The owner of a Cumming, Georgia, pet-grooming business allegedly kicked, dragged and choked a customer’s dog, which later died at an animal hospital, police said.
Forsyth Herald reported that an employee of Paw’sh Paws, owned by Michelle Louise Root, 41, went to the Cumming Police Department and said she witnessed an incident Oct. 7 in which Root harmed Meko, a 3-year-old Portuguese water dog wheaten terrier mix, during a grooming session.
Root was charged with cruelty to animals after the incident Saturday, police said.
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According to Cumming police incident reports, several employees, who did not want to be identified, said Root kicked the dog twice, knocking him into a door.
One employee said Meko was running to the back of the store with the grooming lead still around its neck, a police report said. According to the employee, Root yelled at her as she tried to stop the dog from running around. After kicking the dog, Root “took the lead and choked Meko to the point of unconsciousness,” the report said.
“(The witness) said Root then dragged Meko to the front of the store, banging Meko against the washer and other objects before throwing Meko on the table and attempting to finish Meko’s grooming,” the police report said, according to Forsyth County News. “(The witness) said Meko was unresponsive at this point.”
The employee then expressed her concern to another employee, according to the report.
The incident report said Eric Francis, a friend of the dog’s owner who went to pick up Meko, said he was told Meko “must have had a seizure.” According to police, Francis was told he needed to get the dog to the emergency room.
Meko was taken to a local animal hospital and pronounced dead. Forsyth Herald reported that the dog’s owner took the dog for a pathology report and autopsy. The necropsy confirmed witnesses’ statements, the publication reported.
Root was charged with cruelty to animals after the incident Saturday, police said. She was released from the Forsyth County jail Wednesday on a $5,630 cash bond.