MELBOURNE, Fla. — A Florida dog groomer was arrested Monday after officials said he maimed a local veteran’s service dog, breaking the animal’s tail so badly it had to be amputated.
James Corell Suthann, 37, was charged with one count of animal cruelty and released from the Brevard County Jail Monday on $2,000 bail.
The charge stems from a Feb. 6 incident, captured on video at Groomingdales Pet Spa in Satellite Beach, Florida, where Suthann worked as a contract employee.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Suthann became angry with an 8-year-old German shepherd when it wouldn’t stand still for grooming.
Ivey said the video showed Suthann strapping the dog’s head down so tightly it couldn’t move before lifting the animal off the ground by its tail, twisting the tail and breaking it. At the end of the video, Ivey said, Suthann struck the dog in the head with a hose nozzle.
The tail was broken so badly it had to be removed, Ivey said.
In a statement on social media, Ivey called the acts “horrific.”
“The video is so graphic that I will not post it to Facebook, but trust me when I tell you, that it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch in my 39 years of law enforcement,” he said.
The German shepherd, named “T.T.,” belongs to a disabled veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Ivey said.
“The owner was devastated by the acts of cruelty against his pet and companion,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the maximum bond that could be placed on Suthann was $2,000, because they don’t let me personally set the bond amounts for criminals like this guy!”
Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson personally walked Suthann into the jail Monday afternoon, Ivey said.
Ivey said Groomingdales’ owners had no knowledge Suthann was capable of cruelty and immediately fired him after learning about the incident.
Follow Eric Rogers on Twitter @EricRogersFT.
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