SATELLITE BEACH, FL (WESH/CNN) - A German shepherd and service dog is recovering from emergency surgery to amputate her tail after a Florida dog groomer allegedly violently abused her.
James Suthann, 37, faces a felony charge of animal cruelty. He was booked into the Brevard County Jail Monday but has since posted bond.
Investigators have accused Suthann of abusing an 8-year-old German shepherd named TT at a grooming salon on Feb. 6 because he was allegedly angry the dog wouldn’t stand still while he was trying to groom her.
Surveillance video shows seven minutes in which the suspect appears to manhandle the dog, tie her down and yank her tail so hard it breaks. TT’s tail had to be amputated following the incident.
"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 posttraumatic stress disorder, McGuire says he not only loves TT but 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.
Fortunately, it looks like TT will recover.
"When you see the video, it’s probably one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in a long, long time,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. “The guy showed absolutely no remorse, no remorse whatsoever.”
Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson were so angry at the alleged abuse that they personally escorted Suthann to jail, according to a Facebook post by Ivey.
“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 post. “I will personally walk you into our jail and slam the door behind you!”
Ivey said the video was “one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch in my 39 years of law enforcement.”
WARNING: The Facebook post contains a graphic image that may be disturbing to some viewers. To view the post, click here.
Both Ivey and Pearson say the grooming facility is not to blame in the incident. The suspect was an independent contractor, and the facility “had no knowledge that Suthann was capable of this type of activity.”
Once the salon learned about the alleged incident, it severed its relationship with Suthann, and he will no longer be allowed at the facility, according to authorities.