wp header logo 231

Groomer charged with animal abuse in Sarasota has criminal record – WWSB

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The Sarasota Police Department has arrested the owner of a pet grooming business after they say employees told detectives she was abusing animals in her care.
Police arrested Diana Stevens, 41, of North Fort Myers, on March 8 at her business at 1129 S Tamiami Trail.
“Stevens was actually out on probation for burglary and battery out of lee county,” said Cynthia McLaughlin from the Sarasota Police Department.
She has been arrested for burglary, grand theft, vehicle theft, battery, and larceny, over the last 10 years, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives were initially investigating the former Woof Gang franchise for financial crimes when they uncovered a pattern of animal abuse by Stevens, a news release said.
Police say store employees told detectives they not only witnessed Stevens abuse the animals as she groomed them, but on several instances, they had to intervene.
Customers also reported that their pets behaved abnormally after being picked up from the business, police say. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the store and collected video evidence of animal abuse.
Police say the video appears to support allegations that Stevens beat, berated, and tossed animals as she groomed them.
“it’s unimaginable, you entrust someone to care for these animals and this should be a subject matter expert,” said McLaughlin. “Not to mention she’s the owner, she should be setting the highest standard for her employees.”
Stevens faces five felony charges of aggravated animal abuse and five misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to email Detective Jessica Sullivan at jessica.sullivan@sarasotaFL.gov or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.
If you believe your pet has been abused at this location, contact the police department.
Copyright 2024 WWSB. All rights reserved.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top