MERRITT ISLAND, Florida. A dog grooming business in Brevard County has been operating for months after its owner was ordered by the Florida Department of Health to shut down.
According to documents received from News 6, Kelli Jo Strabley – also known as Kelli Jo Allison – was stripped of her pet care business license on September 30, 2019 after a dog was seriously injured while being cared for.
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“He was a family,” said Rebecca Netcher. “We always said he was a person in a dog suit.”
Rebecca Netcher and her husband Morris Netcher said they brought their 6-year-old Goldendoodle Lochlan to Paws and Claws for routine care in April 2019.
They said they had waited 10 hours for the call that Lochlan was ready to be picked up.
Brevard County Animal Services cited the then owner of a dog groomer for inhumane treatment of animals after Lochlan, a Goldendoodle, was seriously injured and the owner failed to seek medical treatment. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)
“She brought him out and he had a towel around his neck and he had been cut in numerous places – about seven,” said Rebecca Netcher. “I mean, big wounds. It was so bad. “
“As soon as the surgeon saw how badly it was cut, they took it back and had an operation right away,” said Morris Netcher.
Brevard County Animal Services opened an investigation and found that Strabley did not receive medical treatment for Lochlan following his injury.
In 2016, a Brevard County couple claimed their dog was beaten to death in Strabley’s shop.
In 2017, court records showed she accepted a plea agreement after being quoted for leaving a dog in the sun for too long.
This time a judge sentenced her for inhumane treatment of an animal.
As a result of that violation, it now appears in the Brevard County’s Animal Abuse Database.
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County also revoked her pet care business license and ordered her to cease operations within 24 hours.
Anita Stremmel, deputy director of the FDOH, said the store is still up and running as it has a new license.
“The license was not filed under the name of Ms. Strabley. It was in an employee’s name and the business is now in his employee’s name, ”she said.
Stremmel said the license has not yet been approved, but the business can operate during the review.
Strabley is still allowed to work with animals, said Stremmel, but she is not allowed to own the pet shop.
According to Brevard County’s court records, Strabley still owes $ 1,365 in court fines from Lochlan’s case and other cases dating back to 2017.
Court officials confirm that all of these fines have been transferred to a debt collection agency.
News 6 tried to ask Strabley about the Lochlan case and the outstanding fines, but she declined to comment.
The Better Business Bureau urges pet owners to do their homework when choosing a dog groomer:
Check the dog groomer’s credentials, their online reviews, both good and bad, and whether any formal complaints have been filed against them. You should look for a certificate, learn about the types of dog groomers training, and see how long they have been in the profession.
Stay and watch the nursing process. Most facilities have a viewing window or area where owners can watch the groomer at work. The BBB encourages pet owners to do so if there is no need to rush after dropping off their pet.
See what type of dryer and equipment the groomer is using. Most dogs enjoy being bathed, so it is the dry part that usually causes the most problems.
Communicate clearly with the groomer. Some dogs with depressed faces, such as boxers and pugs, may never get used to the power dryers due to natural breathing problems that must be clearly discussed with the dog groomer.
Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.