MERRITT ISLAND, Florida –A Brevard County dog grooming business is still in business months after its owner was ordered to cease operations by the Florida Department of Health.
According to documents obtained by News 6, the commercial animal care license of Kelli Jo Strabley – also known as Kelli Jo Allison – was withdrawn on September 30, 2019, after a dog was seriously injured during his grooming.
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“He was part of the family,” said Rebecca Netcher. “We always said he was a human in a dog costume.”
Rebecca Netcher and her husband Morris Netcher said they brought their 6-year-old goldendoodle Lochlan to Paws and Claws in April 2019 for routine grooming.
They said they had waited 10 hours for the call that Lochlan was ready to be taken.
“She took him out, and he had a towel around his neck, and he had been cut in a lot of places – about seven,” Rebecca Netcher said. “I mean, big gashes. It was so bad.
“As soon as the surgeon saw how cut he was, they picked him up right away and he went for surgery immediately,” Morris Netcher said.
Brevard County Animal Services has launched an investigation and determined that Strabley did not seek medical treatment for Lochlan after he was injured.
In 2016, a Brevard County couple claimed their dog was mutilated to death at Strabley’s business.
In 2017, court records showed she agreed to a plea bargain after being cited for leaving a dog in the sun for too long.
This time, a judge sentenced her for inhuman treatment of an animal.
As a result of this violation, she now appears in the Brevard County Animal Abuse Database.
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County also revoked his animal care business license and ordered him to cease operations within 24 hours.
FDOH deputy director Anita Stremmel said the company was still in business because it had a new license.
“The license was not submitted on behalf of Ms. Strabley. It was on behalf of an employee, and the business is now on behalf of the employee, ”she said.
Stremmel said the license has yet to be approved, but the business can operate during its review.
Strabley is still allowed to work with animals, Stremmel said, but she is not allowed to own the animal-related business.
According to Brevard County court records, Strabley still owes $ 1,365 in court fines in the Lochlan case and other cases dating back to 2017.
Court workers confirm that all of these fines were sent to a collection agency.
News 6 attempted to question Strabley about the case involving Lochlan and the unpaid fines, but declined to comment.
The Better Business Bureau urges pet owners to do their homework when choosing a groomer:
Check the groomer’s credentials, their online reviews, good or bad, and if they have any formal complaints filed against them. You should look for a certificate, find out what kind of training groomers have had, and see how long they’ve been in the profession.
Stay and watch the grooming process. Most facilities have an observation window or an area where owners can watch the groomer at work. The BBB encourages pet owners to do so if they don’t have to rush after dropping off their pet.
See what type of dryer and equipment the groomer is using. Most dogs love to bathe, so it’s the drying part that usually causes the most problems.
Communicate clearly with the groomer. Some dogs with sunken faces, such as boxers and pugs, might never acclimate to forced dryers due to natural breathing issues, which should be clearly discussed with the groomer.
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