A dog groomer is under fire after a video of her appearing to choke a dog went viral on Facebook. Former employee Briana Brady posted a video of Phyllis Lucca, owner of Happy Puppy Pet Spa, appearing to choke a dog while grooming her ears. But Lucca says her actions were to help the dog.
In the video clip, Lucca can be seen picking up the small dog around the neck and shaking her, before putting her back down on the table. She can be heard saying “yeah, she’s being an asshole” while cleaning the dog’s ears.
However, Lucca, says the dog in the video had passed out because she was stressed while getting groomed, and has done so regularly over the years of grooming her. She told WWSB News, “”I’m not choking the dog. I’m just holding her head. I just do a fast snap and she comes right back.”
The video can be seen below. Note, it may be disturbing to some viewers.
Lucca, who has over five decades of experience as a groomer, says “I do not hurt animals. I love them” but she’s now at the center of multiple investigations by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office after Brady posted the video. The video has been seen by over 290 thousand people over the weekend.
Even more controversial are the injuries around a dog named Pumpkin. Two weeks prior to the video being posted, Pumpkin visited the grooming salon but when her owner, Cynthia Crowe, picked Pumpkin up, the dog suffered a broken jaw, abdominal bruising and damaged ears, the WWSB reported.
But both Lucca and Brady, who appears to have still been employed at the salon at the time of Pumpkin’s mysterious injuries, are telling different stories. Brady says Lucca is responsible but Lucca says Briana was the only one left alone with Pumpkin according to a FoxNews interview (see video below). Lucca said that Pumpkin was fine when she finished his grooming. She came back ten minutes later to find the injured Yorkie-poo.
FoxNews interviewed both Brady and Lucca about the incident, which can be seen in the video below.
As mentioned, the sheriff’s office is now investigating the case but has not released any information yet. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.