Caught on Camera: Video of Groomer Allegedly Choking Dog Goes Viral

The owner of a Venice, Florida grooming business is under investigation, after an employee of the shop posted a video that shows the owner, Phyliss Luca, allegedly choking a dog.  


The video was recorded by Briana Brady, who is now a former employee of Happy Puppy Pet Spa.
Brady said when she saw Luca treating the dog poorly, she started recording.
“I wanted evidence to bring to the police,” Brady told I Love My Dog. “I waited for the right moment, and I quickly grabbed my phone and recorded her picking the dog up by the neck, choking it, and shaking it, and then slamming its head on the table.”

Brady posted the video on Facebook and it’s been shared more than 3,000 times and has more than 700,000 views. (The video has since been flagged for violent content)

Luca claims that the dog had “passed out” and she was reviving her. Luca says she’s been grooming the dog for six years and what she did was medically necessary. “What the dog did was pass out and she faints and what I did was hold her head and shake her. That’s all,” she told WFTX. “If you see the video, I know it looks bad, but that’s not what I’m doing.”


The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office told I Love My Dog the owner of the dog in the video did not want to press charges.

But after that video went viral, Fox 4 News reported another customer of the grooming center came forward, claiming her dog had her jaw broken during an appointment.

“I gave you a dog in good health and you give me a dog that has broken bones now,” said Cynthia Crowe, the dog’s owner and former client of Happy Puppy Pet Spa.


Police reports I Love My Dog obtained say when the owner of the dog named “Pumpkin” picked up her dog from the spa, “she noticed that Pumpkin had blood on her paw, redness on her chest, an uneven muzzle and was therefore highly suspicious that something had occurred.”

Pumpkin’s owner took her to the vet, the police report said, who diagnosed the dog with a fractured jaw and extensive bruising to her abdomen. Pumpkin even needed to undergo surgery!

Police then interviewed the groomer who told investigators that nothing unusual occurred.

The Sarasota State’s Attorney office tells I Love My Dog that the case is under investigation.

I Love My Dog contacted the owner of the grooming salon for comment, she referred us to her attorney, who did not respond to repeated calls.

Brady said she was fired after posting the video, and the entire incident has left her devastated. “I was appalled, broken hearted for the poor dog,” Brady said. “I had to go in the other room and cry because it hurt me to see that. And I cried all that night and the next few days.”

Contributed by: Mary Schwager, aka, WatchdogMary , a TV and print journalist watchdogging for animals. She’s honored to have won 14 Emmy, 7 Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards for investigative reporting & writing.




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