2018. It is not known when he began sexually abusing dogs, or with whom the disgraced vet was sharing and chatting about the videos with.

At his sentencing on Friday, Madden reportedly apologized to victims and his family, telling U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez that he was sexually abused as a child and that he had witnessed physical abuse at home.

“This is never who I planned to be or thought I would be,” Madden told the court. “It does not represent who I am as a person.”

Defense attorney Michael Mirer argued that the court should be lenient in Madden’s sentencing, saying that his client “turned to child pornography because he was clinically depressed.”

Judge Martinez was apparently unconvinced, punishing Madden with the longest sentence allowable under federal law.

Clients and colleagues of the Alabama native told local reporters they were shocked and saddened when they learned of the charges in March.

“I’m really sad,” said Regina Vlasek, who runs an animal rescue where Madden provided veterinary care. “For me, he was such a great doctor. If the allegations are true, they’re horrifying.”

Vlasek said Prentiss Madden would offer services for her organization at a discounted rate, and that she even named one of the rescued animals in his honor in 2020.

“The closest relationships that we have are with our veterinarians, those are the people that we trust. I was so sick after I heard this that I threw up,” she added.

“People were calling me and saying, ‘Did you hear? Did you hear?'” said Gina Silvestre, who told WSVN that Madden treated her dog. “I absolutely loved the guy, and he treated my neighbors’ dogs and cats. And to find this out, what can you say?”

“We at Caring Hands Animal Hospital are appalled by the nature of the charges against Prentiss Madden,” said his former employer in a statement in March. “Our legal team, and every single member of the Caring Hands family will be doing everything in our power to aid law enforcement and facilitate their investigation and prosecution.”