Caught on Camera: Florida Pet Salon Owner Filmed Allegedly Shaking and Choking Dog, Prompts Abuse Investigation

The video taken by a former Happy Puppy Pet Spa employee, shows the dog salon owner allegedly abusing the animal

It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare: a trusted caretaker and businessperson mistreating the furry love of your life.

A dog grooming salon owner in Venice, Florida, has been accused of just such a crime. According to Florida’s FOX 4 News, Phyllis Lucca, who owns Happy Puppy Pet Spa, was caught on camera allegedly shaking and choking a pup, a scene that was filmed by then-employee Briana Brady.

Brady, who no longer works at the salon, posted the footage to Facebook on Nov. 10. To date, it has been viewed over 479,000 times.

The release of the disturbing video, which has gone viral on social media, has prompted an investigation by the Sarasota County’s Sheriff’s Office. The clip appears to show Lucca putting her hands around a small dog’s neck, shaking the pup, and roughly shoving its head against the table.

“This is what this horrible woman does every day to every dog,” Brady writes in the Facebook post. “She even broke a dog’s jaw two weeks ago. She picked the dog up by the neck and shook it and slammed it on the table … Left with the broken jaw and bruised chest.”

That dog, a toy poodle named Pumpkin, is owned by Cynthia Crowe. She and Brady both believe Lucca is the only one responsible for allegedly harming both dogs.

“It was very hard for me to witness any of that happening,” Brady, in tears, tells FOX 4 News.

However, the pet spa owner is defending herself with a different explanation. Lucca tells the station that her actions are being misconstrued as abuse.

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

Brady refutes this explanation and, along with Pumpkin’s owner, plans to press charges against Lucca.

Meanwhile, reports that the owner of the dog seen in Brady’s video was contacted by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and according to department’s public information officer Kaitlyn Perez, he told investigators he won’t be pressing charges against Lucca and was happy with the services provided by the spa.

PEOPLE has reached out to Lucca and Brady for comment.

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