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Dozens more dog owners file complaints against shuttered Sarasota grooming business – FOX 13 Tampa

The grooming business Diana Stevens owns may be filled with merchandise, but Google says Woof Gang’s Grooming and Bakery is permanently closed in Sarasota. FOX 13’s Kimberly Kuizon reports.
The grooming business Diana Stevens owns may be filled with merchandise, but Google says Woof Gang’s Grooming and Bakery is permanently closed in Sarasota. The Woof Gang corporation pulled her franchise last week.
Investigators with the Sarasota Police Department say 60 people have reached out, concerned their pets could have been a victim of Diana Stevens.
"Nauseated. Very sick. Mentally sickening," said Patricia Jones.
RELATED: Sarasota dog groomer arrested for animal abuse and cruelty
One week ago, that’s how pet owners like Patricia Jones described her feelings as she showed up to 41-year-old Diana Stevens’ dog grooming business looking for answers.
"I’m concerned something could have happened to her," Jones said, referring to her dog, Jazzy.
She isn’t the only one. Stevens was arrested on six counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty and four counts of Cruelty to Animals.  The Sarasota Police Department said video showed her abusing cats and dogs in her care.
Officers said since her arrest, there have been more than five dozen additional complaints against her.
"Right now our detective has received an overwhelming amount of tips, which is great, but now we are going to try through and see the validity of these tips," said Cynthia McLaughlin with the Sarasota Police Department.
That means working to match photos of dogs and cats to months, days and hours worth of video recorded in the business.
"We did recover more surveillance video when we made the arrest, so now we are going through that footage to see if there is any additional abuse occurring," said McLaughlin.
Courtesy: Sarasota Police Department
By phone, Stevens’ attorney told FOX 13 he feels the case was rushed. He said employees who told police about Stevens’ actions were also being investigated for stealing from her.
Stevens’ attorney said he is still waiting to receive a copy of the surveillance footage.
"Being a groomer is more than just hair, coat, giving haircuts and baths. Grooming is the whole of the dog," said Heidi Minihkeim, owner of The New York Groomer in Sarasota with 38 years of grooming experience. She said there are a few things pets owners should ask and check on when looking for a groomer.
"Always ask your neighbors, friends who have dogs. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. If you find a groom which you are interested in calling, call them. Stop in. View the facility," she said.
Minihkeim said owners should never be afraid to ask questions.
"It’s all about the dog, it’s not about the skin and coat, it’s about the mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and then the hair, nails and bath and all about that," she said.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to email Detective Sullivan at jessica.sullivan@sarasotaFL.gov. You can also leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS, or online here.
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