BROOKLYN, Ohio -- Police say they expect to charge a local groomer in the hanging death of a family's pet after it was dropped off for a shampoo and a clip.
So, how do you prevent a groomer from harming your four-legged love one?
All kinds of professionals have to be licensed in Ohio before they're allowed to practice their trade. But when it comes to your pet, anyone can hang a shingle and claim to be a professional, so be on your guard.
As executive director for the Public Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Amy Beichler is sickened by what police say happened inside the Pet Supplies Plus in Brooklyn's Ridge Park Square, just south of Interstate 480.
"That was horrifying, for that dog and that family," said Beichler.
Paula Schoch, the grief-stricken owner of 2-year-old Nannie, told us her Schnoodle was left unattended on a table with its head in a groomer's noose. There was no one around to rescue Nannie when she fell over the side. Paula asked that we not show her face or that of her daughter's when we spoke Thursday morning, because they'd been crying.
"I just feel it's so negligible and irresponsible," said Schoch.
Brooklyn's police chief says his investigators were unable to question the groomer about what happened, because she was sent home before they got there. However, he told Fox 8 News by phone that he expects she will be charged.
The store manager refused to answer questions about the incident.
Sue McConnell from the Cleveland Better Business Bureau says trust is all a consumer can rely on when taking a pet to a groomer. No license is required by the state and certifications are voluntary.
"It's not like they have to go through any sort of regular testing through the State of Ohio to make sure that they are doing this properly," McConnell told Fox 8 News.
Beichler says she would never leave her Shitzu, Izzy, with anyone who wouldn't allow her to stay and watch her dog be groomed. She also recommends asking questions about safety: animals should never be left in dangerous dryer cages, and make sure whomever you leave your loved one with uses a safety system that prevents them from backing off a table, unlike the noose from which Nannie was left to hang.
"I understand we're all human, and we all make mistakes, but it doesn't take away the pain of our family," Schoch said.
Brooklyn's chief of police told Fox 8 News that the groomer could be charged with animal neglect, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.