It’s been two years in the making, but a loyal service dog and her owner finally have seen justice served for a horrendous crime that the dog suffered.
It began in 2019, when Rick McGuire, a disabled veteran, took his German shepherd service dog TT to a groomer in Satellite Beach, Florida. McGuire did his homework to find a good place to take her, but he immediately noticed something was wrong when he picked her up.
“On Wednesday, February 6th, I took my Service Dog, TT, to a groomer for her bath,” McGuire wrote back in February 2019. “I went to a local and well recommended by Google groomer named Groomingdales of Satellite Beach, Florida.
“This is the result of what happened. They broke her tail off her spine. She had to have emergency surgery to amputate her tail. I immediately contacted the groomer. They took no responsibility for TT’s injury and hung up on me.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else’s dog! Please Share to help me bring action and have this place held accountable Make This Go Viral! Thank You !!!”
The story did go viral, police got involved and eventually security camera footage was released that showed how the dog’s tail had been snapped from her spine. The groomer, James Suthann, wrenched TT’s tail around while she was tied to the wall during her bath. The dog was in clear distress throughout.
According to WKMG-TV, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said that the act caught on tape was one of the worst acts of animal cruelty he’d ever seen, and he vowed to go after animal abusers.
“If you hurt an animal in our community, you’re going to jail, and if I can, I’m going to be the one who walks you in,” Ivey said. “There is absolutely no need for what happened.”
Suthann was given a choice between 60 days in jail with a felony conviction and 180 days in jail “with an offer to withhold adjudication.” He chose the 180-day sentence and was also required to pay $5,278.61.
“Good afternoon I have an update about TT’s case,” McGuire posted on May 18. “James Suthann has been found guilty and will spend 180 days in jail 3 years probation there is finally justice for TT We want to thank everybody for all your SUPPORT and help and getting us this far it’s been a long 2 1/2 years and finally some justice for TT …
“Thank you so much for everybody’s support and help again We couldn’t have done it without you. Also HUGE shout out to Susan Panicasio We couldn’t have done it without you Peace to everybody and hope all your families are happy and safe this summer.”
While McGuire now knows that at least Suthann will pay for his actions, those actions are still having ramifications on TT’s overall health.
“The part now is her hips and her tail, or where her tail was, is all arthritis now,” he said. “She doesn’t have a voice. I am her voice. The videotape was her voice today.
“You don’t want to see your dog get hurt. You don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I believe finally now there’s some justice.”