An ex-animal groomer in Georgia is standing trial for allegedly battering two dogs that were in her care—causing the injuries that led to their deaths.
The former owner of Paw’sh Paws, Michelle Louise Root is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for allegedly battering a dog named Little Boy in March 2016 and another canine, Meko, in October 2017. Root, 47, was arrested days after she “maliciously” killed Meko by kicking him and strangling him with a lead, according to an indictment obtained by the Forsyth County News.
Former employees contacted authorities after allegedly witnessing Root beat and choke Meko until he lost consciousness. The dog’s owner, Eric Francis, told WAGA that he was at the business when he was informed that Meko had a seizure. He reportedly took Meko to a veterinarian, where he was pronounced dead.
“He wasn’t moving at all. I walked over and put my hand near his mouth and noticed his lips and tongue were blue,” Francis said.
The Forsyth County News reported that police rearrested Root after learning of the fatal March 2016 incident involving Little Boy. The indictment accused her of intentionally kicking the dog, resulting in a ruptured spleen and other injuries that led to his euthanization.
Cumming Police Department spokeswoman Deputy Chief Aletha Barrett said additional victims contacted them after hearing of Root’s arrest.
“We have received multiple phone calls from other potential victims that reach all the way back to the early 2000s,” she told the news outlet in October 2017.
At the time, she also told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that older abuse allegations would be difficult to prove because authorities would have to show the animals weren’t injured before they entered Root’s business.
The newspaper reported that Paw’sh Paws is no longer in business. Court proceedings are expected to begin on Tuesday.
[Featured image: Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office]