James Corell Suthann, 37, of Satellite Beach, was arrested on Feb. 25 and charged with animal cruelty.
The charge stems from a Feb. 6 incident that authorities said was captured on video at Groomingdales Pet Spa, where Suthann worked as a contract employee.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Suthann became angry with an 8-year-old German shepherd because the dog kept moving around when Suthann tried to groom the animal.
Video footage shows Suthann strapping the dog’s head down so tightly that it couldn’t move before lifting the animal up by its tail, breaking the tail.
“To make matters worse at the end of the incident Suthann had the audacity to strike the dog in the back of the head with the nozzle from the hose he was using to bathe him,” Ivey said in a statement.
“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,” the sheriff added.
The sheriff said the dog belongs to a disabled veteran who “was devastated by the acts of cruelty against his pet and companion.” The dog serves as a service dog for the vet.
Suthann was released on $2,000 bond; Ivey said the law dictated the maximum bond, which he said was too low.
The owners of the grooming facility were made aware of what happened and fired Suthann.
IF YOU HURT AN ANIMAL IN BREVARD COUNTY I WILL PERSONALLY WALK YOU INTO OUR JAIL AND SLAM THE DOOR BEHIND YOU!!Earlier…
“If you hurt an animal in Brevard County I will personally walk you into our jail and slam the door behind you!” Ivey added.
He said that he and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson escorted Suthann to jail.
The veteran who owns the dog later spoke out.
“I took her to the groomer’s for an appointment at 11 o’ clock in the morning and thought she was going to be in good hands,” the owner told WOFL. “When we went to pick her up, she was acting really funny.”
ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE: A Florida groomer was arrested after he allegedly broke a service dog's tail to the extent that it could not be reattached. This incident occurred when the dog would not sit still while being groomed. The owner of the injured dog is speaking. The dog is also in attendance.DETAILS: https://bit.ly/2Ewv4TJ
Posted by Fox 35 WOFL on Tuesday, 26 February 2019
The family took her to an emergency veterinary hospital that informed them of the severe damage.
The dog’s owner said the sheriff showed him the footage of Suthann abusing the dog.
“It’s just horrible. “Just keeping my feet on the ground so I don’t end up in there with him because that’s how angry I am,” the vet said.
His dog is like one of his children, the owner added. “She’s everything to me. She’s like one of your children,” said the owner.
Animal Cruelty Statistics
According to the Humane Society, animal cruelty and neglect happens in both urban and rural areas.
“Intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes, including violence against people,” it stated. “Hoarding behavior often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more than they are able to adequately take care of. Serious animal neglect (such as hoarding) is often an indicator of people in need of social or mental health services.”
Men under 30 are usually the abusers of animals while people involved in animal hoarding are typically women over 60.
The animals abused the most are dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.