A dog groomer could face animal abuse charges after he was seen allegedly holding a dog in the air by a leash and repeatedly hitting the dog in the face.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Reniel Sanchez, 34, of “Super Star Mobile Grooming” came to the home of David Bennett on Thursday to groom a schnauzer named Buddy. Bennett said he gave Buddy to Sanchez, who then took the dog to the back of the van to groom him.
The BSO report said a witness then heard a dog crying from inside of the van and told Bennett. BSO said that Bennett looked into the vehicle from the front windshield and allegedly saw Sanchez holding the leash that was tied to the dog’s neck in one hand and hitting the dog in the face with his other hand.
"I look through the front and the person had the dog hanging by a skinny rope around his neck and slapping and beating it," Benett told NBC 6.
Bennett told BSO that he opened the door of the van and pulled the dog from the van and found bleeding on the nose and mouth area after he removed a muzzle from the dog. The witness told detectives that he saw the groomer hit the dog until Bennett pulled the dog out of the car.
Sanchez told deputies that the dog began to move “frantically” and that led the leash to tighten around the neck of the dog and that he didn’t hit the dog. According to the incident report, Sanchez said the tightening of the leash caused a blood vessel to bleed in the dog’s nose.
Deputies gave Sanchez a notice to appear before a judge for animal abuse before releasing him.
The owner of the grooming service, Aracely Borges, said the harness that was used was not a rope and that the dog was being aggressive.
"The bloody nose is probably just a trauma from him probably being stressed from having the muzzle," Borges said.
Borges told NBC 6 that Sanchez has worked for him for many years, is a trusted employee and customer request him often. Borges said Sanchez will continue working for him pending the investigation.