SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – A Satellite Beach dog groomer was arrested Monday after officials said he maimed a local veteran’s service dog, breaking the animal’s tail so badly it had to be amputated.
James Corell Suthann, 37, of Satellite Beach, was charged with one count of animal cruelty and released from the Brevard County Jail Monday on $2,000 bail, Fox 8 News reported.
The charge stems from a Feb. 6 incident, captured on video at Groomingdales Pet Spa on Jackson Avenue, where Suthann worked as a contract employee, reported Florida Today.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Suthann became angry with an 8-year-old German shepherd when it wouldn’t stand still for grooming.
Ivey said the video showed Suthann strapping the dog’s head down so tightly it couldn’t move before lifting the animal off the ground by its tail, twisting the tail and breaking it. At the end of the video, Ivey said, Suthann struck the dog in the head with a hose nozzle.
The tail was broken so badly it had to be removed, Ivey said.
In a statement on social media, Ivey called the acts “horrific.”
“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,” he said.
The 8-year-old German shepherd, named “TT,” belongs to a disabled veteran with PTSD, Ivey said.
“The owner was devastated by the acts of cruelty against his pet and companion,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the maximum bond that could be placed on Suthann was $2,000, because they don’t let me personally set the bond amounts for criminals like this guy!”
“It’s been a horrible thing for her. It was a horrible, horrible thing to watch on video,” said Rick McGuire, the service dog’s owner. “There’s just no words for how angry I am.”
An Army veteran with PTSD, McGuire says he not only loves TT but also needs her.
“If I stop in an aisle, she turns around and watches to make sure nobody’s coming up on me, and she’s everything to me,” he said.
Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson personally walked Suthann into the jail Monday afternoon, Ivey said.
“As I have said before … if you harm an animal in Brevard County we will take your butt straight to jail!” said Ivey in the Facebook post. “I will personally walk you into our jail and slam the door behind you!”
Ivey said Groomingdales’ owners had no knowledge Suthann was capable of cruelty and immediately fired him after learning about the incident.