Groomer arrested after allegedly abusing service dog so badly its tail had to be amputated

Groomer arrested after allegedly abusing service dog so badly its tail had to be amputated
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson said on Facebook they were so angry at the alleged abuse that they personally escorted the suspect to jail. (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office/WESH/Hearst/CNN)

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.

Dog groomer James Suthann, 37, was booked into jail on a felony charge of animal abuse. He has since posted bail. (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office)
Dog groomer James Suthann, 37, was booked into jail on a felony charge of animal abuse. He has since posted bail. (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

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.”

Fortunately, it looks like TT, an 8-year-old German shepherd and service dog, will recover after her tail was amputated. (Source: WESH/Hearst/CNN)
Fortunately, it looks like TT, an 8-year-old German shepherd and service dog, will recover after her tail was amputated. (Source: WESH/Hearst/CNN) (Source: WESH/Hearst/CNN)

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!”

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson said on Facebook they were so angry at the alleged abuse that they personally escorted the suspect to jail. (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office/WESH/Hearst/CNN)
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson said on Facebook they were so angry at the alleged abuse that they personally escorted the suspect to jail. (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office/WESH/Hearst/CNN) (Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office/WESH/Hearst/CNN)

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.

Copyright 2019 WESH, Hearst, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office via CNN. All rights reserved.