An alert dog groomer uncovered what could be a case of animal neglect and cruelty in Shelby County. The pet owner originally called Local 24 News claiming the dog had been snatched by the groomer, but things took a turn when the Local I-Team started digging into the situation.
It all started Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. when Aussie Mobile Grooming rolled up to a Raleigh address for what was supposed to be a holiday grooming appointment for 5-year-old mix Kaycee.
Further inspection of the pup uncovered the dog’s fur was heavily matted. It’s something the owner, who we are not identifying because she hasn’t been charged, doesn’t deny.
But once Kaycee’s hair was cut, the groomer noticed blood near the animal’s eyes. Concerned, she rushed her to Animal Emergency Center on Summer Avenue.
Kaycee’s owner told the grooming service she would pay for the cut but not the vet bill, stating she didn’t have the money and that her pet’s bloody eye wasn’t her fault.
A checkup by the vet on staff revealed wounds had formed on the animal’s eyes and that the animal showed signs of malnutrition, weighing in just under 5 pounds.
The Local I-Team obtained the vet’s medical report which stated, “Groomer noted terrible living conditions and husbandry provided by the owner. There was sever facial matting that resulted in hair being stuck to the cornea.” The report went on to say, “there is severe, generalized muscle atrophy. Overall the patient is very week. Based on the clinical findings and history provided by the groomer, it is my recommendation that animal neglect/cruelty charges be investigated.”
Following the vet visit the groomer did not return the animal, claiming Kaycee’s owner verbally agreed to turn the dog over.
However, Kaycee’s owner disputes that.
“She has been our pet for 16 months. She’s always been thin,” said the owner in an email. “She eats 2-3 times each day every day, so there were never any concerns about her weight. Also, she wasn’t groomed which is why I solicited the services of a groomer.”
After we started asking questions about the animal, Memphis Animal Services got involved.
Our camera was rolling as Memphis Police, and MAS confiscated the animal from the groomer.
The groomer told the Local I-Team the office paid for the vet bill, and it is reviewing it’s reporting policies.
It’s now up to MAS to conduct its own investigation into allegations of animal cruelty and neglect.