NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Pet salon owner caught on camera shaking dog, prompts animal abuse investigation

Posted: 11:05 PM, Nov 12, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-13 19:16:33Z
Pet groomer claims animal abuse in viral video

VENICE, Fla. -- A local pet groomer under investigation by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office after a recent video of alleged animal abuse surfaced on social media.

Former employee of Happy Puppy Pet Spa, Briana Brady, took a video of her boss grooming a dog. The video shows her boss putting both hands around the dog's neck and laying it down on the table, leaving Brady to label the action as animal abuse. 

Brady first witnessed the alleged abuse when another dog left the salon with a broken jaw.

“The dog was picked up by the throat, choked, shacked and then his head slammed on the table,” Brady said describing the video.

The viral Facebook video has over 250,000 views. Brady worked at the Spa for four weeks prior to posting the video on social media.

“It was very hard for me to witness any of that happening," Brady said through tears.

However, the woman in the video who owns the spa, Phyliis Lucca has a different perspective. She tells ABC Action News affiliate Fox 4 that her actions weren't abuse, but instead necessary steps for the dog's overall health.

"If you see the video, I know it looks bad, but that’s not what I’m doing," Lucca explained. “What the dog did was pass out and she faints and what I did was hold her head and shake her. That’s all.”

Two weeks prior to the video going public, a puppy named Pumpkin, left the spa with a broken jaw and bruises all over his stomach.

Lucca claims that Brady was the one responsible.

"The only one that was in the room alone, with the dog, was Briana.”

However, both Brady and Pumpkin's owner, says they believe Lucca was the only one who could've have harmed the dog. The Spa owner hopes to move forward and survive the blow to her business.

“If I get through this, I won't have another groomer in the store because nobody can be trusted now.”

Brady and Pumpkin's owner say they will be pressing charges against Lucca.